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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Writing as Autumn Slides Toward Winter

by Magi Nams

This morning, frost flashes sunlight through countless prisms. Tenacious ochre leaves cling to apple twigs. Birch trees stand bare in white-barked elegance. Autumn slides inexorably toward winter, that time of tension between celebrating the clean beauty of snow and cozying up to a heat source indoors.

Our property in northern Nova Scotia was once a farm settled by Scottish pioneers, but fields eventually abandoned grew over as grassy meadows decades ago (before my family was on the scene) and are now parkland abutting hemlock forest. At the border of parkland and forest we have a special place with a microclimate all its own, a feel all its own. Not meadow. Not forest. It's a place of change. An edge.    

As a writer/gardener, I'm stepping into a  place of change between the demands of producing much of my own food and the freedom to devote more hours a day to writing. I've put my veggie and fruit gardens to bed. I've stored huge bags of leaves to mulch my many flowerbeds after the ground freezes. I've filled my porch planters with balsam fir boughs, alder nutlets, and rose hips to add a festive touch to my house for the winter. I still have a few scattered tasks to complete, but I'm saving those for exercise breaks from writing.


Standing in this place of change – on this edge – is exciting. For months, I've squeezed writing time in around hours of outdoor work, which to my mind was a fair exchange when the glories of summer and autumn surrounded me. But now I can move on to a different harvest – a harvest of ripened characters and dialogue and plot in the remaining 20,000 words of my romantic WIP. I intend to seed and weed and pluck those words as carefully as I did my corn. I also intend to let those words run free like the jumbled beauty of wildflowers. Come and get me, Winter. My characters and I will run into your arms.





Magi Nams 

Check out my website, where I'm blogging today about images of autumn: www.nams.ca/MagiBlog.

Labels: autumn, Nova Scotia, romance, writer/gardener, writing lifestyle 




10 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, evocative post, Magi. I admire the fact you grow your own food, and your writing has a cycle with the change of seasons. Autumn is my favourite season, as well. Gorgeous photos!

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  2. Thanks, Pam. Every spring, I get incredibly excited about gardening, and evey fall, it's writing that sets me afire. I seem to need both. :)

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  3. I'm a summer girl and always sad to see it go. So I think of the leaves turning as Nature's way of trying to make it up to me. :) It's definitely the prettiest time of year when everything is painted red, orange and gold.

    "But now I can move on to a different harvest – a harvest of ripened characters and dialogue and plot in the remaining 20,000 words of my romantic WIP." -- I love this! May the words flow for you as you make your way to the finish line!

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  4. Thanks, Annette. I love summer's lushness - all those flowers and shades of green. Autumn's beauty seems like a golden gift to carry into winter's short days and darkness. A torch of a different sort. :)

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  5. What a lovely post, Maggi. I see the falling leaves and think work - all that raking. Thanks for showing me the changing seasons through your eyes.

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  6. Thank you, Anne. I'm a nature lover, so am always atuned to the outdoors. I still have leaf raking to do, and will use that time to sort out plot tangles and buck up limp characters. At least that's the plan. :)

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  7. Wishing you a great harvest of words, Magi, now that your other work is done. It doesn't sound like you have much spare time in the summer.

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  8. Hi Bev! You're right, I don't have much spare time in summer. But I love working outdoors and this year, I wanted to keep at the novel so I wouldn't lose touch with it. Lots of juggling, but I think it worked. :)

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  9. I think people who have grown up in a place with clearly defined seasons would wither away somewhere where it's balmy all year round. You're clearly reveling in the cycle. Enjoy your harvest of words.

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  10. Thanks, Heidi. I do enjoy our four seasons because they always bring something new and exciting. Good stimulation for word-weary writers. :)

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