Thursday, October 1, 2009

Autumn Falls

All my Florida Facebook friends are talking about an autumnal coolness. Could it be? Have we really had our first cold front pass through? Let me open the front door to find out!

Hmmm. An equal mix of happiness and disappointment. Yes, it's slightly cooler. But that means 77 degrees at 5:30 in the morning, not our 85 degrees that's been our regular low for about 3 months now. It's certainly not the autumnal chill I felt in Indiana a few days ago. Of course, my husband's Indiana relatives confess that they no longer get any enjoyment out of autumn because they so dread the Indiana winters.

At least I won't be shoveling snow soon.

I remember when we first moved down here, we rented part of a triplex. One September morning I came outside for my morning run, and my landlady, who lived in one of the other parts of the triplex, was enjoying her morning cigarette. She smiled at me and said, "The weather is changing. Can you feel it?"

I had to confess that I didn't. She said, "It's subtle. Once you've lived down here awhile, you'll see it."

I've lived here since 1998, and I'm still surprised at how subtle the change is. September rushes by with no sort of weather markers at all, so I'm often still thinking that it's summer.

So, now October arrives, and I've done none of what I think of as my autumnal publishing tasks. Often, I've spent the month of August addressing envelopes and getting manuscripts ready. Often on the first of September, I have sent huge piles of poetry packets off to periodicals.

Not this year. I've been working on my paper on To Kill a Mockingbird, so that's taken up much of my creative energy. And we've travelled. Plus, I always forget how much time the last several weeks of a quarter consumes.

But now it's time to get back on track. Let's make a list here, and on Nov. 1, we'll see what I was able to accomplish:

--Submit book-length manuscript to at least 2 publishers.

--Get handwritten poems for next book-length manuscript typed into the computer. I've already chosen them from my poetry notebooks. This task will be good for the days when my creative energy is low and also good for the days when my organizational energy is low (I need lots of organizational energy to send poetry packets to journals).

--Get back to writing poems; I last wrote a poem on Sept. 1. Let's set this bar low. I'd be happy if I could write a poem or two a week.

--Make submissions to journals and periodicals.

In the past, my goal has been to do something--anything--each day to move me closer to my goal of being a published poet. I've done best with this least rigid goal. Even if I only have 15 minutes, I can do something simple, even if it's as simple as putting stamps on envelopes or typing up a poem I've written.

So, welcome to October. Perhaps I will make a pot of broccoli-cheddar cheese soup and some pumpkin bread and dream of cooler weather. Or maybe we'll grill burgers, the only food I seem to be craving these days (yes, my inner vegetarian is horrified!). But I will return to my poetry self. I've been missing that girl!

1 comment:

Dale said...

Good heavens. I'm completely intimidated by this list!