The shift in energy. Not only is there a crispness in the air but there is a crispness in my personal energy. I become more focused, ready to dive back into a structure that supports my writing. I haven’t quite succumbed to the hibernation of winter and still manage to get outside to enjoy a walk around the lake in the sunshine, taking in the trees ablaze in color at the water’s edge.
Soups and stews and my crockpot. I food that fills me up and warms my belly in the fall and winter. Now that I am vegan, there are so many recipes I’ve saved that I can’t wait to try.
Bonfires. It’s too hot to have them in the summer. Cool, fall nights are the prefect time to sit around a roaring fire under the stars with family, friends and some wine…and,of course, s’mores!
The fall book releases. Sometimes I have them written into my calendar so I don’t forget the pub dates. It’s like Christmas in September! And that includes the publication of the annual Best American Short Stories. I think I’ve bought it every year for at least the last fifteen years. It’s an excellent opportunity to read a diverse range of writers on a variety of themes and styles. Each one is like its own little master’s class in the short story form.
Tea! Lots and lots of tea! I drink it at my desk when I’m writing in the morning, in the afternoon while reading, at night to help me wind down. So soothing, so simple.
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~ Lauren DeStefano, Wither
I love lists so each Saturday my plan is to share a list of some sort, covering a range of topics
These are the top five books that started me on the writing path and that I turn to again and again.
“Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg. This is the absolute first book that offered me a glimmer of recognition that perhaps I could write. Actually, that I must write.
“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott She helped and continues to help me loosen the grip of perfectionism by taking it word by word, allowing myself to write shitty first drafts and writing what I can see through a 1-inch picture frame.
“Ron Carlson Writes a Story” by Ron Carlson As he takes us meticulously through his process of writing one particular short story, Carlson reminds of the importance of doing the work, of staying in the room even when—especially when—I want leave.
“The Writer’s Portable Mentor” by Priscilla Long This is a book about process and craft but it goes deep into all the layers of craft far beyond character, plot and setting. Never fails to get my pen moving again.
“Still Writing” by Dani Shapiro I have read this gem at least three times, maybe four and am currently reading it each morning as I eat my breakfast and drink tea at my desk before plunging into my own writing. Her honest reflection of the writing life comforts me as I continue to show up to the page and to my own writing life.
What books illuminate the writer in you? Please share in the comments!