Saturday, October 20, 2012

hear ye! hear ye!

If nothing else, October calls us to attention.  "Hear ye! Hear ye! Winter is coming! Winter is coming!"

While I'm overjoyed at the prospect, most people I know are reluctant to see summer end. I think autumn is Mother Nature's way of consoling them, as if to say, "Now, now. This isn't so bad, is it?" and out she comes with the pumpkins and gourds, the cider and doughnuts, the brilliant colors and wind tossed leaves...


so that, rather than bellyache about winter, we are forced to focus on her beauty.

This is a little snippet from The Bandaged Place (my still-needs-an-agent novel) that describes an October morning in northern New England through the eyes of my protagonist:

"October takes me by surprise. I should have seen it coming. Like incense over the altar, wood smoke hangs heavy in the air. There are pumpkins on every porch—Smiley, Goofy, Grumpy, Spooky—so that Middleburg takes on a personality of its own. This is one of those powder puff mornings when the rising sun causes everything to blush. The air is so still that the chimney smoke reaches straight up into the soft pink haze that clings to the treetops. Instead of dew, we awaken to the glitter of frost on the grass, to ice on the windshield, to breath that crystallizes in mid-air. I can tell that snow is on the way. I know it as surely as I know the smell of honeysuckle in May, of fresh cut grass in July, and burning leaves in September.

Summer has surrendered to autumn. Sightseers choke the mountain roads by day and jam the restaurants and bars at night. But these are fair-weather fans. They may extol the glories of blazing foliage and crisp, clean air but they’ll be sure to head home before snow flies, before Mother Nature packs up her palette and heads south leaving behind the soft soothing shades of oatmeal and brown sugar, of seashells and sand, of bone. Before the sun pales and the sky turns to lead. Before the wind shifts and whistles unchecked through the bare branches, tossing fallen leaves around like the snow that is sure to follow."
...the soft soothing shades of oatmeal and
brown sugar, seashells and sand,
of bone.

To my summer-loving friends and followers I say: Enjoy the consolations of autumn while they last.

To my snowdrift loving, hot-spiced-wine-by-the-fireplace addicted, hunker-down-and-write friends and followers I say: Hang in there. It won't be too much longer!

Are you reluctant to see summer end or eager for winter to arrive?
"I please myself with the graces of the winter scenery,
and believe that we are as much touched by it
as by the genial influences of summer."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson--
Next week I'll be visiting my old stomping grounds in and around Buffalo, conjuring up childhood memories for a collaborative memoir with my brother. I'd like to do a post on embodied memory the next time I come in for a landing.




  1. I have but one thing to say.....get an agent and get that book published so I can read it.

  2. Despite your beautiful description of fall, it's my least favorite time of year. I don't like the cold mornings and the soaked grass. I'd rather have hot all year long with a little snow for Christmas.

  3. I love the fall. The smells and quietness of it all is comforting. Hope you are doing well. Keep writing. Your work deserves a good home

  4. Thanks, Delores. I need to do a major revision and put it out again.

    Susan--Put on a jacket and boots and go outside in time to watch the sun rise...or move south! :)

    Tina--Thanks! Hope to see you Wednesday eve. It's been awhile for me.