[Intermezzo] It is Finally Autumn. Ecstatic Autumn!

It is finally autumn. Ecstatic autumn! Leaves are swirling and twirling and leaping about with Bacchanalian satisfaction. They are throwing a street party to end all street parties. Death is near, but until then it is a wicked celebration 24/7. Their orange, gold, and dark red forms flee rakes and tumble out of bags. They fall from trees to dance in the gutters and under the bodies of dirty cars. Leaves, so joyous, loll about in moments of repose, only to be bruised and trampled under dogs’ feet or sat upon by careless children. Death is near, and they know it: until then, they will dance on the wind.

*

It is finally autumn. Ecstatic autumn! In the late afternoon I take my place: curtains open, cup of tea in hand, elbow on windowsill.The sun sets early, beyond the white and dove grey apartment house across the street. The sky is relentlessly pale, diluted even in twilight to a bleak rose or chalky orange: bold colours are too busy dressing the leaves to have anything to spare. It’s their yearly dying wish, one cannot blame them. We have four seasons, they have less. As the masses of crisp leaves move and heave they give off a sound like the cawing of crows. Duncan barks and noses the pane, desperate to be loosed with apocalyptic fervor on these unknown fiends. Death is near, and they know it: until then, they will dance on the wind. The sights and smells are fleeting, of this and every other season. Dogs dream of chasing leaves, but will settle for a bone. As for me, I will drink down my tea and write some elegiac words instead.

*

It is finally autumn. Ecstatic autumn! Leaves are swirling and twirling and leaping about with Bacchanalian satisfaction. They are throwing a street party to end all street parties. Death is near, but until then it is a wicked celebration 24/7. Their orange, gold, and dark red forms flee rakes and tumble out of bags. They fall from trees to dance in the gutters and under the bodies of dirty cars. Leaves, so joyous, loll about in moments of repose, only to be bruised and trampled under dogs’ feet or sat upon by careless children. Death is near, and they know it: until then, they will dance on the wind.

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Blogging and Grief

As some of you know, my dog, Crosley, and my step-dad, Charlie, were both ill last week. I would like to thank everyone who sent their prayers, good wishes, and happy thoughts our way. We lost both of them on Friday the Thirteenth, just 6 hours apart. I was there for the one, but not the other. My husband held strong 100 miles away, as he cuddled Crosley during his final moments.

Since then, I’ve been reading a lot of Ibsen, drinking too much strong tea, and helping plan the funeral for the man who raised me. Yesterday, in a few short hours, I finished a short story that I started a year ago. Thank goodness that my words have not failed me. Blogging will be hit or miss for the next week or so, but it will not cease. I love my little A Small Press Life community too much for that. Some day, when I am up to the challenge, I will share with you what Crosley and Charlie meant to me.

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer…and everything collapses.”-Colette

Daily Prompt: Standout

The best way for a short girl to stand out in a crowd is by having a bright red mohawk. Trust me, it works like a charm. Just don’t try to talk to her; she might bite.*

This is brought to you by the Daily Prompt: Standout. When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

**Okay, so I don’t really bite. I’m pretty sure this is true of most mohawk-sporting lasses. I am totally comfortable with you staring at me, but will become a googly-eyed mess if you engage me in small-talk. Unless the conversation is about books or dead writers, then I say, “Stranger, bring it on!”

Forecast: Expect it to Continue Raining Animals and Books for a Few More Days

The move took an excruciatingly stretched-out five days. The truck rental company screwed us over, leaving us scrambling for a replacement moving van at the last minute. Our mattress did not fit up the 19th-century spiral staircase. We had to send an extra couch to the curb, because it was too fat to fit in any of the 4 doors. We are sleeping on the couch, and unpacking boxes with the verve and fitness of creaky 90-year-olds. We will not have Internet or cable until Tuesday afternoon. What does this mean for you, dear readers? Until then, expect cell phone photos of my animals and books and maybe a quote or two. Regular content resumes on Wednesday.

Moving House

The Chef and I, with the help of a few generous friends and relations and the trusted Wimbledon removals firm, are moving house this weekend. Friday through Monday. I apologize in advance if my posts are short and few during this time, and if I am slow to respond to comments. I love all my darling readers, and cannot wait to come back and share my bookish adventures with you.

Until then, I leave you with this manifestation of how I feel about the actual process of moving.

Woman in top hat, late 1800s

Woman in top hat, late 1800s [Photographer: Unknown Source: Retronaut]

“This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.”-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Awards Announcement!

Let’s be real: we enjoy receiving awards. They are sweet acknowledgments that readers like our blog. We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to nominate us for various awards these last few months. Unfortunately, we’ve lost track of a few of them and for that we apologize. Keeping awards in play is awfully time-consuming and repetitive: there are only so many personal facts we have to share. Frankly, we’d rather spend the time creating new content for the blog. Although we’ve no desire to hurt the feelings of our nominators, a compromise is definitely required.

It’s a work in progress so, whilst things are subject to change, here’s what we’ve come up with after much thought:

  • Any future awards will be immediately acknowledged, because we really are grateful! We will be up front if we do not have the time to pass them on. Please understand that we write and edit and create things for a living. This blog is not a hobby, but an extension of what we do in the real world. There are only so many balls we can keep in the air!
  • We are finally going to create a blogroll! There are so many amazing blogs that Kevin and I follow, and we’d love to share them with you. They are all worthy of your time and mental space. These blogs deserve all of the awards on WordPress.
  • We will do an occasional post spotlighting newly discovered awesome blogs.
  • In another effort to share the love with our favourite blogs, we will be creating our own award. I know, I know. Creating an award to make up for the fact that we receive too many awards to handle probably doesn’t sound like the most logical solution, but bear with us. This award will not require recipients to give it to others. It will make perfect sense when you have the details. More on that later.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

Thank you, Morgan, from I am a heathen, for nominating us for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks, Nanuschka, for nominating us for a 3-in-1 Award. Check out Nanuschka’s Blog here.