Okay, so I did my earnest/serious soul-searching/retreat and I’m deep in the swing of autumn, humming along, busy as a bee, la la la. But it isn’t all hippie productivity or any other kind of productivity! Things should be fun in addition to big-picture epiphany type of stuff, right? So here are some of the more delicious experiences I want to have and mad skills I want to hone for this season. How is your fall going? What would you like to experience in the next few months before the holidays descend upon us?
Go to the Halloween Frightfest at the Amusement Park and Scream My Head Off on Rollercoasters
This is, like, category-one level of importance and priority for this fall. I need to get myself on a rollercoaster soon! What I love about amusement parks is that they have absolutely no utility in them; there’s like no way to make riding rollercoasters my career, my hobby, my side gig, whatever. You go to be amused! I just want to scream and be thrilled and hurled upside down and whipped around, a primal childlike experience. I prefer going in the fall over the summer to an amusement park — I like feeling bundled up in a rollercoaster, you know? Plus, it’s not as hot and there’s something really wonderful about wandering in an amusement park on a crisp fall weekend day.
Start on the Great Adventure That is Real Estate
So I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to be looking at buying a house soon, but like many things, I find real estate to be overwhelming, like the way I imagine taking a trip to Lagos, Nigeria must be overwhelming. It is so unabashedly grown-up, this whole buying-a-home thing, but it’s time to line my ducks up in a row, put on my big-girl panties and channel my favorite business mogul or something so I don’t feel intimidated by banks or the like. Plus, I get to explore the whole weird world of houses and finally understand why people are so riveted when they play “Househunters International” on the TV playing in the women’s locker room at my gym.
Develop a Repertory of Meals
I enjoy the process of making food, though I don’t consider myself a foodie by any means. Nor do I have aspirations of foodie-ism. The type of cook I’d like to be is someone who can just open their fridge, figure out how to make a good meal of what I have there — and then parlay that into a few other meals to stretch out into the week. The type that doesn’t waste food and can turn what would normally be leftovers into the base of something really new and delicious. I’d prefer to be that type of cook with a kind of old-school practical housewife savoir-faire, but a little more Kinfolk-y aesthetic perhaps. (I admit I have a Kinfolk weakness.) So I’ll be experimenting a little, going beyond the bits and bobs I can already make, looking to create a few menus of meals, just five or six recipes I can master and just have at my fingertips to nourish myself and my loved ones.
This is so mind-blindingly obvious but a few weeks ago, I remembered, “Hey, I used to make a lot more visual art type of stuff…and it was fun and good for me.” I think I began working under the assumption that in order to be a “master” of writing, I’d need to focus exclusively on my writing and let things like film and photography and design fall by the wayside. It was like, “Gee, I work full-time and I blog and I write fiction and other things…am I going to fritter away my increasingly rare free time on something outside of that?” But now I realize what a nice release it is to be visual, a way to recharge my writing batteries while still engaging in something creative. So I’m hoping to tap into that visual side again…I do miss it.
Go Riding Out on the Trails
I’ve been riding steadily since spring, and I feel pretty good at being able to ride out at least at a walk or trot, no matter what the saddle, route or horse (though the crazy ones still kind of scare me). But there’s nothing better than heading out across a field in the sunshine and wind. I plan on taking side trips to various trails in the area to ride, enjoying both the company of a lovely equine friend and the most beautiful time in nature.
Make Jams and Jellies and Heck, Even Mulled Wine and Cider
I am really intimidated by canning! I like the idea of preserving things and making cute jars of compotes, chutneys, jams and jellies, but then I read the instructions for canning and I’m like “Aaaaahhhhh! Botulism!” Or maybe I retain some childhood trauma from reading Meg’s botched experiments making currant jellies in Little Women. But I plan to get over this hurdle and at least make a few jams or two in time for the holidays. I feel like jams make nice little holiday gifts, no?
Somewhere, anywhere! Thinking somewhere in the south, or West Coast….we shall see. Where should I go in the U.S., dear friends?
Write Another Novel
I have so many crazy book-story ideas in my head and they’re all bottlenecking in my brain trying to get out! I’ve been chipping away at an ambitious idea for most of the year, but I think I’m going to bang out something more discrete and less sprawling for Nanowrimo…something for my nieces and nephews to read, something really fantastical and adventurous and exactly what they’d love to read. I’m outlining and planning, and even taking a YA/MG fiction class now…I’m excited!