As I was thinking about what to name this post, the Green Day song ‘Wake Me Up (When September Ends)’, was playing on a loop in my head: unfortunately I couldn’t use it as a title as I’ve used it twice before. Reading those posts made me understand something though – that I go through mood cycles, when the end of summer comes, and it gets colder, and I go through a little slump before coming out feeling more positive and ready to face the autumn and winter. The slump has been frustrating this year. I’m more than halfway through finishing the first draft of my first essay book, and I have a deadline I’m trying to meet next weekend. I’ve struggled to find the motivation to write blog posts and even read the books piling up waiting – and reading them has taken longer.
I get excited about the onset of September, and of autumn. It’s one of favourite seasons, but September never feels quite like I expect it to. It feels more like late summer, and we’ve been having heatwave days followed by heavy rain. The past few days have been colder, crisper, more like I’d expect. With that change in temperature, oddly enough, my mood has improved. I’ve been thinking about all the things I love: curling up with blankets and reading, the dark coming earlier so that it feels cosier when I’m writing, and crafts like cross-stitching feeling more appropriate. Kicking through heaps of leaves, and the smoky scent of bonfires in the air. Wearing scarves and cosy jumpers and cardigans. Boots and tights. Meeting friends for coffee or tea, warming up after a walk, and not melting into a puddle on the tube. I was born in the winter, so maybe that has something to do with my love for these seasons – although I understand I’m privileged to live in a climate that isn’t so cold as to be deadly.
My intention with this post was to somehow segue into autumn, to apologise for not being as prolific with my blogging as I’d like to be, but maybe the point is that we all have cycles of moods we go through each year where we’re less likely to feel productive. Mine just happens to arrive in September, a step away from summer, but not quite the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. It’s been an interesting year for many reasons, with ups and downs as always, but I find myself on more stable and positive ground than I was this time last year. I feel more equipped to finish this book and get it published, and I’m ready to develop this blog into a creative and inspiring hub. Change is on the horizon, as it always is, but this time it feels new and refreshing.
In the next few months, I’ll be continuing with Project Ghibli (two blog posts to come in the next few days – Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbour Totoro), and adding more poetry, short stories, book reviews, and topical posts about creative subjects and writing. I’m looking forward to sharing more, and being more present on my blog. I’ll also be changing the layout of the blog a little – adding pages and so on – so don’t be alarmed if things look a little different on the top menu! If there’s anything you’d like to know about, or would like me to think about writing about, let me know in the comments. I’m tentatively feeling that a November or early December publishing date will happen for my book of essays: once I’ve finished the first draft this month, I’ll be more forthcoming about the project.
The past month has also brought changes into the life of my family: my sister has just had a cochlear implant operation, and is healing well, so this is another adventure she’s going on, and I feel privileged to go along with her. It’s interesting for me, because I’ve considered cochlear implants briefly every now and then, but haven’t thought about them as seriously as she has. We have a few friends who have had implants, and they are doing well, and for some it has been a life changing thing. I view them more as an aid to hearing – like hearing aids but more high-tech. It will be good to see my sister’s experience with it, and I’m looking forward to seeing her progress.
The studio is more or less set up now – we have electricity, though no Wi-Fi yet, and we are still finishing off a few things, like a cupboard we’ve been renovating, and boxes that need to be unpacked. It’s a lovely space, and I’m looking forward to using it over the next few months. I’ll be blogging a little about how we set it up and what we did – and how we furnished it (mostly hand-me-down furniture from our parents, IKEA, a bit of B&Q and Habitat). It has inspired me to be much more creative over the past year, and I’m looking forward to that creativity blooming as the year continues, and into 2017. I’m sure that our Gran and her cousin Marjorie would love what we’ve chosen to do with some of the money they gave us – so many things in the studio remind me of them both.
Happy October, I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend…