Progress Report as Summer Slides into Fall

Although I haven’t been blogging, I have been working diligently on my YA fantasy novel, Out of Time. I am about three-quarters done. The end is in sight, and I can definitely see land now.Β  This galloping toward the finish line is the exciting part of writing a book, and thoughts of editing and revision are pushed firmly to the side. All that matters now is the story, and there will be time enough for the really picky work when I am finished.

While I have been feverishly working—six days a week, with Sundays off—late summer has begun its slide into early fall. A bittersweet time. Fall, with its blaze of orange, red, and yellow, is magnificent in Maine. The cool, crisp days are invigorating, and the bounty of apples, squash, and potatoes reminds us of all the good things that come from Earth. Simmering soups and fresh biscuits or muffins make this a cozy season.

But—somehow there is always a but—the days are shorter, and we no longer have long nights on the patio. The nights have become cool enough that we have begun thinking about turning on the heat, a cost that is a burden for those of us who live on a shoestring budget.

In this part of the world, fall is also hurricane season, and right now there is a brute of a storm named Dorian that is smashing the Bahamas and heading toward Florida. We mourn for the destruction in the Bahamas and wait apprehensively as Dorian approaches Florida. “Go out to sea, go out to sea,” we pray, but the storm runs by its own rules and will hit wherever it wants.

While hurricanes usually don’t make it as far north as Maine, we have nevertheless begun thinking of stocking up on canned beans, canned soup, peanut butter, and batteries. Winter is coming, and we want to be prepared. Yesterday I emptied, scrubbed, and refilled the big covered buckets we use for storing water. That way, if a storm knocks out our power, we have water. We have a well, and no power means no water. This scrubbing and refilling is a yearly fall ritual, another reminder that summer is coming to an end.

The gardens are yet another reminder. As my blogging friend Tootlepedal might put it, our gardens are no longer at their best. Their midsummer glory is a thing of the past, and now a faded, slightly regretful air hangs over everything. And the shrubs, neglected last year, are in desperate need of a trimming.

Fortunately, we have black-eyed Susans to brighten the yard.

And the promising blush of pink from the sedums.

Farewell, Summer. Sometimes, especially in July, you are too hot, but I still love you.

And now it’s back to work on Out of Time. I am hoping that my next post—probably the end of September—will have the title Finished.



54 thoughts on “Progress Report as Summer Slides into Fall”

  1. It’s lovely to see the sedums and the black eyed Susans again Laurie and great to hear you’re making good progress with Out of Time. I’m finalising the images to go with the poems at the moment and will be handing everything over to my editor in the next couple of weeks. Onward ho and wishing you happy writing too! πŸ€—πŸ’–βœ xxx

  2. Sounds like you are making good progress, Laurie. Very exciting!
    I’m not ready to say farewell to summer or my gardens, so I’m glad we have a few more weeks before I have to officially admit that it is fall, even if the night temps dip into the 40s!

  3. Hi. I guess I don’t enjoy summer as much as you do. Too many very hot days. Still, I spent quite a lot of time outdoors doing a variety of things.

    Autumn is my favorite season. And here it comes again.

  4. The gardens may not be at their best anymore, but autumn is still so beautiful in its own right. I hope the storms bypass you this year, and winter is kind to you all out there in the hinterlands.

  5. I hate to think of your beautiful gardens and cute house lashed by a hurricane or winter, but of course, it has withstood both before. I’ve started thinking of stocking up the larder as well. Especially with this hurricane coming. I hope the blasted thing blows out to sea and doesn’t run up the coast!

    1. Yes, yes! Fingers crossed that the darned thing goes out to sea and dissipates. The sooner the better. I’ve had a lump in my throat as I’ve read about the horrible damage in the Bahamas.

      1. What a horror! I did read that southern Florida feels an attachment to the Bahamas and is collecting necessities for the folks who have been devastated by the storm.

  6. I agree with you that autumn is a bittersweet time but I bet your autumn colours are amazing! Your garden is still looking lovely .. green and lush. Good luck with the final part of your books.πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘

  7. Hooray for good news about your book! Enjoy the beauty of Maine in the fall…My only visit to Maine was October of 1984 and the fall colors still glow in my memories! I hope you and loved ones will be safe.

  8. Funny that I’m so far from Maine but have exactly the same plants giving me colour at the moment.
    Lovely to hear you’re galloping towards the finishing post with your book, well done.

  9. Thank goodness for black-eyed Susans! All our gardens, up north here, would be sad with out them. It’s weird how abrupt the change to autumn seems this year–mid-80s one day and, boom, barely out of the 60s the next!

    1. Yes, let’s hear it for black-eyed Susans! How brave and jaunty they are in the face of all that’s coming. In Maine, it’s been weird and abrupt all summer. June was cold and too rainy. July was beastly hot. August was a dream, everything it ought to be. Now it seems we’ve been pushed into fall. It’ll be interesting to see how September is.

  10. Sending my best wishes for the next blog title and for the weather. I’ve felt transfixed by the approaching storm and we’re thousands of miles away. The weirdest and worst thing about our age is the sense of trouble slowly brewing – not just in the meticulously mapped out wind, tides and rain forecasts, but in our society and politics.

  11. Well done, Laurie! What progress you have made! I am always sad when Autumn arrives and summer becomes a memory. Your garden is still so bright and GREEN! Ours is dry and faded with a poor few struggling flowers trying to cope with no rain. Looking forward to that ‘finished’ post!

  12. I love all the early signs of fall and now I’m craving soup and muffins!πŸ™‚ Congratulations on all of the writing progress you have made and it must be exciting during these final days of writing. Lovely photos and I hope the weather cooperates so you can celebrate finishing your book on the patio!πŸ™‚

  13. Wanted to pass on an endorsement… A cousin has gone through a rough patch in life recently. I thought that she could use a good read. I sent her volumes 1 & 2. Here is her replay:

    “I gulped the first one! Couldn’t put it down! I’m taking a little break before I start the second since I do have things I need to do besides read! Thanks! I already have people in mind that would enjoy these books.”

    Expanding your fan base… looking forward to volume 3! Did Dorian (sounds like some menace in a future volume) come your way after skimming off from Cape Hatteras? – Oscar

  14. Yes, Laurie, there is a bittersweetness in the air, a time when we lose one thing and gain another, and even the flowers that bloom now are a reminder of the end of the flowering season.

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! The end is in sight. Your beautiful book—“Twigs in My Hair”—has arrived. So looking forward to reading it, but I’m going to wait until “Out of Time” is finished. I want to be sure to give “Twigs in My Hair” the attention it deserves.

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