Fall is my season

3988360_blogI was walking from the gym yesterday and that cool, crisp wind hit me. I think of it as a Halloween wind. The hometown I came from was named “The Valley of the Winds” by its native American settlers so I remember the Halloween wind being a lot stronger growing up. I also came from a place where the leaves didn’t really change so it’s this shift in the air that signals autumn for me.

I think I get this sense of calm and new beginnings from the pattern of the school year. In college, fall meant that summer was over and I was starting a new set of classes. When I was a teacher, the fall became a huge milestone because that’s when I would have a whole new set of students. By October, I would know all their names and the ball would really start rolling.

I realize I’ve kept the same rhythm. The months from September through November are when I’ve done the bulk of my writing. The rest of the year is spent polishing and querying and contesting, but the fall will usually yield a complete rough draft. And I’ve never done NaNoWriMo either. I’m a bigger fan of the two week Fast Draft process. After a two week intensive Fast Draft, I can usually keep myself going to draft a book in two or three months.

Maybe I’ll try to Fast Draft mid-October. In the meantime, I’m just trying to find my stride again on this darn first/fourth book.

If I ever need to write two or three books a year, I have no idea what to do. 🙂


  1. Kat
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 03:57:38

    What is this fast draft business?

    Fall is my favorite season, too, and though the leaves don’t change that much where I am, either, the sky is turning grey with clouds and it smells like rain all the time. Lots of love for that, reminds me of home.

  2. Jeannie Lin
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 07:26:54

    Kat – Fast Draft is a two week writing blitz. I followed the one hosted by Candace Haven on her Yahoo loop the first time I did it. Part of what makes it fun is you do it with a group of people.

    But now I have to get my butt in gear and do it on my own. Some people commit to 20 pages a day for two weeks after which you have about 280 pages. I usually do 10 pages a day. That’s enough to get me through the bulk of the novel.

    Interested? 😉

  3. Dara
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 10:36:03

    I love fall too! It’s especially brisk today after a front went through–it’s not even gonna reach 60 degrees today.

    Fast Draft…never heard of it. But it sounds fun! The reason I do NaNo has to do with the fun part of writing along with others. I think that’s why I tend to do all my first drafts as part of NaNo; it’s that fellowship with other writers that keeps me going.

    That does sound fun though…part of me is tempted…but I’m not sure I could do 10 pages a day! I can do about 5-7 before I start hitting burn-out mode. 20 pages is nearly unfathomable to me! But if I was challenged, I *might* be able to do it.

  4. Lisa
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 13:03:06

    Holy crap! Two week fast drafting scares the crap out of me! That’s amazing.

    We usually manage to crank out our first drafts in a month or two, but this time around we’re really taking our time and editing each individual section of the book. We’ll see if this yields a better draft or not…

  5. Jeannie
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 13:05:52

    Dara – The two times I’ve fast drafted it was with a group of writers, all of us encouraging each other and posting page counts. It was so much fun!

    Lisa – Don’t get too excited! I don’t finish the draft in two weeks at all. I find that two weeks of intensive, nose to the grindstone writing, is about all I can stand. I don’t know how Nano-ers keep it up all month!

  6. Jax Cassidy
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 13:51:51

    I love the fall. I grew up in states that rarely had a winter and as I get older I enjoy bundling up. It’s the whole fashion scene where layering is always cool. Besides, I look forward the holidays. There’s always a sense of family and community. But I especially love the fall and winter months because I feel it’s the time of year that love is in full bloom…

    Good luck on the writing and Fast Draft. Been there, done that and don’t want to do it again unless I absolutely have to. LOL

  7. Dara
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 23:27:13

    LOL, it is hard to keep it up all November. But for some reason I thrive on it…maybe if I get published and have deadlines, I’ll thrive on that too!

    I think the best part is engaging in “word wars” with my sister. We’d call each other at a certain time then write as much as we could in a half hour (and one time an hour). We did it about half dozen times throughout the month and every time but one my little sister beat me–and often by a huge amount! 😛

  8. Jeannie Lin
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 10:52:47

    Jax – I love the coming of the holidays too! Though not the cold weather. California cold is just about right.

    Dara – Don’t you love having a little sister to egg you on? I was just thinking this morning of how I might need to wean myself away from Little Sis’ writing advice. I mean, I can’t just wait around for her answer on every little thing, right? She’s all grown up now with her own hubby and her own books.

  9. Dara
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 11:00:19

    Yeah same here with my sister. She’s uber busy with her senior year of college and getting ready to go off in the world…

    But I still love her advice. And weaning 100% would be too hard!

  10. Patty
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 10:30:06

    With all these silly wseibtes, such a great page keeps my internet hope alive.