Tag Archives: Seasons

Gearing up for Fall: Focus & Writing Inspiration

As the light begins to change again, my connection to childhood and the seasons feels stronger than ever.

As the light begins to dim and Eloise continues to grow, my connection to childhood and the seasons feels stronger than ever.

Childhood was intertwined with seasons. The excitement of a new school year with the supplies and smell of the classroom, the changing of the leaves with pumpkins and candy, a big parade on an old Stockton television with turkey to follow, Christmas trips to the city and then the countdown to Santa, banging pots and pans on New Years, cold rainy days inside with a puzzle and Mom, valentines from friends as the light began to change, spring rain and green hillsides, the hug of summer heat and endless summer nights, all to begin again.

It’s the same rhythm that made me love teaching. In a world of windowless cubicles there are no seasons. In a classroom everything changes with the month of the year. So it is at home. I can feel the end of summer. I must have been four years old the last time a fall went by without school or outside work. Reflexively I prepare to focus again, even if this time it is from home. It is that burst of completed effort before the holidays arrive and everything slows again. Life in synch with seasons.

Blogging fits into the cracks of life, those moments when she is asleep or in someone else’s arms. The real work of writing is the bigger projects, the ones that require more determination to keep going even when there are fewer words to say, (as opposed to the instant gratification of a quick post shared…).

I am almost ready. The trick is picking one project instead of getting distracted by five. A tired promise, but an important one all the same. In the weeks before Eloise was born I started a middle grades fiction novel about a girl named Indigo who lives next to a cemetery. I think I’ll start there, seasonally appropriate after all.

What are you gearing up to work on this fall? Maybe we can inspire each other…

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I thought you were dead.

I thought I killed you, little plants, by letting winter have you.

You are stronger than you look,

Green again,


Life is powerful,

I should not so easily forget.

May spring reveal its magic in other ways, as well.




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Life is Full

As you probably already know, I was dreading going back to work.  I feared my writing life would be over, that the summer me was gone.  While the students returned today, I actually went back to work last week, transforming the past two days into my first legitimately earned weekend in awhile.  To my surprise, instead of feeling rushed or deprived, I instead felt like life was full.

Even though I hate to admit it, there is something comforting about the return of the school year. For some reason I give myself more opportunities to relax when I know I have to go to work than when I’m trying to fit every imaginable pastime into the open expanse of summer.  I don’t understand the logic, but it’s true.  This weekend I actually hung out on the couch for a couple hours and did nothing.  Oddly, that didn’t occur once this entire summer.

Suddenly I am craving the return of new episodes of my favorite television shows, the subtle darkening of the sky a little earlier each night, and the eventual change from summer to fall.  I know it’s still a ways off, but starting school at the beginning of August creates a false sense of the impending shift in seasons.  Still, this transformation brings me back to my childhood, the whispers of Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas around the corner.

One of my favorite parts of teaching is this difficult to verbalize connection to my own childhood love for the change in seasons.  I’m sure I won’t feel this way every night during the school year, but tonight at least, life is full and the return to my routine is comforting.

Happy first day of fifth grade!

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