Grow Better: Let's Own, Nourish, and Celebrate the Writing Phase You're In

Writing projects have life cycles, just like any growing, fruitful thing. Which season are you in? Here's how to embrace all it has to offer. | lucyflint.com

I've spent nearly my whole life in the midwestern United States. And though we aren't a farming family, I'm used to marking the seasons by what the fields are doing.

Right now, at the start of summer, the bright green corn plants are coming up through the dirt, showing off their first few leaves. 

Over the next month, they'll rocket out of the ground, becoming bold walls of dense leaves, perfuming the air—a sweet, dusty, corny smell.

At the end of the season comes the goldening of everything. And suddenly the walls disappear as the machines march through.

In winter the colors all fade, and fields are quiet under November mud or January snow. I'm used to this, my whole life: it's how things work.

Seasons. Seedlings sprout, grow, ripen, disappear. Quiet takes their place. And then it starts again. 

The other day I was reading The Sound of Paper, by Julia Cameron—a meditative book of short essays about the creative life and creative droughts. (I'm really liking it, but that's no surprise! It's a lovely and helpful book.)

When I hit the chapter called Seasonality, I sat up straight. Her words illuminated something that's been troubling me: 

     There is a seasonality, a cyclicity, to creative work. There are ripening times of midsummer, when our ideas bob in our heads like a good crop of apples. There is fall, the time of harvest, when we take those ideas down and collect them. There is a wintertime, when our ideas feel ice-locked and dormant and we must wait them out ... and then there is spring, the stirrings of new ideas and new directions.

You get that? 

Our creative projects have a time of blooming, growth, harvesting, and dormancy. 

Oh, I loved this so much! Because instantly I saw myself, exactly where I was: deep in a creative wintertime, and no way of knowing how to claw out of it.

Restless, irritated. Like a bear who forgot to hibernate.

Here's what I think: We novelists need to understand this. We need to recognize these seasons in our creative lives, just like we midwesterners do. (If you only have one or two seasons where you are, you'll just have to kinda imagine with me.) 

Because once you wrap your mind around the idea of having a creative season, there's a lot that becomes clear, a lot that carries over in that metaphor.

Go with me on this, okay?

In real life seasons, each seasonal shift requires some prep.

There are things that this season is really, really good at—seasonal strengths. (Even the ugly seasons have strengths!)

And then there are some major weaknesses that come along, with each one. (Even the pretty ones.)

That's a reminder that I need to get squarely in my head, because here is my confession: 

I have idolized the creative seasons of Summer and Harvest.

Seriously, I love, love, love these creative seasons. I want to live in them forever.

I want to be producing stories at the blistering rate of corn plants (which grow so fast you can literally hear them grow).

And I want to be harvesting like the massive combines that go charging across the land, converting everything to piles of grain—quick, efficient, relentless.

Mega-growth. Mega-production. That's what I've fallen in love with.

That's when it's easier to say out loud, Of course, yes! I am a writer! When faced with inquiries from friends and family: it's so easy to sum up my progress in these seasons. I have something to report.

Everything is growing, growing, growing! I'm writing so fast, and the characters are talking quickly, and it's all going so well!

Or, for harvest: I'm starting the blog! Or, I'm wrapping up the draft! I'm sending it out to readers; I'm planning my publication! Confetti, cheers, marching bands!

And we all get to leave the conversation cheerfully. 

But.

You don't have to be an agricultural whiz kid to know: fields can't just go from summer to harvest and back again. It doesn't work like that. 

And our creative seasons can't do that either. Our projects don't jump from mega-growth to mega-production and then back to growth again.

We have to go through spring, and we have to go through winter.

Can I be honest? It's hard for me to enjoy a creative springtime. It's such a prickly sort of creative season: how do I explain it, to others and myself?

The idea-seeds are in the earth. I'm watering them (brainstorming!) and watching them (freewriting!) and checking the soil (tending the imagination!).

I'm afraid to breathe too hard on the little ideas. I get nervous when it storms. Is there too much sun, too much shade? Did I plant a bunch of duds?

Everything feels fragile and nebulous, and I'm trusting that the little roots are shooting into the ground, that the stems are straightening, somehow feeling the tug of light, the call to come up, up, up.

Creative spring is hard for me. But what keeps me going is hope: there are seeds, so there is the hope of growth. And maybe something will come out of this, even if I don't know what it looks like yet.

Hope helps us hang on.

... And then there's creative winter.

The seaons that comes along with big, obvious challenges. The other seasons have challenges too, of course. But winter, with its ice and its blizzards and the way it starves your eyes of color—that's the one with the real problems. The light is short, and the dark is long. 

It's winter that leaves me speechless when people ask how the work is going. It's winter that I find impossible to explain out loud, or even to myself.

What is there to talk about? What is it that's happening, anyway, when things lie dormant, when everything looks abandoned? 

But this is why seeing it as a season is actually really, REALLY helpful. Seriously. It helps, when you call it winter. When you own it.

That little shift helps reframe the whole scenario. It reminds me of what I'm actually dealing with. Because all seasons, however long, do shift. They pass. They change. 

And every season has strengths, as well as challenges. Even winter.

No matter which season you're in, it's important to see it as clearly as you can. To name it. And to own that season. 

Because here's what happens, to me anyway, when I choose not to own the season: If I'm not intentional about this, I'll try to push myself to be in another season (preferably summer or harvest!).

And when I'm actually, truthfully, in the midst of a creative spring or winter, then this pushing can be downright deadly.

You can't force midsummer growth on a tiny little seedling—it can't sustain it.

You can't harvest before the grain or fruit or story is ready—it will be ruined.

And you can't scout for seedlings when everything is meant to lie fallow—you'll only find frustration.

Let your season be your season. Anything else will bring burnout, immature work, destroyed confidence, and heartbreak.

Look closely at your work right now. At the project you're facing. What season is it in?

Are you doing the seedling work, nurturing little ideas and hoping that they sprout? Are you shoveling fertilizer and sunshine and water over rapidly-growing stories?

Are you making the plans and gathering the resources for a harvest, a launch, a publication? Or are you in the season in between, the one that can seem like nothing is happening. (But oh, my friend, something is happening!)

Oh, and just to keep us all on our toes: you can be in several creative seasons at the same time. One project might be wintering while another is twisting out of the soil, or one might be in the thick of harvest, while secret seedlings send out their first roots with another. 

What creative seasons are you in? 

Once you know that, here's the exciting part: How can you take specific, concrete steps to support yourself, and care for yourself, in the midst of that season? 

Read on for some ideas:


If you're in a creative summer...

Congratulations! Summer is a super-exciting time. Send off some fireworks! Let yourself celebrate!

But keeping up with that pace of growth is no joke. It's important to keep yourself creatively nourished, and to stay connected to the people and rituals that will ground you.

Summer is when I'm tempted to make a habit of overwork. I have to insist on taking breaks, on making sure I get up and go for a walk, play with the dog, or stretch it out with yoga. 

In a creative summer, it's easy to burn out wrists, back, eyes. To fall back on crappy snacks that don't really help our brains come up with good stuff. To neglect sleep, and then poison ourselves with waaaaay too much caffeine.

So check in: 

More than anything, seek to enjoy this time. Growth is exciting; and watching a story come together is one of the most delicious experiences in a writing life!


If you're in a creative harvest...

First off, have yourself a little party. Even just right here, as you're reading this post: wave your hands in the air, and imagine a whole bunch of confetti falling down on you, because this is awesome. 

Harvest means taking your stories, your words, your article—whatever it is that you've bloomed and grown in your head—and setting it out for other people to experience. 

That is fantastic. So dance!

... And if you're stubbornly staring at this screen saying, Are you kidding, Lucy? I don't feel like dancing. I feel like throwing up!, then I get you too, because harvest can also kind of, oh, shred your soul a bit.

There is no creative season where Fear leaves us alone, but it has an especially good case to make when we're harvesting. Fear shows us what other people might say, how our work might be received, who's going to stop speaking to us, and so on, and so on.

A million nightmare scenarios, storming through our minds. And it can be enough to make us call off the harvest. Forget about it. Let's just not.

Harvest isn't easy. 

But crops don't wait forever. There is a time when it's just right to publish, to post, to hit "send." 

So check in: 

Harvest is nerve-wracking, but it's also incredible. It takes guts. Whether your harvest is tiny (sending an email, posting a comment, sending a newsletter), or big (publishing a book, landing a writing job), you owe it to yourself to celebrate

For serious. Go get that cake.


If you're in a creative springtime...

Oooh, spring! The butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling of tending a lot of tiny ideas, caring for them with an equal feeling of hope and nervousness.

It's a time of unbridled possibility, and that can be exhilarating! Enjoy it!  

But spring has its challenges too. We can get discouraged. Spring calls for patience, patience, and patience, as we deliberately brew our projects, as we watch the teeny roots take hold. 

We have to learn how to keep a steady hand as we fertilize the soil, as we keep weeds and harsh conditions at bay.

So let's check in: 

  • Perfectionism loves to visit in the spring. It pretends that we can sit and imagine our perfect blossoms, instead of diving in and risking failure. It'll whisper anything to keep us from writing those messy drafts! But creative spring is a time to embrace the mess: don't hold back.
  • Our fledgling ideas can sprout better with the help of a solid routine, or a good structure around them. If you're just coming out of a creative winter, it can be hard to get back into a groove. Time to rally your best practices, and build a solid working structure for yourself. (Need inspiration? I've got you: here, here, and here.)
  • As you get into the rhythm of springtime, you have to promise yourself that you will not compare your new growing ideas to anyone else's writerly garden. Okay? Comparison is one of the silent killers of creativity. It's not worth it.
  • Keep breathing. Growth can be slow. It takes patience.

Real spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and a creative spring is no less beautiful. Celebrate the joy of seeds becoming stems becoming buds becoming blooms. (And maybe buy yourself some flowers for your desk?) Keep encouraging yourself, and keep on keeping on.


If you're in a creative winter...

This can be the hardest place to find yourself. Winter is tough, and it can last a lot longer than we'd like. It's easy to focus on the ice patches, the blizzards, and long darkness.

But we can stay warm in the midst of creative winter when we choose to be gentle with ourselves. When we do things that are good for our souls and happy-making for our imaginations.

Find ways to endure the cold by lighting candles for creativity, and cutting cheery snowflakes out of bright paper.

Here are a few ways we can find our trusty boots, our beloved mittens, our best soup recipes. Here's how we can actually winter well: 

  • Right now, make a decision that you will not beat yourself up for being here. Winter is just a thing. It happens. It doesn't make you a bad writer, a bad creative, or any other shamefilled label that we might want to assign ourselves. Take yourself off the hook. Give yourself grace.
  • One thing that winter is really good for is naptaking. I'm serious. This season is when you can catch up on rest, both physically and creatively. Take super good care of your body. Take all producing pressure off. (Sometimes we actually need it to be winter, for exactly this reason!)
  • Nourish. Use winter as a time to put into your imagination, indiscriminately. Since you don't have to research for a specific project, you can just follow your own curiosity. This is actually a gift, and you're allowed to treat it like one. :)
  • Read. Read a lot. When I decide to really embrace winter, I usually end up reading a TON. Go to your library and check out more books than you can carry. Binge-read fiction for a few weeks. Grab stacks of non-fiction titles that intrigue you. Plunge into new subjects, rediscover old favorites.
  • Play. I know. It can be hard. But sometimes you need to just cut loose. Find ways to love your creative self by playing games, by picking up a different artistic skill for a while. Try your hand at collage, or calligraphy, or watercolors. Or get messy with sculpture, or repaint every room in your house. Stir it up.
  • Fertilize your soil, and ready your tools. You can keep learning your craft, even if you aren't working on something actively, by reading good books on writing. (Steer clear of angry, cynical books. Only grab the yummiest sort.) 
  • Let me just say this one again: Be relentlessly kind to yourself.

It can be hard to love winter. But when you really and truly let yourself off the hook, it can be a beautiful time. It can point you back to places you might have been neglecting: deep rest, deep refilling.

You're allowed to investigate creativity for its own sake, instead of so that you can meet a deadline, or crank something out. You're allowed to run down the path of your curiosity, without it needing to pay off immediately. 

So choose to give yourself a gift in your creative wintertime. Embrace rest, embrace care. Spread a little love over your writing life. 


Wherever you are, my friend, consider this: What does it look like to truly honor the season that you're in? To embrace its strengths, and gently account for its weaknesses? To accept it for what it is, and to celebrate it—difficulties and all?

For me, after an on-again/off-again winter that lasted a year and a half (I'm not making that up), I am in the midst of a springtime: there are so many little seeds in the ground right now, fresh growth on some older projects, and I'm excited! Committing myself to patience, and dancing with hope!

How about you? 

When Do We Do Our Most Important Work? (Let's Refresh That Reading Habit!)

Making a fresh commitment to a definite reading schedule on the blog today! Because "whenever it happens" isn't a good enough answer for me anymore. | lucyflint.com

It used to be that I didn't have to think about it.

I didn't schedule it, plan for it: that would have been silly. It was simply something I did, because I loved it. 

As a kid, I had this incredible drive to read.

To read all the time.

I mastered the ability to pin a book under my chin so I could, say, make up the bed and keep reading. Or clean up my room and keep reading. 

Okay. I know. It was pretty counterproductive. (Sorry, Mom!)

But I read all the time. 

In high school and college, I read what I wanted to in and around the school requirements. Even when I was overwhelmed with homework, I still snagged Sunday nights for rereading stuff like  The Chronicles of Narnia or A Year in Provence. 

In the full-time writing life, I've had to experiment a bit more.

Next to the mega-challenge of learning to write a novel, remembering to read them seems like a less urgent task.

A reading habit fits for a while, and then falls apart, needing a redesign.

And that's where I'm at again: realizing that lately (okay, okay—for basically all of 2016 so far!), I've had no real plan for reading fiction.

Which means, I haven't been reading fiction.

I know that part of this relates back to that issue of having permission.

It's hard, sometimes, to know that I still have a bazillion emails in my inbox, or that I'm behind on my work-in-progress, and yet I'm going to do something that's always been classified as "fun." 

That's why I love the idea of a schedule, a routine for reading. 

Because, frankly, adding something to my routine is the best way I have for protecting it, and for proving its importance to myself. 

Mmmm. But what would that look like now?

I've been mentally browsing the possibilities, remembering how I used to get my reading in.

Sometimes, it was the last forty-five minutes or so of my writing day, a late-afternoon habit. But it got too easily pushed out of the way by other projects.

Then I experimented with a once-a-month reading holiday, which was glorious, but also felt a bit exhausting too.

And then, for the longest time, reading was my last act for the day. Cramming words into my head before turning out the light, hoping to brew dreams from my reading material. 

I still love the peace of that, but my days have been too hectic, and I'm too exhausted to read before bed. Which feels weird, but ... it's true.

So I'm looking for a new time slot for reading.

I love how Heather Sellers talks about reading in Page after Page. She writes,

You can't get too far off track as a writer if you are reading. ... Writers read. Reading completes the gesture. Reading is what we do. An enormous part of learning how to write better is learning how to read, sensitively, attuned to all the colors and emotions. ... The best way to tune your ear for this work is to read with passion and abandon. 

WHOA. Right?! 

That's such a helpful, corrective message for me. Something I need to keep hearing.

Because I always know, in my head, that reading is important, that it isn't just "for fun," that it's something that must be part of my daily life. 

But I sometimes forget it with my heart. It feels like I'm stalling, procrastinating, dodging the more difficult tasks.

It's a false belief that I have to just keep shedding, over and over again. 

A couple of pages later, Sellers adds,

I like to read, like Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty ... in the morning, before I talk, before I write.

WELL. That just sounds like the most delicious possible start to the day. 

And it got me thinking of one of my favorite reading memories. One morning, after an early drop-off at the airport, I came home around 5:45 and felt too awake to try and sleep again.

So I made tea and found some lemon biscotti. I sat by the window reading A Very Long Engagement, savoring the beautiful prose and the tea and the sunrise. 

... Which is also why I always love the opening of the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, watching Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet starting her day with 1) a walk across English countryside, and 2) a good book.

Mmmm.

... Okay, so, seriously, I just fell into a little daydream about that. 

Here's the thing: it is so easy for me to realize and affirm that if I put writing first in my day, it'll get done. 

SUPER important. Super worthwhile.

And what about reading—the other half of a writer's job? When does that get the best schedule treatment?

I want that level of intentionality with my reading.  

So I'm wondering about shifting my reading to the morning

(Just typing that feels rebellious somehow!!)

Maybe not every day. Maybe twice a week. 

Oooh. 

I love that. I love that! It feels like a good change.

So, how about you? If reading is of critical importance to a writer—and it totally is!—then where does reading fit into your life?

Do you have a specific time when you make sure you get to it? Or is it kind of "whenever it happens"?

What tricks do you have for preserving your reading time? Or is it time to shake things up, start a new reading routine?

Wanna join me for morning reading? I'd love to know in the comments!


P.S., And yes, I did finish reading my first novel of the month! It was a good story, but A Thread of Grace felt like too heavy of a read, with all the heartbreaking news and the tragedies that have been happening lately.

Whew! I need a lighter book for my second read, just to give my heart a break. So, I'm going back to an easier-for-me category of fairytale retellings, with Gregory Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Here goes!

5 Things To Do (Right Away!) When You Feel Like Your Life Is Stuck

It can build for a while in an ugly spiral, or it can spring on you out of the blue. Either way, here's what you can do when it happens: Five things to do right away when you feel like your life is stuck. | lucyflint.com

For some reason, it tends to happen around holidays.

Maybe because there are so many conversations, so many people to catch up with, and so many chances to rehash the "so how is your writing going" question. 

Maybe because it's also a hard season for focusing. Writing projects, writing progress, writing in general: it can all feel kind of stuck.

Ohhhh, that Stuck Feeling. It can get bitter. It can get ugly. It can spread. And fast.

This used to happen to me a lot. And yes, weirdly enough, right around Christmas time, it would hit me in a bad way. 

Suddenly I'd find that at night, I did not have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. I had visions of being exposed as a total failure at the whole writing thing. Visions of giving up writing, of doing something else, anything else.

And then I'd realize that I'm not just bad at writing, I'm bad at everything. And actually, I wouldn't be able to think of a single thing I was good at.

Which can get a bit depressing.

... Does this happen to anyone else, or is it just me?? Whew. Let's all have some chocolate.

That Stuck Feeling and I: we go way, way back. We have a lot of history. And I've learned some things about how to deal with it. (Besides the chocolate, which I'm guessing is obvious.)

Here's what I'm practicing, any time that Stuck Feeling shows up. Read on and arm yourself!

1) Know your enemy and its tricks.

For starters, this is a feeling, and that's important to know.

Like all feelings, it will insist that it tells the absolute, unvarnished truth. 100% reality. It will cross its arms and try to stare you down.

It will remind you of the zillion things that you are waiting on, which are all outside of your control. 

Money, lodgings, opportunities, access, time, space, ideas, skills, did-I-mention-money, teachers, fellow writers, paid professionals, attention... It can generate an endless list of Things Waited On. 

This feeling is relentless.

When it shows up for me, it works SO HARD until I finally say back to it: "Yes, you are right. I am stuck. Everything is stuck."

At which point, the Stuck Feeling puts a bag over my head, just in case I wise up and start seeing all the opportunities around me. 

It is such a trap.

The best and most effective way to expose this feeling as a definite lie, the best way to banish it, is to do something New. 

Something good and new for yourself and your writing.

Preferably something nourishing.

To that end:

2) Try a writing challenge.

It doesn't have to be a huge challenge; you might not have the energy for huge effort. 

Design your own tiny challenge instead. Grab a book of writing exercises (I always recommend this one) or find some online.

Grab a notebook and a timer. Try writing just five minutes on a prompt, and force yourself to do five prompts in a row. After just that half hour of work, you might feel completely different. 

(Of course, if you get carried away, feel free to do the whole dang book. It might change your life.)

3) Actively nurture your curiosity. 

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic, and she makes a wonderful case for following your curiosity. She says that anything you're interested in—even if it's just the tiniest bit of interest—is worth focusing on. 

She writes: "It's a clue. It might seem like nothing, but it's a clue. Follow that clue. Trust it. See where curiosity will lead you next. ... Following that scavenger hunt of curiosity can lead you to amazing, unexpected places." 

So when the Feeling of Stuckness rises up, try seeking your curiosity. Force your attention away from all the wailing internal voices (I know, they're super loud!), and ask yourself:

Is there anything that you're interested in? Anything? At all?

And then treat that bit of interest like a clue, and follow it. Learn a little more about it. Explore.

And then look around for the next clue.

4) Explode your creativity. 

Move in a direction other than writing. Give the words a break. Give 'em some space to refresh.

And go try something else for a while. Go dance wildly and awkwardly to some loud music: get a bit sweaty. 

Or try picking up a pen and sketching. Grab some simple, schoolkid watercolors and dabble in painting for a while. 

I started doing that this summer, and every time I pick up my sketchbook, I feel wonderfully calm and focused. (In other words, the opposite of stuck and screaming.)

... The main thing is: move. This Stuck Feeling can work like a numbing drug, and make you forget how strong you are, in your mind, your body, your heart. 

If it says you're stuck, go out and learn. Go out and do. Make something with your hands. Go on a hike. Explore.

Outrun the thing.

5) Remember how creative rhythms work.

I've seen this pattern again and again in my writing life (and the rest of my life too!). I'll feel stuck (and wretched) and I'll think that's whole story: I'm not moving forward and I'm awful.

I think everything's over. 

... And then something happens.

It turns out that, during that Stuck time, something inside me was gathering. Energy was building, getting ready to connect with an insight that was just around the corner. A revelation, an epiphany. Something that makes all the difference. 

Or I suddenly encounter a bunch of resources that are exactly what I need, and I leap ahead.

Or I experience some other major shift in how I think about myself, my creativity, my writing life, and the whole shebang.

And not only am I moving again, I'm racing.

This has happened so many times. 

Here's what I think: Before our brains and hearts do something big, they sometimes pull in for a while. They get quiet and still.

And sometimes this goes on longer than we feel comfortable with.

I don't know if it's like that for everyone, but it has happened to me more times than I can count. 

And I'm slowly catching on. I am trying to remind myself to not go running and wailing that I'm stuck.

I tell myself that what I think of as stuck might actually be a period of invisible growth. Something good is brewing, even if I can't tell what it is yet.

So no more running. No more wailing. I need all my energy for the Big Thing that is just around the corner, moving slowly toward me. 

So that's what I'd say to you. The next time you feel stuck, like everything has just stopped, like there's no momentum:

Lean toward the next challenge. Even though you can't see it yet.

Take really good care of yourself and give yourself a lot of grace and a lot of room. Practice a skill, learn something new, listen for your curiosity, keep working.

When you sense despair thrumming beside you, shift away from it.

Because something fantastic is up ahead. And it will need all the energy you can spare. 

You had me at September.

Oh my gosh. It's finally September.

I belong to that group that counts autumn as their favorite season. I always wish that it were one of the longer seasons... instead of a little blip between sweating and shivering. But I'll celebrate every day of it as soon as it's here!

To be honest, September usually runs pretty warm: we're basically in the upper 70s til October. Seriously. That should not be. 

Summer just hangs on around here. I start getting that itchy feeling you get when you're trapped in a corner talking to someone that mayyyyybe you're ready to be done talking to? That anxious sort of uh-huh-uh-huh-I-really-need-to-move-on-now head nod and wincing grin? 

Yeah, summer. That's what I'm doing. Time to move on.

I'm edging toward fall, as best I can. It's still gonna be awhile before I can get away with wearing an alpaca scarf (rats!), but until then, here's a not-at-all complete list of everything I'll be embracing this autumn:

  1. apple cider
  2. sweaters!
  3. and, of course, scarves, alpaca or otherwise
  4. rainy days
  5. knitting!! okay, crocheting, you too. Let's get granny-squaring.
  6. curling up with an Agatha Christie mystery
  7. (or really, any mystery at all)
  8. watching college football with the fam... yelling at the TV has its therapeutic effect.
  9. long walks in our neighborhood with cooler weather... no more sweating!
  10. frost
  11. watching our sweet gum turn every possible color... 
  12. bringing out all the wintery afghans
  13. that long-division, back-to-school feel in the air makes me feel vicariously industrious
  14. have I mentioned knitting??
  15. pumpkin EVERYTHING... doughnuts, bread, cookies, pie, mashed potatoes (really!), and of course,
  16. the fall coffee drinks. YES. Yes I would like extra cinnamon on top, thank you.
  17. also? MAPLE. 
  18. the sounds of leaves crunching underfoot
  19. boots!!
  20. kettle corn
  21. visiting the local apple orchards... the dizzying scent of sun on ripe apples, mmmmmm...
  22. all those fall pies, baby. Pear-Fig-Hazelnut, Cranberry-Pear, Caramel-Apple, Pecan...
  23. did I mention rainy days?? My heart lifts off every time it rains. 
  24. the sounds of our high school marching band, practicing across town... so many memories!
  25. sitting around a bonfire with friends, under a cool night sky
  26. and oh, it's comfort food season again! (Basically everything that happens in an autumn kitchen: I adore.)
  27. time to rewatch Anne of Green Gables, am I right?
  28. and a host of other fall movies... Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom come to mind. Oh! And the spooky Tim Burton flicks. (Corpse Bride, anyone?) 
  29. the sound of the wind in the pine trees by my window... oh, the blustery days of autumn!
  30. caramel apples?? Caramel apples. 
  31. and time to start scheming for Christmas! (Did I actually say that.)

... Well that was stupid. Now I'm practically hyperventilating, and it's still suffocating summer-mode outside. 

Sigh.

Help me wait by sharing some autumn love! What are you excited about?? Tell me what's on your list in the comments.