Gittin’ ‘er done

(Crossposted from

Currently working on: Stand-off with Book 4 characters — Who will blink first? Me or them?
Mood: Clenched jawed

Autumn is a bit delayed here in the Pacific Northwest. Last week here at Silk And Shadows, I showed some pictures of my summer vacation (at left: the garden harvest we took with us for one-pot dinners) and normally, on our drive home from the high desert, when we pass into the rain cloud over Mt. Hood, we see the first signs of fall in the turning leaves.  This year, it’s still all green. Kind of like the tomatoes in our garden which are a month behind. Hurry up, tomatoes, we don’t have much time!

 This is the time of year when I like to finish up projects. It feels appropriate to batten down the hatches before winter. Here’s what’s on my list for fall projects:

1. Finish Book 4, come hell or high water
The high water will definitely be here. This is, after all, the Pacific Northwest. We do rain. As for the hell… I am not a peaceful writer. There is much kicking and screaming at my computer. I’m not proud of it, it does not serve me well, and I don’t recommend it as a technique to other writers, but it’s mine. I am currently in the kicking portion of this evening’s entertainment; the screaming will commence shortly.

2. Put the garden to bed
In a lovely dovetailing of deadlines, I will be done with Book 4 about the time the garden is done. I usually wait too long to strip the beds — hoping to wait for just one more red tomato — and end up having to do it in the rain, with my gloves drenched and full of mud. But whatever. Mulching for winter lacks the anticipation of spring planting, when you know you’ll get to watch the little plants grow all season, but there’s a certain satisfaction in covering the earth and wishing it good night.

3. Unearth my closet
The wild amokness of the garden can be productive, for pole beans at least. The same can be said sometimes for a wild imagination. The bedlam in my closet is not helpful in any way. Living in an old farmhouse has its pleasures, but the forehead-smashing, under-eaves closets are not among them. I wear whatever’s hanging closest to the door just to avoid going into the closet, for fear I won’t ever come out. Crawling into the way back… There be monsters. This fall, I want to at least be able to SEE the back wall.

4. Play with paint
I have an art project I’ve been itching to try, a multilayered abstract jewelry thing. I have the materials and just haven’t had the time. (I think I can sneak that in for Christmas presents, but don’t tell anybody ‘cuz it’s a surprise.)

5. Write something new
My ideas file is now 13 pages long. Truly, not every one of those ideas deserves a book, but some of them deserve at least a look beyond the cursory scribbling I gave them when they first popped up. The quiet of winter will be a perfect time to winnow through them — like next season’s seed packets to see what might sprout.

What’s on your list of autumn projects? Do you find that some tasks are better suited for some seasons than others?



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