Sunday 1st September 2019

It's the first of September and as usual I find myself 'seasonally stimulated'. When I was young, September was all about the excitement of going to school, meeting new friends (especially the boys), learning new things, moving one step closer to being a grownup—and independence! I was preparing for an exciting year--for changes! I would have thought as I aged, that anticipation would die down. But it hasn't.

September is still a time of preparation and change for me. Maybe I was a squirrel in my former life and I'm channeling my inner squirrel now—preparing for winter by storing and stocking up. Maybe this is why I made my mother's recipe for applesauce (completely sugar free) in 900 heat last weekend. In a nutshell, this is a time of preparing for change.

I love ALL the 'stuff' of autumn—a season of excitement and change. I grew up in a small town at the top of Seneca Lake in New York. We knew what winter—and preparing for it—was all about. Snow wasn't measured in inches—it was measured in feet. Autumn was when people in my neighborhood raked huge piles of lovely orange and red leaves. We would race through these piles on our bikes, play in them, hide in them, and then rake them up again. Then were moved to the street and burned. If your dad caught a deer, he hung it (boastingly) from a tree in your front yard.

On Halloween all the kids hit the streets dressed in whatever they could find (there were no store-bought costumes) and collected bags of candy, which we five fervently catalogued and traded over the next couple of days between us. Thanksgiving meant my mother's fabulous turkey and my grandmother's pumpkin pie, sledding, and card games- canasta, whist, hearts, crazy eights...and after dinner, The Wizard of Oz on TV (my favorite movie of all time). Then a few days later (before the time of Black Fridays) began the countdown to Christmas!! Now there was some preparation!!

I've digressed. I want to get back to the topic of preparation. I am closing in on the end of my latest Breaking Camp Mystery—Caution to the Wind. I've begun to think about my next book, which will be a single. As happens so often, the idea for my next book came to me in the night—not in a dream, just in the space that night time allows for wandering thoughts. I couldn't wait for daylight so I could write down some of the details. And I couldn't wait to start prepping for this new book. The next morning, when I should have been working on Caution, I guiltily found myself researching rare minerals, food trucks, Kentucky, northern Canada...

I love to write; I can't imagine not doing it. But I also love the preparation, the research, the learning. I love the excitement: where will my book take its characters...and me? What will Autumn bring?