I was thinking about it this morning, and I realized something: October is probably my favourite month. Sure, November has my birthday, and I’m as fond of May as the next fellow with a spring in his heart, but October…October is the month that really gets me.
It’s a month for melancholy, a month of slow fading, of smoke on the wind, of grey days. There is a feeling of palpable loss, of sweet sadness, leavened somewhat by the brightness of the leaves shimmering in the storms and on the wet streets.
October has that Ray Bradbury tang of lost innocence, and Neil Gaiman’s “October in the Chair”, and it’s probably the best time of year to read Jonathan Carroll (though, honestly, there’s no bad time of year to read Jonathan Carroll, so you should get on that if you haven’t already.)
September is, usually, a month of renewal, and I love that every year. New notebooks, new writing implements, new ideas. What’s not to love? But this year, September was a month elsewhere, a month outside of time. A month between. September, 2013, was the month I decided to make my sabbatical permanent, the month I left my job to focus on my writing, then spent a full four weeks not writing at all, instead packing my study/apartment for the move downtown, giving speeches and going to conferences.
This year, October is where it begins again. New routines, new habits, new classes, new ways of living. All in a month usually reserved for death and fading…
Starting today, in fact.
You may have noticed, observent folks that you are, that I’ve been gone for a while. Two years, in fact. Almost to the day. Yes, I have been.
The last few years have been rough, and momentous, and filled with wonder and pain, and largely private. Not the stuff of blog posts, at any rate. Not allowing the requisite mental space for blogging, even.
Books have been written. Worlds have changed. Some of that you’ll hear about, down the road apiece, and some of it you won’t. Sorry about that last part, but some things you just keep to yourself.
Right now, though, I’m sitting at my desk on the third floor of a hundred year old building downtown, surrounded by — literally — boxes full of books waiting for shelves and someone to build them. There’s a muted, inexplicable rumble that drives me nuts if I focus on it, and through the skylight I can see blue sky with wispy clouds. It’s actually warm outside, not very Octoberish at all. The apartment is a block from Chinatown, around the corner from the Hudson, 240 steps to the new public market.
When I finish writing and posting this, I’m going to start on my next novel, The Sensitive. Well, re-start, actually: I wrote the opening scenes the day after Labour Day, before September…happened. I plan to have a first draft done before Christmas.
Once the day’s writing is done, I’m going to turn to the line edits of Black Feathers, the new novel which will be published by Harper Collins Canada sometime next year. Line edits…that’s a whole post in and of itself. And there’s the small matter of first revisions (read: typing out the handwritten notebooks) of The Fallow Heart, the novel I wrote in three months during my sabbatical this spring/summer.
And, as always, there are books to be read and reviewed, classes to teach, fights to get into on the internet…
And this. I know better than to make any rash promises, but I do want to make blogging regularly part of my regimen. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, though, here’s one, after two years and too long.