Thursday, October 30, 2014

Octoberfest 2014

(the view of neighbor's pumpkin patch from my living room window)
All summer long, while belting out fresh pages and finishing writing projects on my sun porch, our neighbor's pumpkin patch grew and put forth fruit, teasing my psyche with thoughts of Halloween while the trees still held onto their leaves.  One big, fat pumpkin swelled just outside my living room window, its lizard-green hide waiting for the weather to change, and the cold to turn it orange.

There's something bittersweet about this time  of year, especially here so far north in our new home town when the first chill manifests in August.  Summers in New Hampshire's North Country are too brief. I've always loved Halloween, dating back to my boyhood lived in the little house in the big woods, when my mother would broadcast the soundtrack from Dark Shadows down our remote country road to spook trick or treaters.  I love the particular golden bent of the light when it shifts, the colored leaves and their fragrance.  I even love the early twilight.  Right around the first of September, my pen gravitates toward the dark, and tales of ghosts, ghouls, and monsters are born.  This year was no different -- about a dozen first drafts, as of this writing.

(River Fire, 2013)
I love the house my small family purchased in 2013, and as the cold presses down from the mountains and the afternoons shorten, my instinct to nest and spend my days lost in writing deepens.  Every year at this time, the locals come out en masse for River Fire, in which the many rocky boom islands along the Androscoggin River are set ablaze. Hundreds of jack-o'-lanterns carved by kids and kids-at-heart are put on display on the walking bridge over the river.  This year, like our first here, we hosted a big buffet dinner for our writers' group pals and then set off to walk the bridge and watch the flames, where we met other group members, who then joined us back home for dessert.  All who attended had a blast, and I gathered more material for future use in stories short and long.

Throughout the month, I gave numerous interviews regarding "Comes the Rain", my short story appearance in the anthology Wrapped in Black -- to Michael G. Williams and Killion Slade, who both did fabulous jobs.  I also enjoyed an audio interview by the fine folks at Great Old Ones Publishing to coincide with the release of my next book, Tales From the Robot Graveyard, which creeps closer to reality.  Illness almost prevented me from attending the autumn writing retreat hosted by friends from my Southern New Hampshire group but thankfully didn't, and directly upon my return, we had our pipes and basement insulated against the gathering cold -- another of our upgrades to this wonderful old house.

In two days, I plan to dive headlong into the madness of National Novel Writing Month, in which I and zillions of others across the globe set forth to pen 50,000 words in thirty short days.  I tackled NaNoWriMo once before, and successfully wrote (and sold!) my novel in just three short weeks.  I hope to have similar success with my new fantasy novel idea, which jumped into my lap and has made me as excited as its predecessor.  More so, perhaps.

(Ozzie, snuggled down in the master bedroom)
November 1, the official start to NaNoWriMo, is expected to be cold, perhaps even snowy according to the local whether-men.  As stated, winters here are brutal and ominous.  Days take on a grayness that we countered last winter by keeping our happy home bright and warm.  I intend to do the same this year  -- helped along by playing a little game in which I plan to write numerous projects to conclusion that are set in summer months and hotter climates.  In fact, these last few weeks of 2014 are setting the stage for what I hope will be a very productive and happy 2015, what I've jokingly referred to as the 'Year of Writing Dangerously'.  In 2015, the mortgage will be paid off, I'll officially say goodbye to my 40s and hello to my 50s (where have the decades gone?), and I'll take a serious stab at finishing so many of the as-yet unwritten stories that have yet to find their THE ENDs throughout these many, many seasons.

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