Writing by Autumn’s Glow

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The last few weeks I’ve been trying to take time to focus on me. I’ve been binging my queue, finally watching all of those shows that have been awaiting completion. Mainly The Strain and Hannibal. Oh and pottery shows, because those are calming.

Uni’s been ill again (the vet is running tests). It seems to be triggered when she scavenges something she shouldn’t. She’s fine now, sleeping at my feet, but the episodes are stressful for both of us and I’m convinced her insides hadn’t quite recovered from the last bout three weeks ago. Three faecal samples later and hopefully the vet will get to the bottom of it.

I’m writing though, which is good. Mostly I’ve been trying to get stories in for calls but I’m dabbling with a new alien contact story in which a nomadic alien race called the Orseeth chooses humans they want to talk to. It’s a brief meeting, an exchange of memories, that will end at a specific time when the visitors will return to their travels. 68 humans are chosen to participate, making those in power on our side very uncomfortable because they know, via extensive vetting, none are who we would send if humanity had a choice. The benevolent aliens chose normal people, all of whom have seen darkness, and that’s not going to reflect well on us, as a species.

Which is the entire point, of course.

It’s a character driven story currently titled “The Reason Why” and is in the outlining/first rambling draft phrase. The title is probably going to change (I hate calling stories “Untitled”) but it was inspired by a question I asked myself, for which I’ll never know the answer. My protagonist has questions of her own and, through her conversations with the Orseeth she’s been paired with, she hopes to find an answer. Whether she does or not remains to be seen.

 The one thing I am noticing is the weather is changing, the sunrises are glorious and the air is colder. You can still smell the manure on the fields if the wind blows in the wrong direction but it’s getting colder at night, more misty in the mornings. I’m wearing gloves already as my finger joints hurt in the cold. The nights are drawing in, Isis is coming in for longer and I’m trying to eat as many vegetables/cook as much as I can.

I bought myself a new set of pans and cookware last week which is making me want to bake cakes and cook one-pot dinners (pre-prepped veg and chicken thighs are my favourite) in the oven. It’s cheap and wholesome but also lasts two days; there’s enough in my fridge that I can reheat the leftovers. I even brought breakfast (a couple of scones) which is helping my productivity and allowed me to drink a little real coffee for a change, rather than decaff.

I’ve even been playing WoW, gently advancing towards level one hundred. I don’t have the current expansion and only paid for a month of time but it’s nice to just quest. It’s been so long since I played (and it was more for work than fun). It’s relaxing, especially with some snacks and a TV show playing in the background. I can lose myself in a way I’ve not been able to in a long time. Even better, it doesn’t feel addictive, it just feels fun. I stop playing after 45 mins or so and I’m good.

Now if I could just learn to do this with alcohol …

Well, one thing at once eh?

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Hello Autumn: The 2016 Edition

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On Friday, I could smell it hanging in the morning air. the change in temperature, in intensity. Autumn’s coming. Autumn has a smell, a feel, just like rain does (as Doctor Who taught me, this is petrichor) but I’ve never found the word in English for the smell of a changing season.

Unless you’re in Starbucks, when the smell of autumn is most definitely PSL.

My year is connected to Starbucks because I spent so much time in there and is mostly tied into the latter half of the year with PSL and the Red Cups. This is a happy time of year for me, even as I hate the entire of winter. I could almost feel my Seasonal Affective Disorder waking up, like a snake in my stomach.

But the sunlight, the running of the hounds, helps. Exercise isn’t my favourite thing but I enjoy walking sedately throwing balls for dogs, meeting other walkers and having coffee with Mhairi. This week I think, counting today, we will have free run the dogs three times which must be some kind of record.

They love it and, frankly, so do we.

But autumn means other things; a shift in clothes, layers and my beloved, comfy rust red cardigan. It means thicker skirts and boots, new socks (all black) because I keep losing half of mine, always one foot and never the other.

But, as Shannon reminds me, this is also a time for re-starting work and new projects after the lazy summer days where it’s too hot or nice to work. She was asking me which of the seasons I favour and it’s always been the transitory ones: spring because it means winter is dead and finally buried and autumn because of the colours, the cooler weather and the abundance of blackberries on branches (which Uni loves).

Apparently, though, she loves them only when they’re on said branches or thrown at her. Not delicately placed on a platter for her to nosh on.

Fine, Uni, be awkward.

I find myself reaching for jackets, for shawls and wraps, wondering if I need to invest in some more skirts (I have two winter ones). I wonder when I’ll have to put the heating on, when I need to change the Direct Debit so I don’t go into massive debt over winter. I can feel it coming, whispering on the wind.

Winter is always coming.

This year, though, I’m not going to let it own me.

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