Personal · Writing

Happy September!

We came back from Alaska in time for the hinge between the seasons. I’ve already had the chance to break out a few of my favorite sweaters and jackets. I’m so ready for the fall.

Alaska was amazing. In Seward we saw orca and humpback whales, sea otters, puffins, sea lions, harbor seals–all of them in the wild. We went out to find glaciers, listened to them cracking apart and watched them crashing down. We saw grizzly bears and moose and caribou wandering through Denali National Park. We ate too much food and slept in log cabins and shivered beneath three layers of jackets in twenty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. (We thought about how it did not feel the least bit like summer.) We played with Alaskan sled dogs and resisted the temptation to bring all of them home. In Anchorage we went to museum after museum after museum.

It was an incredible honeymoon, but I’m glad to be back. After the insanity that was the first three quarters of this year, I’m so relieved to be back to the norm. A new, wonderful norm.

It feels so good to be back to work, back in my novel (because I put it aside while on vacation), back in the yoga studio.

This always seems like the best time of year to start something new. More so than the beginning of January, even. It’s that unshakable back-to-school feeling. I think I’ll be stuck with it for life.

What I’ve started this time is a new editing process. Whatever chapter I’m on, I open it in Scrivener with the split screen view. I have the already-written draft of the chapter on the right, and I’ve been rewriting it sentence by sentence in the view on the left. It’s working fantastically so far.

There’s this novel that I’ve been reading and loving, but as I tried to deconstruct it I realized the plot was moving much slower than the pace I’ve been trying to keep up in my own stories. Sometimes it’s so comforting to notice something like that. I feel like I’ve discovered more breathing room. I’ve wound the plots in my own novels so tightly, but now as I edit I can loosen them up again.

Editing has been going so slowly the last several months; I’m hoping I can pick up speed again now that we’re a little more settled. It’s crazy the way half of September has already disappeared. Time to set October goals!

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