Autumn, awaking.


The name conjures earlier nightfall, crisp air, and the advent of all things spooky. It is thirty-one days of horror movies, pumpkin lattes, and the possibility of weather cool enough to open windows. It is a time of afternoon coffee, fresh radishes crisp as apples and nearly as big, and the first bowls of lunchtime soup.

When I moved to Central Texas five years ago, I thought that there were really only two seasons: Summer and not-Summer. I was wrong. There are seasons, but they are subtle. The trees may not erupt with the Autumnal fire of cooler climes, but they do change. The live oak mellows from a dark green to a gentle golden-green and the lush emerald of the cedars deepens. Insects and flowers that the sun killed return, making October a month of understated rebirth. Dragonflies float on sunlight-reflecting wings, glittering bits of consciousness hovering above the changed trees. Fireflies drift amongst dying thickets even as multicolored zinnias blow in the cooler breezes. On cloudy mornings, Austin’s ambient light reflects from the muzzy atmosphere, and a surprising profusion of sunflowers glow bright as good omens.

My creativity, which had grown sluggish beneath the constant blue of Summer’s onslaught, is also flowering. My work on expanding and revising the first book in my sci-fi/horror series is going at a good clip, and connections between characters and themes ricochet through my dreams to appear on the pages. In addition to work on the novel, I’m also preparing a short story for inclusion in an anthology. The story is a strange little gem inspired by Ouida Sebestyen’s novel, Girl in the Box. Not including reviews and blog posts, I have written close to four-hundred pages of new material this year. To put that in perspective, the final draft of Stolen Climates weighs in at just over 240 pages. I have never been this productive. I welcome my awakening!


October is also the month of horror blog hops. This year, I am participating in the Coffin Hop. Mark your calendars, because I’ll be giving away fun prizes, copies of Stolen Climates, and writing a post a day!

Coffin Hop 2012!

20 thoughts on “Autumn, awaking.

  1. 400 pages! Awsome! And fireflies in October — also awesome! My favorite bug. Followed by dragonflies, which you also have. We have rain. But rain is part of BC and makes the trees green and tall and moss covered, so I can’t complain too much.


    • Moss covered trees are magical. I love the rain, but sometimes we go entire months without a drop of it. This fall has been lovely, with rain almost every weekend for a month! πŸ™‚

      Thanks! If only the 400 pages had been for the same book, maybe I’d be done with one by now! I console myself with the reminder that I have a rough skeleton of the next book just waiting in line…

      Enjoy October, Marie!


  2. I love the description of autumn in Texas – I’ve never been there, and I always tended to imagine it as being permanently hot and arid. So much for my preconceptions! It sounds beautiful. Much better than here in northern Italy, where the rain is currently belting down!

    I love this time of year too, not least because Halloween is my favourite festival (surprise, surprise). I have to be nagged before I’ll decorate the house for Christmas or buy a birthday card, but come Halloween and I just turn into a kid again.

    Glad to hear that your creativity is in overdrive!


    • Texas has several different climates, with Eastern Texas being a great deal wetter and greener, and far West Texas being basically a desert. I live in the Hill Country, which lies right between those two different climates. Someone pointed out that in Stolen Climates, I had merged the Central and Western parts of Texas, which is true… it took a life-long Texan to notice it, though. πŸ˜‰

      Halloween is wonderful! I love it that adults get ‘permission,’ for that one day, to believe in and celebrate the supernatural. Well, normal adults – horror writers do that every day, permission or not!

      Have a great week, Mari!


  3. Funny the differences in where we live. For me, October is the time to start closing the windows (we don’t have A.C., so they’re open all summer). And way to be observant of the subtle changes, especially in Austin (still can’t believe I didn’t see you when I was there. D’oh!).

    And 400 pages is awesome. How interesting to keep track, but also how smart of you.



    • Paul! Welcome back!!

      I can’t imagine not having AC in Texas, but then again, we get long stretches of 100+ degree weather and no one would want to be without AC in that. I bet you get real winter, though, with actual cold and more than just one day of something only slightly heavier than a hard frost that still closes all the businesses. It makes me laugh to see a millimeter of “snow” closing schools! Even in Virginia we weren’t that silly about the cold.

      I am only keeping track of the pages because I am a bit sad that I am not finished with the novel I’m writing. I didn’t realize I was writing a series until I had the first draft of Book II, so I had to go back and write Book I. I was telling Kim over in #TESSpecFic that I was planning on writing novellas, but Book I definitely didn’t want to play along with that idea.

      It is too bad we missed one another when you were in Austin, but at least we’ve met here in blog-land!


  4. Once again, I love the language you use. Your word choice is amazing, even in your blog posts. I think Autumn is my favorite time of year as well, though I do love traveling in January. Something fresh about the world around the first of the year, at least for me.




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