It’s a Good Day to Write

It’s truly autumn here now.  Still not coat weather, but lovely and brisk.  Leaves all over the place.  And today it’s overcast and blowsy, a day made for curling up in blankets with hot chocolate and dogs and making stuff up about demons and humans and other animals  

I’m never tempted by sunny days, probably because I’ve spent my entire life fighting allergies and asthma–breathing, it’s a good thing–but when the weather turns in spring or fall, I come alive.  There’s just so much promise in the air in spring, so much last-ditch energy in autumn when everything’s trying to get its act together for winter.  Winter here is beautiful and thanks to global warming, not nearly as cold as it used to be.  Summer is amazing, but spring and autumn are the times when things move.  

Which makes me think of story structure.  (Everything makes me think of story structure.)

I’ve got most of Act Two done now, well into Act Three, and when I looked at Act Two, I thought, “This makes Act One look boring; have to fix that.  Later.”  Now that I’m in Act Three, Act Two is looking pretty pale in contrast, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  Things are supposed to get more interesting.  They just can’t start boring.

But now I’m thinking maybe the acts are seasons.  Act One is summer, lots of fun stuff happening, but so much set-up, then comes the turning point and things get worse and the characters pick up speed, trying to stop the bad stuff and prepare for what’s coming.  Then they hit Act Three, which is winter, everything going cold on them, a huge struggle to survive with defeat at the end, which spins into spring, a new resurgence, the good guys coming back to kick bad guy butt (in my books, YMMD).  I don’t think it’s a hugely helpful analogy, I won’t be teaching it, but today it works for me, snuggled up with PBJ and hot chocolate and three dogs (Mona missed being in the picture because she’s on the pillow behind my head.  It was raining.  She does not do rainstorms.).

Today is a good day to write.


ETA: I went to take a picture of my back yard in the moody autumn light and the sun came out.  I love this place.  (Yes, I’m going to paint those benches.  No, I’m not going to rake the leaves.  That’s mulch, people.)


29 thoughts on “It’s a Good Day to Write

    1. 109 degrees in Rancho Mirage, CA, just east of Palm Springs. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have actual seasons. It’s a rare day when in winter I have to pull out an actual jacket.

    2. I don’t know what the temperature was outside in Oakland CA, but inside my apartment it was 85 degrees. At 10 pm. No air conditioning here because everything was built pre-climate change when it never got warm enough to need it.

      So it wasn’t really a good day to write or even think. I’d love some fall right about now.

    3. Been crazy stupid hot up here in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well, and Lordy, I am over it.

  1. Don’t paint the benches! Au naturel excellence achieved. If you do paint, match the bright soft blue of the pots.

    Well into Part 3, yea for you, yea for us.

    Just you hunker down now, you, the dogs and the writing machine.

  2. We’re having a climate-change Spring. I saved the picture of your backyard as part of my things to dream on.

    I’m still struggling but hopefully help is on the way.

  3. It’s fall in Oregon and I’m loving the colors and leaves and the smell of damp earth. My favorite little grotto looks a lot like your east coast patio, btw, especially with the weathered stones and benches. Lovely.

  4. Beautiful! This is my wildly busy season, but I still found time for a nap today (well, I started writing at 5:30 a.m., so actually the nap found me). To calm my mind, I read a few pages of Maybe This Time. It’s really striking how well you moved Andi from “No such thing as ghosts” to “Ghosts!!??” to “Listen up, ghosts, stop messing with my people.”

    Which has a familiar ring. Write on!

  5. Living near a lake in a tiny cottage sure looks lovely!

    Love the natural light in your bedroom.

  6. Love rain and hot chocolate and autumn. How I miss it. Do not love LOS Angeles weather Time to snuggle inside in the air conditioning and shut out the outside world.
    You are on act three. Hooray. I Can’t wait to read it. I also can’t type on an iPhone.

  7. While driving child #4 to the orthodontist today I was thinking how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place with no traffic and lovely seasons. Water is the only feature I’d really like to add to my house, but I pass a lovely pond and cross a dazzling river every day, so I can’t really complain.

    It’s blustery today, some rain and wind, but it’s 65 degrees at almost 7 pm so you can’t say it’s cold. I love the storms, and it looks like fall but doesn’t feel like fall. I walked from work to the bank today without my raincoat. It was almost uncomfortably warm. I had my snow tires put on the car yesterday. I’d feel foolish, except I know that the weather here can change on a whim. Also, my summer tires were so worn that I was afraid to drive in the rain. So there’s that.

  8. I love the stone pillar and the weeping angel, even if she’s not weeping. She startled the heck out of me when I enlarged the picture to get a better look at the benches. It’s a gorgeous back yard. Much nicer than mine. As far as I’m concerned raking leaves = waste of time.

    1. It’s actually a stone chimney for a grill that’s about eighty years old and has butterfly bush growing out of it now. And the weeping angel isn’t exactly weeping, but that’s why she’s out there. Don’t blink.

      1. Don’t slip in the mulch – the leaves, I mean. Broken bones do nothing for autumn or winter.

        1. It’s gorgeous all the time. One of the many reasons I bought a derelict cottage that was full of mold and had a collapsing foundation. It’s just over half an acre, and about three quarters of it is the woods between the house at the top of the hill and the lake below, and I figure that part belongs to the animals, so it’s all wild. In the winter, it looks like black lace against the sky. My daughter still thinks I’m nuts to have bought here–four years without a bathtub so far–but it’s Valium every time I look out the window.

          1. I would kill for a bathtub.
            The only things I miss about my old house are the Ohio River and my giant bathtub.

          2. I would love to use my bathtub again but have been reduced to taking showers. Who knew that I would get older and my joints would know longer cooperate. I can get in but it is a struggle to get out. Keep waiting for the glucosamine tablets to kick in.

  9. It’s day two of rain here in MI with temperatures falling. Yesterday the high was maybe in the high 60’s but steadily dropping. Today’s high was 50. We definitely need jackets, ideally with hoods that are water proof.

    Leaves have turned color here too & are falling. Not enough are down yet to rake though.

    1. I’m in Wisconsin and we finally have no rain this morning. Cold but mostly clear. Which is good because my husband and 4th grader had to cart a rather large project into school today.

      I’ve been sick so I’m just cold at work. I’m about to put on another layer and get more hot tea to warm my fingers up. I have to stay at work otherwise I’d be home under covers with the heating pad.

  10. Cold snap here today – my fingers are chilly but not quiet numb as I type – and just seeing the title of this blog post sent me to chip away at my WIP, so thank you for that. 🙂

    You were right – It’s a good day to write. (Every day SHOULD be but not many are.) I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet (WHO AM I) of when/where I write, and how much, and so far I’ve confirmed that I write faster in the evenings… sadly, I also get up very early in the mornings, so after this comment it’s straight to bed for me!

    If tomorrow’s this cold, I’ll have to break the coats out–heater on full blast in the car this afternoon on my drive home!

  11. Gosh, that’s lovely! We had our first snow two days ago — my friend called it a “snowphoon” in Sapporo. It’s almost all melted today, but winter’s a-coming.

    Love your analogy. A lot of my stories seem to be very aware of the season, but I haven’t done any meta-thinking about that; just accepted them as they came.

  12. Los Angeles has been a convection oven since Sunday. Your view is a breath of fresh air.

    Also, the dogs are cute. 🙂

    Also, I just re-read The Cinderella Deal for the second time this year, because that’s the kind of year it’s been.

  13. I think you’ve described pretty well why I love spring and autumn the best, too. 🙂 Everything’s changing and transforming…

    We’re having a fairly typical Texas autumn so far– in the 80s at the moment, dropping 30 degrees on Friday, swinging back up a few days later…. 😛

Comments are closed.