Fall Forecast

autumn leaves

There’s something about the approach of autumn that gets me excited, ready to start new projects and to get things done. I don’t think I’m the only one. Maybe it’s because we spent so long starting new school years in September, with a clean slate and new work to begin.

At the beginning of this summer, my only writing goal was to somehow get pen to paper every once in a while and get a blog post published once a week. I knew with Lilly home from school, big writing projects were off the table, and I was fine with that. It was my excuse to relax a little bit, spend time with the family at Laurel Lake in Erving, visit the Zoo at Forest Park in Springfield, picnic and canoe at Barton Cove in Gill, and lots of other fun summery stuff.

I did manage to put in one hour of writing every night during the month of August, as I worked through the Southeast Review Writers Regimen. Every day I received an email with a writing prompt describing a situation for a scene, a “riff” word, a literary quote, and a podcast from an established writer on various aspects of the writing life.

I will admit that I really only spent time on the “riff” words, just free-writing in response to words like engrave, texture, swing, extend, etc. What came out had nothing to do with fiction, but it gave me a chance to fill a notebook with my thoughts and work through some personal stuff. I can keep the lessons and go back to the scene prompts at any time.

With Lilly back in school, it’s time to buckle down and get to work again. Problem is, I’m not sure where to start or which direction to go in. I still have Wolf Dream I’d like to finish revising and get out to some beta readers. I’m thinking about working on Part 2 to get ready for NaNoWriMo in November. I still have some old short stories I’d like to submit to some new markets. I’d love to write a new short story, but I’m having some trouble coming up with ideas. I’m feeling uninspired in that area. I’d still like to work on personal essays and creative nonfiction. I may increase my blog posts to 2-3 times a week.

And lo and behold!-I’ve signed up for a 8 week writing class. It’s called What’s Your Story?, and it’s on writing memoir, offered for free at my public library. I’m not sure if I’m interested in writing a book-length memoir-who knows?-but it can’t hurt with the personal essays and creative nonfiction I want to write. I’ve never taken a writing class before, and this sounds as good a place to start as any to get some feedback. And I’m going to work through Old Friend From Far Away, a book on writing memoir by Natalie Goldberg, a favorite writing teacher of mine.

So lots of stuff to do this fall, and I’m eager to get to it after a lazy-ish summer. Although, Lilly and I worked very hard on a new bowel program so she’d stay clean for second grade, with some success. The Beautiful Detour blog is something I’ve been seriously neglecting for the past few months, so that’s another area for me to work on this fall. Guess I better get going!


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