It’s properly fall here now. I’m fascinated by how Autumn happens in the Pacific Northwest area. In Minnesota, there was a brief and beautiful fall which gave way quickly to bleak, gray days which hung around until the snow fell and the ice formed and it became winter.
Out here, though, the trees change to amazing colors, the air turns a bit sharp and cool…and it stays like this for ages. Because we don’t get the brutal snows, there were some trees that hung onto their fiery leaves well into January last year. Right now, the sun is out on a chilly day and the light is golden and beautiful. You wouldn’t expect long, Ray-Bradbury-like Autumn days in the Seattle area, but there they are.
I am a few scenes into the novel. It came with a title, The Girl in the Cupboard, but I was surprised to realize a title from a different project also fit, and so now it’s got two titles. The printed title page sitting next to me on the desk says The Girl in the Cupboard, or, Fugue. I’ll pick one eventually, but I’m enjoying it right now. “OR” titles always felt like a proper classic literature thing. Moby Dick, or The Whale. That kind of business.
To write it, I’ve occasionally been visiting the small college that’s a mile or so away from me. To get there, I shortcut through a local park, along a thin trail that winds through thick forest. It’s gorgeous and the path is lined with blackberry bushes. I ruin my dinner occasionally, because I pick and eat them on the way there, then pick and eat more on the way back. My favorite thing, though, is walking the path when it rains. Occasionally, I get tired of being wet and duck under a little cavern under some trees and remain perfectly dry as the rain comes down so thick, it beats itself into mist against the ground and fallen logs.
The other wonderful thing about this time of year is how much run it is to go running. I run at night, since it’s easier than trying to work it into the rest of a hectic day. This time of year, I wear a light running sweater when I go out. It’s completely dark and chilly and it’s just me and a lot of traffic (I run along the busiest street I can find. It focuses me. I don’t entirely know why).
Last night, I went running and discovered my right leg really hurt. Rather than doing something sensible and going home, I instead figured I could run it out and headed off. It got worse instead of better, until I was two miles away from home and couldn’t support my weight. After sitting for a while on a bus stop bench, I admitted defeat and hobbled home. Today, my right leg is stiff and has the deep aching pain of an elbow that has been over-extended. No exercise tonight, alas. Hoping to be back out and running in a day or so.
I’ve fallen completely in love with Susanna’s Pacemaker and have been building fascinating schedules for myself. I’m currently on a randomized one which I hope will get me to November 1st and in vicinity of 50,000 words. On the lower word-count days, I’ll be able to do articles for BookRiot and stuff like laundry and the dishes. On higher word count days, I’ll just focus on that. (and I’ve already decided that if the day calls for 300 words and I feel like producing 1,000, I will, dammit.)
In addition the novel, I’m working slowly on a short story. It’s got a lot of variations to it, so I keep starting and stopping the writing as I try to figure out which ideas go in and which don’t. It’s a lot of fun, though. Right now, it’s all by hand in a notebook.
Right. Fresh pot of tea is made. Time to get back at it.