Monday, October 12, 2009

Apple Pickin', Autumn in the Air, the Muse Emerging

Autumn, or "Fall" as we like to say in the South, has come in wet to Western North Carolina. After a series of rainy weeks the colors have begun to change seemingly overnight, and up in Pisgah National Forest and out on the Blue Ridge Parkway the reds are brightening, and soon it will be peak season. When it is clear, the atmosphere changes, and the sky crystallizes with an October blue unlike any other. I am so ready for fires in the fireplace, hot cider, and hiking that I can barely stand it. Now, if it will only stop raining....

Lately I've been feeling as if I woke up and suddenly it was October. Indeed, I've lived in a sort of postpartum cave the past couple of months, and it's been warm and cozy and inhabited by the cutest creature on the planet, and I haven't been too proactive about crawling out of it. But my Wylie is only days away from turning 11 weeks old, my favorite of all the seasons has appeared in golds and oranges and reds, and I'm ansty with wanting to be outside and soaking up all of it. My greatest fear is that time is passing too quickly--that I'll miss it. And I don't want to miss anything.

If I can conquer this new-baby thing, I can rule the world... of that I am convinced. Anyone who can take care of an infant, get everything done in their day needed, and continue to produce interesting and entertaining art deserves to lauded as a superhero--or at least be given a big, fat ice cream cone. I am in awe of those writers, like Nora Roberts (yes, I am a Nora Roberts fan, and I don't care if she's the queen of romance: she writes like a dream) who pen bestselling novels at the breakfast table while their kids scarf down cereal or nap in the playpen. Mayhap I will get to that point. I sure as hell hope so. I want so.

Currently, it has been over a year since my novel has been "out" with editors at the major publishing houses, and so far nothing. I do not have my hopes up at this point, but I am ready to be writing again, and perhaps my current project can one day find a home... once it gets written, of course.

I dream about writing at night; about my novels and their plotlines and protagonists and crux moments. I woke up at 3 a.m. a couple of weeks ago yearning to write, with ideas twinkling across my brain like faulty Christmas lights, only to have them fizzle and disappear as soon as I lay my head. And I would've gotten up and padded to my desk and my laptop--I would've!--if it weren't for the fact that a crying, hungry infant would be waking me up only an hour or so later. And yes, that is a darn good excuse for avoiding inspiration... at least for now.

As October, that most glorious of months in the Southern Appalachians, slips towards bare, chilly November with a relentless swiftness, I'm trying to live in the moment. I'm walking my daughter and my dog down leaf-lined streets, admiring harvest decorations in Brevard's downtown, apple picking at the gorgeous Stepp Family Orchard in Edneyville, N.C. with great friends, wishing for cooler weather--and the ability to fit back into my pre-pregnancy sweaters--and being thankful, or at least trying to, every day, for this life. It is unbearingly sweet and terrifyingly short, and there is so much to be done.