It's fall, although the Texas weather doesn't believe it. We're still in the 90s and although we had a taste of cooler weather a couple weeks ago, temps have hiked back up and now it's an endurance contest.
But in hopes of that still elusive blue norther, I give you five of my favorite fall things:
1. Sweaters, hoodies, sweat shirts, jackets. Yeah, I'm in love with outerwear. I really am. I'm having a love hate thing right now with the ponchos that have returned to the racks. I like them in theory. But it's an awkward thing to wear. Pretty if you're standing up. Meh if you're walking and it's twisting around.
2. Boots. I love boots. Moto boots and cowboy boots and tall boots and well, boots. It's no wonder that Jenna Samuels in my Sweet Dead Life series loved her red cowgirl boots.
3. Pumpkins in general, and gourds and leaves that turn color. Last year we actually got fall color here, which was honesty thrilling. But pumpkin spice everything? Including pumpkin spice lattes? Not so much. A real pumpkin. Yes. Pumpkin frosting and middles of Oreos? Nope.
4. Texas High School Football. Friday Night Lights for real. Absolutely nothing like it. Professional football pales in comparison. it really does.
5. The Renaissance Festival and cooler air and dare I say it? Being able to open the windows and have an actual breeze slip in.
Gonna be hard to keep it to five. But let me squoosh some together:
1. The guy who fixed my pineapple lamp (it was the socket) and made it work all spiffy again. I LOVE my pineapple lamp. And I was sad that it was all blinky. Now it is PERFECT. And the lady, in the same store, who waxed eloquent on the subject of bathroom lighting ("think of it as the jewelry. Pick your faucets first, then your mirrors, then your lights"). Well who knew? And so project master bath is actually moving forward and who knew I could be so excited about countertops?
2. Entrepreneur/author Bethenny Frankel because she is knows how to reinvent and knows her flaws and her strengths and even if you are reading this and scoffing about 'reality TV' let me say that she inspires me to get it done, to believe in myself, to pick up the pieces when I fail, to keep a keen eye on the world's absurdities, and to laugh because laughter is awesome.
3. Julie Murphy for writing DUMPLIN' and for telling the world that women can take up as much space in this world as they want or need to.
4. Colleen Thompson, who writes kick ass romantic suspense (among many other genres) and who also does a lot to keep my head on straight and remind me to keep my eyes on my own work because that's the only thing I can control!
5. And all the team at Soho Press, with whom writing books is an honor and a pleasure. Soon they will start giving you sneak peeks at next year's IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS and I can hardly wait! Here's a little teaser description: Part thriller, part murder mystery, part fairy tale in the vein of Tuck Everlasting, comes a story of accidental immortality, star-crossed romance, and a forever-seventeen-year-old girl who won't give up the search for the boy she loves.
Yeah, you want to read that, don't you? Well it's coming on 5/17/16.
It's September now and almost Labor Day and this summer is officially over even if the calendar says it will linger a few weeks longer. Yesterday at Target they were already (already!) cleaning out the school supply section and moving in Halloween. I wanted some of those cheap two pocket folders but they were somewhere in an associate's shopping cart being moved and so that didn't happen. The world seems to be drumming its crazy drums a little harder as it always seems to do this time of year. The mall is filled with boots and sweaters and even though it's still 92 outside, I'm eyeing them and thinking, yeah. And let's not even talk about how Sbux has already begun hawking those pumpkin spice lattes…. because they have. They grocery store has pumpkin ceramic crap and Homecoming mums and holy hell, it seems to be fall.
In my little corner, I have finally finished IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS, which is already up on Amazon and other places for pre-order and has a gorgeous cover that I can't show you for awhile but you will love, created by the amazing Christian Fuenfhausen, the genius behind the covers of many of your favorite books. (Paper Towns! 13 Reasons Why!) Mostly, finishing this book means that I have spent the past year writing furiously about immortality, star-crossed love, some clever bad guys, and what happens when you're stuck at 17. Plus America. Because there's always a sub text, you know. I LOVE this book. I can't wait to tell you more about it and as the fall progresses, I shall. And Soho Press will tell you, too. There's a whole plan involved and I loves me a plan.
Exciting news coming tonight and since I'm bad at secrets I will whisper Texas Book Festival and see if you figure it out.
Beyond that, I shall leave you with my summer highlights:
Hanging out in Chicago with family and friends and driving down Green Bay Road through the northern suburbs, Lake Michigan looming to the east and all those pretty houses and winding road and the mental classical music soundtrack that always runs through my head. Eating the tomatoes I grew with my own hands! All twenty of them. Drinking vodka and pineapple. Some serious pool time once it finally stopped raining. Driving to Dallas and Austin, lovely road trips both. Spending a week living and teaching at The Writing Barn in Austin, sharing a tiny cabin with author Nicole Griffin and laughing our asses off at just about everything, plus getting up in the pre-dawn to write in our little spaces because when you live with another writer for a week and someone else is making your meals, all you need is coffee and a low light and you can just work til your fingers ache. Eating happy hour dinners at this place and that. Sometimes going to a weekday matinee and having popcorn for breakfast. (Okay, when you work from home, you can do that anytime, but somehow the summer seems the best time.) Fireworks watching on 4th of July. Finishing a book that I cared about deeply. (see above.) Finally figuring out how to write the other book I've been struggling with. Grilling burgers and sitting on the deck with a beer. (okay, in Texas we can do this almost all year long) Plotting the fall and spring because that's what I do.