So, we’ve made it full circle again to October: this season of jay conversing tree to tree and turning leaves, and pumpkin-spice everything-under-the-sun. Just check out Trader Joe’s, if you have yet to be persuaded. I have added Pumpkin Spice Rooibus tea and pumpkin ice cream to my personal supply. Could not resist.
Also a feature of full-on Autumn is butternut squash soup. This particular recipe involves the crockpot and extra ingredients such as a carrot and an apple. It’s sweet and full of flavor, but the next time I make it, I’ll forgo the apple, as it tends to overpower the essence of the squash. So this was lunch today:
This is a strange fall for me in that it is editing season. I finished the draft last week. Finished in itself is kind of a loaded term. I use it to mean that the novel is complete so far as the story is concerned, but still in bad need of editing… and some parts are turbid enough to warrant rewrites. So it is a murky time. So, “Yes and no.”
But it is perfect timing – this season change – as I have a few writer friends who will step in as my beta readers. Having readers and getting some of their material in return makes it official: no more drafting. It’s over. I have a sense of finality, of wanting to skip onto writing sequels, even though it is way too soon. There is still work to be done, just a different kind of work.
Editing can be eye-opening. I read aloud a chapter last night, and it is down right amazing how many little things I missed or how many words I tend to repeat within one paragraph. You never really get the nuance of what you’re writing unless you read it aloud to yourself. The only downside to this is that it wears out one’s voice.
Everyone has a process for editing, and I’m still trying to figure mine out. Reading through and getting restless doesn’t seem to be working very well. I long to create, which means it is easy for me to just start tinkering and perfecting… and we all know what happens when we allow perfectionism free reign: things unravel and are never truly done. And if I don’t make myself turn away from the novel for a while, I will get sick of it. We don’t want that.
Still. This season is hard for me. I miss working on the novel, the actual process of creating it anew. In theory, I tell myself, now is a great time to throw myself into something new and completely different from the novel while it rests. But… short stories are hard, and I struggle to write them. I delve into sequel experiments out of love for the novel I’ve created, but there is an unshakable sense that anything I write to that end is on shifting ground and out of context.
I suppose the only conclusion that can be garnered here is that seasons of writing change like summer into fall. We are never in the same place. We’re always in a cycle. We always come out different on the other side. We change as much as the seasons do.
Goals for this season:
- Let this version of the Novel rest, send it out for feedback. Only with feedback can we move on to another round of edits and tweaks and rewrites.
- Write new things. Experiment.
- Tinker. Play. Color with pencils. Return to calligraphy and card-making.
- Blog more.
- Read more.
Other Fall moments:
In the later days of September, I spotted a hummingbird hawk-moth sharing territory with the Monarch and Red Admiral butterflies. As this is the season for migrating and wandering creatures, I’ve also seen a Canada warbler (unfortunately deceased and now buried behind a juniper) and a pair of ravens making loud unka-unka-unka noises.
One plant that doesn’t know it’s October is my trusty oxalis shamrock. It’s bloomed several times since I brought it home in March. I can’t wait to watch the flowers open on a snowy day, this winter.
My apartment experienced some repairs this September, which meant that I had to rearrange the furniture. Beatrix heartily approves the new view from the bookcase.