Friday, September 19, 2014

So that was summer?

We had a sudden snap in the heatwave, and all at once last night was cool and breezy. What a relief!

But at the same time there was a sense of No! Is summer over? Not yet!

It needs to be over for the sake of the wasteland that was my garden. But I need that quiet solitude of water and sky. Where it's just me and the hummingbirds.

My summer was spent writing. I wrote two novels. Fair Play (out in November) and Boy with the Painful Tattoo (out in October). In between the writing there was time spent with kidlings who are now taller than me. I read some good books, I had some nice meals. watched a few interesting documentaries, I argued with the SO. But really...that was about it. This was a working summer.

I heard coyotes last night -- loud and nearby. When I woke this morning, it smelled like autumn. Summer is fading. The clock is ticking.

So time for another FIVE THINGS I LOVE. I suppose this is the autumn edition. We've already had summer.

1  - Action-Adventure movies.

Edge of Tomorrow. Well, they changed the name (Live, Die, Repeat?) and it's still wrong. But the movie is right. Possibly the best action-adventure movie I saw this summer. I loved it. Yes, lurved it.

It's now on video/stream, so go treat yourself to an entertaining Friday night.

2 - Mournful sounds.

The wind through the trees. Coyotes at night. Train calls in the moonlit distance. I had ALL of them last night, so I maybe be sleep-deprived right now. There were no sobbing ghosts, so that's something.

3 - The light in Autumn

The light changes in Autumn. Everything is more intense, more luminous. It's a sunshine and shadow thing, really gives a strange power to every afternoon. The days linger. You feel reminiscent and weirdly anticipatory. It's a strange time, these few weeks while everything changes. It is a time of possibility, and yet I feel more connected to the past. I am always both melancholy and excited in the fall. In short, I am harder to live with than usual.

4 - Black and White photos

This often pops up on my Goodreads lists of Daily Things I Love. I saw a documentary lately about a woman -- an amateur photographer by the name of Vivian Maier. Anything I tell you will be too much. You must discover this story for yourself. I think it speaks to the nature of creativity and art.

5 - The Mysteries of Frances Crane

Well, vintage mystery in general. But I am really enjoying the Crane's extensive backlist. I like to hunt down original editions with the gorgeous (or sometimes just crazy) cover artwork. Right now I'm reading The Golden Box, which I've started several times before but just was never quite in the right frame of mind. Now I am loving it, and looking forward to reading every night before I fall into bed.

So now it's your turn. Five things you love about autumn. Maybe you'll pick the very same things you picked last year at this time. That's always interesting. Some things are universal.  The seasons are changing. But how much do we change? ;-)


  1. 5 things I love about autumn
    1, that it's warm enough to swim in the daytime, but the evenings start to cool.
    2. The afternoon showers everyday and how green everything looks while it's raining.
    3. The commute to work before the snowbirds get here.
    4. The mornings that are just starting to get darker so that I see the sunrise.
    5. The fall apples that are starting to show up in the markets.

  2. 1. Warm sunshine and cool nights
    2. Relief from a very hot summer
    3. Crisp, clear colors...trees, flowers, sky
    4. Promise of holidays
    5. One step closer to Spring

  3. 1. Crock pot cooking. Coming home to the smell. Hmmmm.
    2. Apple's
    3. San Francisco weather is the best in fall.
    4.Long hikes with my dog without overheating.
    5. Photography

  4. Autumn loveliness:
    1. I love love love when trees start changing colors. I'm always startled anew by how intense and beautiful these colors are. I especially love seeing the changes in young trees, there's something vulnerable about them, as if they blush.
    2. Sunlight filtered through bright red and yellow leaves.
    3. Hiking and searching for that perfect, colorful leaf, on the carpet of fallen leaves.
    4. The light chill and the mild crispness of the air.
    5. Soup.

  5. I tried this earlier but my smartphone would only let me post with a Google ID and since I don't have one, it decided to eat my post. Hmm...

    You're right on with the sounds and lights of Fall. I'd never really thought about it much, but you nailed it.

    The things I think of most when I think of Autumn are:

    1. Changing colors. I grew up in Northern Michigan and seeing the colors of the leaves change is truly something to behold. Mother Nature at her finest. The shades of oranges, reds and golds are stunning. I think it's something everybody needs to experience at least once.

    2. Piles of those leaves. Growing up in a neighborhood full of tree-lined streets meant piles and piles of dry, dead leaves. We'd rake them into stack 3-4 feet high and play 'Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.' Good times.

    3. Apple cider and apple pie. There's nothing like the smell of fresh baked apple pie or hot apple cider mulling on the stove. Even today, the smell evokes sense memory in me and I'm instantly whisked back to the late 1970s.

    4. The Fall air. If Spring is the time when Mother Nature ushers in the new, then Fall is when she cleans house. Everything is cooler and crisper and the skies are a gunmetal gray/blue.

    5. Back to school. The beginning of Fall always reminds me that school is back in session. I love to learn, so it was never the burden to me that it was to some.

  6. Autumn things:
    1. My morning skim latte
    2. A brisk walk on a now cooler, sunny day
    3. Warm apple cake
    4. Anticipating a new story by a favorite author
    5. Amazingly, thinking about what the snowfall will be in NYC this winter!

  7. What I love about autumn:

    - colourful leaves (there are some very vivid reds out there already, while the surrounding is still green)
    - chestnuts (when they're new and fresh and shiny and cool to the touch, childhood memories)
    - the light (unless it shows me that I need to clean the windows...^^)
    - mushrooms (the funny thing is I love to collect them in the woods but I would never eat them, I don't trust my own judgement in that case)
    - a sense of a new start (in school or uni, life-long-learner, that's me)

  8. 1. Yes, the light in autumn. I think of the Luminist painters often in the fall.
    2. Cooler nights, better sleeping weather
    3. How soft the air is sometimes
    4. Color, so much color
    5. Fall clothes and shoes

  9. Five things I love about autumn:
    1) the warm colors of fall, they are my favorites.
    2) the cranes flying to the south, I want to accompany them.
    3) when I'm outside in the dark and look at our illuminated windows and our house looks so cosy.
    4) walking through the dry leaves and breathing the special smell of autumn
    5) fly agarics! They are so pretty.

  10. The Five things to love about autumn
    1.The autumn air. It's different. The wind is cleaner
    2. Crunchy piles of colorful leaves.
    3. The beautiful colors of mums
    4. All the different gourds-some crazy, looking like they have a rare disease, and some funny shaped that send your mind in crazy directions. (well at least my mind)
    5. Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday-the smells of cooking and all the sweet potatoes and stuffing....

  11. 1. I have to second the autumn light. The way it shines from low angle and paints everything so golden. We've also had some utterly breathtaking sunsets this autumn, with colors that look both gorgeous and surreal.

    2. How the light of autumn decreases. When the evenings start to be dark and one can admire the stars again after the light nights of summer.

    3. Planning for vacations. This is something I do both springtime and fall. In autumn I dream about beach holidays and in spring I long for road trips. :-)

    4. Looking forward to Christmas. Listening to soothing Christmas music and reading sweet Christmas stories.

    5. The autumnal, warm colors in clothing. The cosy sweaters and long, fluffy scarfs. Boots. Gloves. Mittens. Woollen coats. Oh. My. God. It's almost winter!!!

  12. 1. The colourful leaves.

    2. The tall, deep blue sky.

    3 home made apple cake, with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top.

    4. The golden light.

    5. We can light candles again, it's dark in the evenings.

  13. I'm just so thrilled that Tom Cruise has finally found a great movie to be in, that alone is my favorite thing! I can't wait to see it. :)

  14. 1. Corn Mazes
    2. The changing leaves
    3. Cooler nights
    4. Halloween
    5. Pumpkins

  15. 1. Pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bisque.
    2. Halloween
    3. Opening the windows and turning off the air conditioner.
    4. Two, TWO, novels from my favorite author.
    5. Slowest time at work. Being able to take vacation.

  16. 1. Walking along the shore, the colours of the sea and the sand, the fresh breeze and the light (my favourite vacation, better than summer holidays).

    2. At home hiking through the forest, the smell of mushrooms and wet wood.

    3. The beginning of the season in concert halls and opera houses.

    4. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin mashed with potatoes, all things pumpkin...

    5. The Frankfurt book fair.

  17. Five things I love about autumn
    1. A vacation ( the last chance once more to relax, before the christmas follies will occupy “my“ shop )
    2. All the wunderful colours, the different red- nuances, the rich browns and the warm gold from the sun.
    3. Two stories, which are important for me, will be released.
    4. Enjoying to sit in a streetcafé the last times before winter.
    5. Thinking about christmas gifts for my love, friends and family.
    We give thoughtful not expensive gifts, not so easy :-)

  18. 1. smoked salmon
    2.our wood stove
    3.walking our dog at sun rise
    4.Two novels from Josh
    5.watching for the northern lights

  19. I guess fall at my casa isn't the same as fall at your casa. Here in Norway we've had the longest and warmest summer in over a century. We've been amazed by the number of sunny days and the high temperatures we've had. But fall is still my favorite season. So here goes:

    1. Cool, crisp air that's a joy to breathe.

    2. Foraging for mushrooms in the forest. ( and berries)

    3. Rainstorms with wind strong enough to plaster leaves to your window.

    4. The smell of nature preparing itself for a long winter.

    5. My cat spending more time indoors and demanding lots of cuddles.

  20. Here are my five things I love about autumn:
    1. Halloween and memories of all that candy when I was a kid
    2. Red, orange and yellow leaves on trees that look like they
    jumped out of a crayola box
    3. Watching kids jump into neat piles of brown and yellow leaves,
    scattering them all over right after someone has raked them into
    those neat piles
    4. Taking walks in brisk morning air and in wonderfully cool and breezy evenings
    5. Watching the sun set in a clear blue sky from my deck right after having dinner

  21. Five things I love about autumn:
    The colors of trees
    The vivid light
    The new books and movies of the season
    The crisp air
    The gentle warmth

  22. It's springtime where I live, but I love autumn so much.

    1. Like so many have said, I love the light in the autumn. It's warm and yellow and beautiful.

    2. Acorns. I especially like squashing the ones on the sidewalk. It's a very satisfying crunch.

    3. The colours.

    4. The crispness in the air.

    5. Kicking through the leaves. The colours and the noise are so nice.

  23. We never had Autumn in Kuwait. I moved to the US this year, and managed to find the only place in the US that has similar weather, by pure accident. But, if Orange ever had an Autumn, this would be my list of favorite things:

    1. People wearing pants for a change. Seriously I've seen underwear longer than 99% of these shorts.

    2. My neighbors thinking twice about walking their dogs in the dog walk right outside my apartment, for fear of a massive vet charge.

    3. A cloudy day for a change. I can no longer honestly say that I'm white.

    4. Wearing my scarves without finding pockets of water inside them when I finish my walks.

    5. Being able to leave the plastic seats of the classroom, without having to discreetly wipe them because, sweat lines...


  24. 1. The color of the leaves of the tree.
    2. Deserted beaches.
    3. Mushrooms and moss.
    4. Roasted red peppers.
    5. The sun through the clouds.

  25. Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the cooling temperatures, the quality of the light, and the melancholy feeling that the year (and everything else) is dying. But, because I work in a school, it is also a time of new beginnings and I enjoy that paradox as well (I've always loved new school supplies!).

    I like going to the cider mill for cider and doughnuts, and watching my kid in the high school marching band at football games, and finally being able to sleep comfortably. Yep, fall is definitely the best.

  26. 1. The way nature prepares to curl up and sleep through the cold of winter.
    2. The cooler days
    3. Fall Fairs where farmers get to show off the best of their harvest.
    4. Being able to wear sweaters, I love sweaters.
    5. Making homemade soup for my hubby and I to enjoy with a nice loaf of fresh bread.

  27. Thanks for rec'ing Edge of Tomorrow. I never would've tried it otherwise and I really loved it.

    1. Apple picking at the orchard
    2. My allergies fading with the cooler weather
    3. Sweaters
    4. Fall colors
    5. Fireplaces

  28. Five things I love about autumn (with pictures):

    1. Watching the trees turn:
    2. The smell--I'm not sure what it is, exactly. Fallen leaves, mostly, and also smoke, but also the absence of the tropical smells of summer.
    3. Migrating birds.
    4. Snuggling into a favorite jacket and boots for warmth. Wearing clothes in general, actually.
    5. Cooking seasonal/holiday foods.

  29. I ... got nothing.. LOL Im colorblind so the leaves just mean raking... hah, I guess there is beauty in denuded branches. but I want sun and water all year round :( mb only thing is the stars are more clearly seen... LOL does that count?

  30. Your book...Loving it. Waiting for the audio to revisit. Other four books of favorite authors coming this fall, including Fair Play. Very happy fall