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Finally, fall

And fall means cold weather, depressing skies, dead leaves, and the return of my ability to write for more than five seconds without falling back into my chair in a melty, brainless puddle. I have very slowly and begrudgingly come to accept that I cannot write during the summer months – I just can’t. Summer is great for research and reading and maybe doing a little outlining. But that’s it. Ugly gray skies and pissing-down rain are what motivate me best – it’s what I grew up with, and what I’m used to operating under. That, and there are no insects to bother me. Except Herbert, who is Eternal in his reign over my kitchen…

What I’m working on now: a novel, which should be finished by the end of the year. It’s a vampire novel. I’ll just stop here while you all go off and snicker to each other “oh my, how very original – that will certainly sell…” That’s ok. You’re not half wrong. And I haven’t even told you the most cliched part about it. I know this is where I’m supposed to say something along the lines of “I wouldn’t be writing it if I hadn’t thought of something entirely new and fresh and exciting, blah blah”. Ha! Double ha, I say!

I’m also writing a couple hundred words a day on a short Lovecraftian novella inspired both by my trip home last month and by the vast number of unfinished sewing projects both I and my mother can lay claim to – it’s not a priority, just something I work on when the mood strikes me (like the sewing, evidently). And that’s it for writing. I’ve winnowed my “to be done in the nebulous future” list down to a fraction of what it was, and I don’t know what I’ll be working on next year, other than editing the novel so I can kick its ass out of the apartment. This isn’t me losing interest in or winding down writing – it’s me adjusting from short projects to long, which has been a little bit of a struggle, because it feels like I haven’t been doing anything in a long while. Which isn’t true, but IMO, it’s easy to point at story and say “there’s a point to doing this”, because often the ending is easy to see, and a fairly attainable goal. For me, pointing at a novel and saying “there’s a point to doing this” is like motioning into a foggy void. You have no idea how or when it’s going to end, and it feels like every step forward could be the one that takes you off a cliff. You just have to keep plodding forward, inch by inch, assuring yourself that you’ll come to the end, and you’ll be able to turn around and see that you’ve actually accomplished something. Well, that’s how I see it, anyway. Your mileage varies – and if it’s faster and easier, then lucky you.

Originally published at Livia Llewellyn. You can comment here or there.

Marine Autumn

I owe you marine autumn
With dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.

--Pablo Neruda.

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