autumn lovers, rise up

My partner has been out of town a lot this month. First, a full week on the east coast doing a training and now, off hiking the grand canyon for several days. I am not an outdoorsy girl, I am not interested in that kind of nature. I respect it! It’s magnificent and I’m awed by the glory of creation, etc, etc, but I don’t want to stand in it and I don’t want it to touch me. My idea of the perfect day in nature is sitting on the deck of a cabin, looking at pine trees.

Anyway, I’ve been alone a lot, which I really don’t mind. I value solitude. I’m an introvert and being alone is really important to my well-being. However, I also value a routine, and my partner being gone is quite the interruption.

I have my dogs, so I’m not alone alone. They’re eleven now, and have fully transitioned into being elderly. My boy dog is reluctant to jump up on furniture and will only sometimes use his dog stairs. (We’re dog stairs people, now.) So often, I pick up him and put him on the bed and I can feel his little hip pop or his spine crack. Our girl dog also has bad days. Yesterday she didn’t want to eat her treat and only wanted to lie in the sun on the hot brick patio. Nature’s heating pad! So I have her some pain killers and she perked up a little. We both have arthritis, so girl squad! I compromised with her. She came inside and I let her sleep on my heating pad.

We all know when it’s the usual time for my partner to get home and when the time comes and goes, we’re all a little sadder for it. We go to bed and everyone is restless and brimming with ennui.

Even though I live in California, I live in the northern half, so while it’s still mostly sunshine and blue skies all the time, there are the first hints of fall. It’s getting darker much earlier, there are a few crunchy leaves on the ground. It’s cool enough to wear a sweatshirt in the mornings and evenings. All I want is to be able to wear a hoodie and not be too hot, so this is most welcome.

One really good thing happened: I hit my ten year work anniversary and my 120 payments on student loans and applied to have the remainder of my loans waived through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Student loan payments are about to start imminently so I was really cutting it close, but I logged in the other day and my balance said $0.00. Like… I don’t know if you’ve ever worked relentlessly toward a goal for a solid decade only to see it quietly achieved on a random Tuesday, but it was an indescribable feeling. Surprise and glee and suspicion and relief. Just a big burden suddenly gone. I still haven’t received the formal letter, but I’ve never seen my balance be zero, so I think it’s done.

Fall is always my time to thrive. Good things happen in the fall. Honey in the Marrow came out last October, and now the German translation and the audiobook (pre-order here) are coming out this October. The cover for my next book is nearly ready and I get to announce that soon, I imagine. I recorded a podcast with fellow Ylva author Jennifer Giacolone yesterday, so I’m excited to share that with you when it goes live. (pre-order Jen’s book, Art of the Chase here.)

AND we’re going to Disneyland for our 9th wedding anniversary in October. What more could a California girl ask for?

I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

October is the best month. It’s not a debate. FACTS ARE FACTS. I love the fall, I love the Taylor Swift RED aesthetic, and I love being a spooky bog witch. Halloween is my favorite time and I never met a costume I didn’t want to wear.

This October has been lovely so far. Currently I am on a two week vacation that has only just started. Yesterday, I completed the first round of edits on my book and turned it in, which is like an enormous weight off. On Saturday, we had a backyard party for a coworker who is moving out of state and I got to see some of my lovely, fully vaccinated friends that I haven’t seen in person in like two years. We strung lights in the backyard and everyone brought food to share and there were drinks and it was just fully wonderful.

I also got a tattoo to celebrate my love of all things autumnal!

It was done by Kristina Bennett at Sugar City Tattoo Company and she was so nice to work with. I gave her some vague reference photos and said “autumnal floral with a pumpkin” and she knew the vibe exactly.

In a few days, we’re going up to South Lake Tahoe, which I’m excited to say did NOT burn down, so it will be so good to get out of town and decompress. I’m halfway through writing my second book, something I started while waiting for edits on the first one, so hopefully I can make some progress on that.

Anyway, I’m just popping in to say I love, love, love October and I hope you’re having a good fall so far.

Happy autumn

It doesn’t MATTER when it starts when it lives in your HEARTS, am I right? So fall is now.