tipping into autumn

We’ve had a very busy, very long weekend.

Thursday night we went to see Moby at the House of Blues. I’d never seen him in concert before but I listened to Play practically non-stop when it first came out and his new album, wait for me, is marvelous, so the boy & I decided it might be fun. It was phenomenal. Quite possibly the best concert ever and it just kept going and going. And Moby is seriously adorable. Go see him if you get a chance. Highly recommended. (And hopefully you won’t have people loudly discussing BC football standing behind you the way we did.)

Friday night we went to the boy’s cousin’s wedding, which was sweet and fun even though the cake was elusive. But for two nights in a row we didn’t get home until about 1:30am. So we’ve been pretty tired.

Rather than sitting around all day yesterday, I suggested we take advantage of the lovely weather and run around outdoors. Our original plan was to go apple picking, but that was apparently also the plan of every other person in New England yesterday, so instead we ended up wandering around Den Rock Park for a couple of hours.

den rock 2

It’s really lovely, and we had great light for it. There’s a beaver pond (we saw a goose, but no beavers) and a river and tall rocks and absurd amounts of acorns. We saw two little snakes and a lot of ferns and I took a bunch of photos. It was a relaxing way to spend the day (and so quiet! We only encountered a handful of other people walking around, and one very pretty dog) after all the raucous late nights.

den rock 7

And then we came home and made apple crisp. There are more photos on my Flickr photostream (of the park, not the crisp). Today is grey and rainy and not so photogenic. I am packing up my wine and cookies to take back with me to revisionland, where I will be pretty much full-time for the next two weeks.

den rock 12

hallowed halls

hallowed halls

I had a dream last night that I was in college again. Not college-as-it-was, but college-as-it-might-have-been.

With old wood and ivy and bricks and the paper-musty smell of books that have been read over and over and over again.

Frozen in that time when graduation would never come, stalled in coffee cups and GPAs and Times New Roman twelve point possibilities.

Stained with ink and oil paint and tears and laughs and lack of sleep.

Measuring by semesters instead of seasons and it would never be over, never be older.

The way it always never was.

In between classes. In between worlds. Sitting on stairs bathed in golden light.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

deadlines & bribery

I am still, unsurprisingly, deep in the land of revisions. It’s nice here. It’s kind of dark and confusing but there are surprises and caffeinated beverages and shiny new plot points. I should send out postcards that say Greetings From Revisionland.

But as lovely as this tropical revisionland vacation has been, I would kind of like to start wrapping things up. I’ve got the bulk of things organized and most of the additions written, it’s now a matter of finishing a couple of sections that need to be reworked and making some minor changes for consistency.

And I’d wanted to be done by now. And I’m not.

So, as much as they make whooshing sounds when they go by, I am in need of a deadline. So I’ve set one. No, I am not telling you when it is. But my beta readers have been informed and given permission to harass me if I miss it, which I won’t because now I have people holding me accountable and waiting to read on a specific date.

Plus, I have given myself a bribe. I decided I needed something a bit more worthwhile than cookies or a sense of accomplishment, so I came up with this:

bpal creepy

This is a bottle of BPAL Creepy ’09. This is the scent of butterscotch-kissed, caramel-smothered red apples spiked with a blast of coconut rum. Those of you who have read previous versions of the novel know why this is such a perfect reward for finishing my revisions. Those of you who haven’t would probably not be surprised that there are caramel apples in a book about a circus. Unfortunately there is not a BPAL scent for chocolate mice.

I got it a few days ago and I haven’t so much as opened it for a sniff. It is sitting on my bookshelf (posing for photo with mini-jack-o’-lanterns from Pumpkin Hollow) and I am not allowed to open it or wear it until the revised manuscript is safely out with betas. So far my willpower has been impressive, though I’ve been a bit distracted by Boo (Eerie billows of spun sugar, fluttering white cotton, and sheets of cream).

So yeah. Greetings From Revisionland. Don’t really wish you were here because if you were I’d get even less work done.

gingerbread army

gingerbread army

Momma said they wouldn’t grow, but I planted them anyway. They were my cookies that I baked all by myself. I could do whatever I wanted to do with them.

I planted them in the garden.

I watered them with tea mixed with lots of sugar even though it made the watering can all sticky.

It took a very long time and a great deal of tea, but they grew! First the heads popped out of the dirt and then the arms and then the chubby bodies with sugar buttons.

The birds tried to nip at them but I chased them away when I could. Though one day there were feathers stuck to some of the sugar frosting mouths and not so many birds around after that.

I wonder what will happen when my gingerbread army grows tall enough to climb out of the ground?

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

magic & pennies

I love how magical the internet is sometimes.

I met the artist known as Clovia over on the Absolute Write Forums. Then she found me over on Etsy, and she liked my art and I liked hers and we arranged a trade.

I traded her a print for these earrings, which are marvelous.

And I mentioned that I loved the Ganesha design in her galleries and she said she’d make me up a little ornamental piece with one of them as well.

I was expecting something very simple, so I kind of flailed around like a crazy person when I saw this.

ganesha ornament

Photos don’t do it justice, there are too many lovely shiny parts and the actual Ganesha design is beautiful and intricate. I have it hanging above my desk and I love it to bits.

Please go check out her Etsy store to see more of her gorgeous work. She does magical things with pennies. (Pennies!)

All spare change should aspire to such lovely destinies.

in tandem

in tandem

Shall we sail then, you and I? Upon a glass-still sea with no land in sight? With you in your boat and me in mine, waiting for the wind to take us where it wishes?

If we are separated I will send up flares and write you messages in bottles until we are reunited.

If there are vikings or sea monsters we shall evade them, for we are clever and resourceful. We will resist the honey-sweet songs of beautiful sirens. We will steal rum from pirates.

Should there be tempests we will ride them out on glorious waves. Or if the storms are too strong we shall wash up on some distant shore together to drink from coconuts and tie seashells in our hair.

And when the storms have passed we will sail once more, with you in your boat and me in mine.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

nine nine nine

I spent a large portion of the weekend re-imagining Beauty & the Beast for my writing group. We have a Summer/Fall project of fairy tale rewrites and this was mine, I wanted to get it done before I get to full-time revisions.

My version has a vaguely steampunk castle with a mechanical garden. I do have a bit of a thing for settings.

It is supposed to be a short story. I finally forced myself to stop around 8k and it desperately wants to be at least twice that if not longer, and so far the feedback I’ve received on it agrees. So I will probably go back and expand it after my revisions are finished but before NaNoWriMo, if I have time in between.

Am wondering when I became the kind of occasional writer who is constantly writing. Somewhere in there I need to paint the kings for the tarot deck, too, and I have this shadowbox-esque thing on my worktable at the moment that needs many more layers of paint and buttons.

Maybe it’s just the uber-productiveness of autumn or some such, now that it’s arrived in all its crisp glory. I keep looking at it askance because it seems too early, even Hallowe’en last year was warmer than this. But I’m not complaining! I have tea! And tons of things to work on while wearing socks! Including knitting a fuzzy red scarf. And, of course, revision-o-rama.

I keep trying to come up with something to say about it being 09.09.09 today and all my brain can manage is “nines! lots!” so I think I will give it some more tea and get back to revising.

(P.S. Catching Fire was made of win and wonderful and I love Peeta and want him to bake me cookies and I cannot wait for book three. Except that I have to. Boo. Working on that patience-virtue thing.)

unexpected architecture

unexpected architecture

They build the castles everywhere. They sneak out at night and in the morning there’s a castle sitting in an empty lot or on someone’s lawn, and no one can say exactly where it came from or how it got there.

They are guerrilla castles, elaborate three-dimensional graffiti.

Sometimes they’re torn down. Once in awhile the owner of the property a castle has sprung up upon will leave it standing for a reasonable period of time before taking it down, but they are always taken down.

The castles are temporary things.

No one has figured out who the unseen architects are. People assume it is a group. No single person could build such things in only a matter of hours and be gone before their work is discovered by the rest of the world.

Whoever they are, they haven’t been caught yet.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

reading is fundamental

Did I babble here about how The Hunger Games is one of the best books I’ve read in ages and I loved it to little bits? I can’t remember. I babbled about it a lot, though, and forced it upon a great many people. Have you read it? Get off the internet and go read it if you haven’t yet. Seriously. Go. Now. Shoo.

Back? Wasn’t it good? Book two, Catching Fire, came out yesterday and I ran out to get it at the bookstore, something I haven’t done with a book on its release day since the last Harry Potter came out.

I am trying to pace myself. I’m about a third of the way through right now and I’m going to try to get to the halfway point before the husband gets home and I have to hand it over. We’re sharing, and being pretty good at it. He started it last night, I started it today.

It’s actually very good timing, since I figured out the last of my revisions yesterday and wanted to take a break before tackling the actual writing. I’ve still been jotting down notes and such but mostly I’ve just been curled up reading with pushy kittens who want to sit in my lap.

I am trying not to think about how long I’ll have to wait for the third book. Once, probably post-Harry Potter, I considered having a rule about not reading series until all the volumes were published.

That hasn’t really worked. Excuse me, I have to go read more now.