24 September 2017
Fall is officially here! The temperatures are slightly cooler in the morning and beginning to drop more in the evening. Here in New Mexico, the sun still keeps us toasty during the day.
I’m torn between which season is my favorite: summer or fall. I love summer because of the dry heat; I can curl up on a chair on the lawn with a book and an icy beverage and get lost in another world, and I love to live in my tank tops, shorts and flip flops.
I love the fall because of the temperatures, which makes it easier to walk Duke early evening. There’s green chile that I will never be without in my life, and took time to package my own last weekend. It took me the majority of the day, but was something I felt that I had to do. Next year, I may buy it already roasted, peeled and cut, but for now, I’m happy with the 14 containers in my freezer, while also setting some aside to eat fresh last week. I enjoy cooler nights huddled in a chair, wearing a bulky sweatshirt next to the fire pit; it’s the perfect time to play more golf, and, of course, football. I love receiving packages of apples from home, and my aunt sends me the different colors of maple leaves.
Unfortunately, the fall is also a season where every part of the environment bothers my allergies, and I suffer. I’m not the only one; poor Duke is on allergy medicine for a few months every fall and spring now.
I created new summer traditions, and beginning to create new fall traditions, although every season and holiday now warrants a new tradition. I am always thankful for friends and family. I have turkey day plans now, which I am very excited about. I am off the hook for cooking (of course), but in charge of the pies and cranberry sauce. I have a new freedom in December, and plan to spend it with my sister, her husband, and my new nephew ready to enter this crazy world in a matter of days!
Fall is a great season to use for showing (not telling) in writing. You can see it: leaves changing color, leaves falling off trees, crops being harvested; baseball winding down, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta; feel it: cooler temps; a crisp morning chill that justifies why we dress in layers in NM; hear it: leaves rustling on the sidewalk, on the lawn, being tossed up in the air or in garbage bags; the echo of high school, college, and professional football games being played across the country; taste it from foods associated with the season: apples, green chile, pumpkin; and even smell: there’s a distinct smell in the crisp air, lawns still being mowed, the first cool night that causes fireplaces to be lit and the smell of burning wood infiltrating the atmosphere; green chile being roasted; I begin to bake a little bit more, and I even change my perfume according to seasons.
I have used the seasons and weather to show my readers where characters are in a story. Weather can certainly play an important factor, as I used the howling snowstorm in my previous (unfinished) novel, Stricken, to set up the turmoil my protagonist endures. Finishing Stricken, followed by Women in the Library, is my early 2018 goal after I have moved and settled in to wherever my new home will be.
I begin edits on Natalie’s story in October while plotting out my next novel for NaNoWriMo. Another sign that fall is here, and I’m excited to have another focus once my October volunteer obligations are completed.
Life is certainly exciting, and I am keeping busy. I am also focused on ways to bring happiness into my life. I auditioned for Socorro Sings yesterday. Although I didn’t get picked to advance to the December 1 competition, all who auditioned were invited to return to sing a group song on that day, and I just might do it. I figured I would have a better chance being published than picked from a singing audition, and I gave it my best. It’s really nice bringing the arts back into my life.
While I’m done watching my team today, I do have the Red Zone and NFL Mix, on the tv in the background. This is the perfect fall day to sit on the patio and get some serious writing done!
Images below by Karen M. Hellinger, 2017. Green chile: from roasted to cooled to peeled. This is the good stuff New Mexico has to offer!