Wednesday, October 2, 2019

It's Fall. Read Spooky, Read Nostalgic, Prep for NaNoWriMo, and Drink Coffee.

                       assorted-color lear hanging decor

I am the sort of person who declares Spring while there's still snow on the ground. I am the sort of person who declares Winter the minute I see my first snowflake, and who declares Summer the day I feel like wearing a sundress, but Fall is different.

For me Fall is the season of all the feelings. All of the warm and still somehow achy colors. It's the season of the most cohesive and specific aesthetic, and all the various pieces of that aesthetic have to "fall" into place before I'm ready to welcome it. Pun Freaking Intended. It's the one season that hits me square between the eyes, usually when I'm driving down the road or out on a walk, and usually a week or two after the official start of Fall according to the Gregorian calendar.

                        brown and green surface

I welcomed Fall yesterday while driving down Mount Weather and across the Shenandoah River on my way home from work. I was listening to the audiobook of Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls (5 out of 5 stars). It was giving me all the nostalgic emotions about the very Fall-Vibey TV show we all know and love unless we're out of touch/monsters. I also couldn't help but notice that the air had that smell and that a quarter of the leaves were definitely changed.

Note: If you have never seen Gilmore Girls, I'm not actually calling you a monster. But I do Highly Recommend it. I'm starting a rewatch tomorrow and introducing my sister to the show. My sister is incidentally both out of touch and a monster, but that is neither here nor there. So if you'd like to join us (virtually. I'm not inviting you over to my house for seven season and a reboot), then you are very welcome. 

                                 Image result for talking as fast as i can

It's officially Fall. So it's Officially Time.

What's it Time For? I Will Tell You.

It's time for multiple trips to Barnes and Noble for chai lattes and hours wandering through the shelves telling yourself you're on the lookout for Christmas presents.

It's time to Never No Not Ever Apologize for loving pumpkin spice things and Starbucks and pumpkin spice things from Starbucks. More on this later.

It's time to get outside as much as possible. To hike, to read, or to drive with your windows down, take your pick.

It's time to prep for Nanowrimo and get around to some Fall Reading.
I'm here to help you with these latter two things (although if you'd like to visit Barnes and Noble with me or go hiking, or get a pumpkin spice thing, I'm really Always down, so just shoot me a text).

                         woman throwing maple leaves


For those of you who don't know, November is National Novel Writing Month otherwise known as Nanowrimo, or if you want to be obnoxious: NaNoWriMo. It's a longstanding, worldwide challenge to write 50,000 words (a small novel) in one month, but it's more than that. Nanowrimo is a community. If you create a (free) account on their website, you can announce your project, chat with other participants about everything from character names to writer's block, read pep talks by Real Authors, find out about local writing meet-ups, and Most Importantly, track your progress.

There is Nothing that helps me keep pace better than watching my progress on the little automatically generated graph. That and comparing my progress to my little sister's automatically generated graph.

It turns out that writing 50,000 words in a month is Much more accessible that you might imagine. The trick is just to put words on paper in a steady steam without using your backspace button too much. The point of the challenge is to write a complete draft, not a perfect, ready-to-publish book.

In order to keep pace with the challenge, "all" you have to do is write 1667 words a day. Approximately. That's it! You can do that in a couple hours if you don't let yourself get bogged down in perfectionism, and it's a great excuse to spend time in coffee shops looking super important as you pound away at your laptop.

At any rate, I will be setting aside some time this October to cook up a loose outline of my Nano project and plan various writing parties and coffee shop crawls for any of my local friends and acquaintances who want to join the challenge. Stay tuned for At Least One, Possibly Twenty more blog posts on this subject. If I get enough interest I may also start a Facebook group. We'll see.

                          brown maple leaf on open book

Fall Reading

Fall is the time for reading Nostalgic and reading Spooky. I'm never more picky about my reading list then during the fall. I highly recommend using this time to reread favorite stories, especially ones from your high school years. But I also recommend you read some heavily atmospheric, at least mildly scary, books as well. It's the perfect season to curl up in a blanket and read a scary book so that you can trick your friends into thinking you're super brave when you go see the movie adaptation.

I'm committing to write the following blog posts in the next couple weeks to hopefully influence your Fall reading and other October/November Life Choices:

(In Probable Order, Actual Titles Pending)

1. In Defense of Halloween: Celebrating the Confrontation of Fear and Death
2. In Defense of Harry Potter: Separating Fantasy Wizards from Real Life Witchcraft
3. Where I Draw the Line with Horror Stories: Books and Film
4. Sister-Post with Liz Brooks: 10 (or so) Scary Books for Your Halloween Reading List
5. In Defense of Pumpkin Spice and Early Christmas Music
6. Why NaNoWriMo is Good for Your Soul

So that's something to look forward to. At least, I'm looking forward to it, as I've been pondering these topics extensively lately, and I'm excited to share my thoughts. I'm especially psyched about #4. Liz and I have been reading and talking and talking and reading in preparation, and we've come up with a really solid list, so Clear Your Schedule.

Talk to you soon, Friends!
Have a Lovely Fall.


  1. I thought I was the only one who got the sudden autumn-urge to sip caffeine while wandering bookstores!! I wish you lived closer, I’d make weekend plans with you right now ❤️

    1. Also, I’m totally in if you start a FB nano group!

    2. AUGH why you gotta remind me how much I miss you??!!

  2. Super excited for your fall posts! Gilmore Girls is so good and perfect for this time of year.

    1. Aw Thank you! I'm excited too! And Yes, Yes it is the perfect thing. :)