Lea Wait, here. And I’m grumbling that it’s November.
True, Maine enjoyed a glorious summer. Our only complaint was that some days were a bit too hot and humid. (Only people in New England would complain about temperatures in the high 80s.)
Our fall has been equally beautiful … and it has lasted. Spectacular color, cool-but-not-cold days, and leaves still on some trees.
But now it’s November. Day light savings is in effect, which means the sunsets we enjoyed at 8:30 last summer will now be at 4:30. We’re nearing the shortest and darkest days of the year.
The outside water has been turned off, the bird bath put in the barn. The porch furniture is now inside, and our supplies of biobricks and wood fill the barn, to fuel the wood stove in Bob’s studio.
Storm windows and doors are in place. Balsam-filled “snakes’ are on window sills and in front of doors to help deflect winter winds.
Holidays are taking over. We just survived Halloween. (Sorry – all you witches and vampires and Trumps — it’s not my favorite day of the year.) Pumpkins and scarecrows are everywhere, and turkeys will soon be on sale in supermarkets, as well as parading across the lawn. Thanksgiving is the enemy of perpetual dieters like my husband and me. (Not that we diet then .. but we do feel slightly guilty!)
And then there’s Christmas. Since I’m married to a grinch and my children and grandchildren live far from Maine, I shop all year long, sort what I’ve found in September, and wrap in October. Right now I’m close to finishing the wrapping and have already prepared five or six cartons for mailing. There won’t be much more to do for Christmas except hang wreaths and maybe decorate a small Christmas tree. (With family miles away, there’s no excuse for baking. Unfortunately!)
What will November be this year for me? I’ve already spent November 1 sharing a booth at a craft fair in Waterville with Kathy Emerson, where we sold our books and caught up on writerly gossip. Next weekend, November 6-8, I’ll be (along with most of the other Maine Crime Writers) at Crime Bake, a mystery conference in Medford, Massachusetts. On November 14 I’ll be speaking at Maine Coast Books in Damariscotta at 11. And November 19-22 I’ll be at Studio 53 in Boothbay Harbor with other writers, artists, and craftsmen, selling our wares to Christmas shoppers.
All fun, if exhausting, activities!
And somewhere in between those dates, and after, I’ll be writing. My next book (the 4th in the Mainely Needlepoint series) is due to my editor January 4. (I’ve already asked for an extension — it was originally due December 1.) And Bob will be painting. We may watch a NetFlix movie early in the evening instead of watching a sunset.
We’ll hunker down.
Because, beginning December 20, the days will start getting longer.
And that’s always something to celebrate.
Lea Wait writes the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series (the most recent of which is Shadows on a Maine Christmas) and the Mainely Needlepoint series (the most recent of which is Threads of Evidence.) Her Uncertain Glory and Finest Kind, historical novels for ages 8-14, have just been issued in paperback.
Yep, you summed it up well though you left out a couple of things like now it’s unsafe to walk because its deer hunting season and don’t forget to plug in your SAD lights.
I am ready for to move on to our Thanksgiving celebration but I don’t want to think about Christmas yet.
Will you be doing a signing at Crime Bake?
Sounds like all is under control up there in Maine and that you’re writing activities are many. Great article, thanks for sharing!
Jewel — you’re absolutely right! (And my husband has one of those SAD lights!) And Mo,
I’ll be at Crime Bake (as will many of us) – but I won’t be doing a signing this year. I’m not on a panel or workshop, and those are the people who sign. (If anyone has copies of my books already and would like to bring them to the conference, of course, I’d be happy to sign those!) I’ll be signing Maine Coast Books in Damariscotta on November 14, and at the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts, December 3 from 6-7. Lea Wait
I love these stories of yours about everyday life and the cycles of being a writer. Thank you.
You put me in mind of home, Lea. I hope to be back by Spring. Days so short they are more a hint of light than full day in the winter are mind boggling for our friends in South Florida where I live now. But oh, the creativity of those long, dark, cold, stretches with nights heated by the wood stove. Yes, those are true writerly nights. Can’t wait to get back. Say “hey” to Waterville for me and that fantastic bar/restaurant in the old post office. My stomping grounds are further north. Wallagrass to be exact. I miss it so.