I agree with Julie P. in her most recent post – all those years of returning to school each September make it feel more like the start of the year than January. Around here, epic spider webs and cooler nights signal that this banner summer of sunny skies in Seattle is coming to an end and it’s time to get back to work.
Last month, I combed through 20 years of old notebooks, pulling out ideas that seemed to hold promise.
They mostly fell into four camps: craft advice, garden and plant notes, thoughts related to my longterm middle grade project, and ideas for stories which I labeled my “Idea Farm.” Now it’s time to harvest the Idea Farm for writing prompts, prompts to fuel a daily writing habit. I love how ideas grow out of writing itself and I am curious to see where these prompts will lead.
Outside my studio window, I see my garden, too, heeds the change of season. I will wait for that sunny weekend in November to put the garden to bed, but it is getting itself ready: viburnum leaves already blazing, tomato plants falling over with heavy fruit, a pumpkin oranging up for its Halloween star turn. The sweet peas that I planted for our daughter’s June wedding are still blooming along the tops, though their stems are bleaching and dying from the ground up. I should be so lucky.
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Lastly, an update on the Yosemite Rim fire. As of this writing, the fire was estimated to have burnt 256,169 acres, roughly 400 square miles, most of it in my beloved Tuolumne county. It was 84% contained. Eleven homes, 98 outbuildings and three commercial buildings have been destroyed. At its worst, over 5,000 firefighters from 44 states came to fight the blaze. Fewer than 2,000 remain. Fire crews continue mop-up efforts and work to keep the blaze within its existing containment lines. The estimated full containment date is the day this will post, September 20. All these statistics can’t begin to represent the huge loss of high country forests, canyons, and meadows, and the creatures who lived there.