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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus
I’d love to see autumn leaves. I adore the crunch under my feet, the rich red and golds spread out on the ground. I have great memories as a child of helping my dad rake the front yard and jumping into the pile.
These days? Don’t get to do that much – and it’s not because I’m too old and creaky.
First, we don’t have a tree in our front yard that offers anywhere near enough leaves to make a decent pile for jumping. But second, and more importantly, the temperatures around here have been hitting triple digits, with hot and itchy winds. See the picture to the left? Notice how bright and shiny and hot it looks?
Welcome to September in Los Angeles.
I know, I know. I shouldn’t complain. The mild winters and distinct lack of rain are one of the reasons folks have been flocking here for well over a century. Everyone else is bundled up and huddled in front of the furnace, we can be wearing shorts. I have oranges on the trees along my driveway all year round.
Trust me, I’ve heard from friends who live in colder climes that they have no sympathy for me when I complain about the temps in late summer or how sweltering it can be when you step outside and it feels like you’re braising a roast. They’ll happily trade that heat for not having to put with snow or slush in the winter, and, having grown up with the stuff, I know I’m glad I don’t have to actually deal with it either.
But there are times, especially around the end of September, when I turn on the air-conditioning, run a Thanksgiving episode of Gilmore Girls and sigh over the beautiful red and gold foliage I see on the screen. Doesn’t matter that I know it’s on the Warner Bros. back lot in Burbank and the actors were dealing with the same temperatures I am (and wearing much warmer clothing). It’s just that, sometimes, I miss having that pile of leaves. I’d even be willing to rake it up myself.
What’s your favorite season? Or is there a type of weather you miss where you live?
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For each day of this mad sprint, there is a quote and essay designed to help keep you going at the keyboard, along with other pieces about preparation and the novelizing hangover that comes in December. There are also pages for those other moments, the ones when you’ve fallen slightly behind – or you realize this may not be a year you cross the finish line. No matter how your November novel experience is going, this book will be a companion for each day.