Fall is the real New Year

I've been hauling out the Halloween decorations and much to my horror, discovered that some of them must go. As in, to the trash can. How dare they? For years, I've perched the huge,ugly, fake black crow that bears down on trick-or-treaters with a malevolent eye, on the porch. Alas, its feathers fell off in the attic this summer. Other beloved decorations have taken the same path. Huge sigh.

This is the end of an era, I thought. No more munchkins to dress for the Big Day. No more sewing of costumes into the wee hours. That ended years ago, but still, as long as the decorations existed that we'd used when the munchkins did their scary bit, I thought of Halloween as fun. Now, I ruminated, no more buying huge amounts of candy. (Whoa, back up there...the candy stays.) After moping for a bit, I rallied and decided to go for it. Skeleton candles. More sound effects. New stuff! I've recuperated from my malaise, and am happy to say, the house is beginning to look a lot like...Halloween. To heck with Christmas.

The writing is ripping along wonderfully. The Golden Oars is half-way finished, and my writing partner, Kat Jorgensen, and I had a great brainstorming session for the next half of the book. We've always known the last chapter and how the characters get there, but this time, details fell into our laps like manna. We can't wait to finish it and get going on the next book for this group of unstoppable women who don't let anything - murder, kids, grandkids, old boyfriends, new boyfriends, or bad weather - stop them from their weekly session of rowing together on the Chesapeake Bay.

With ideas pinging, I wrote a detailed synopsis for my next solo project, an idea that's sufficiently cooked in my mind to put down on paper. Or hard drive, as the case may be. The first chapter knocked itself out, miracle of miracles. Some Kind of Wonderful is its working title. More later. . . .

So why don't we recognize September as the real New Year? January is just hunker-down-and-stay-sane, as far as I'm concerned. September is full of new beginnings, new energy, and all calendars should being with Sept. 1.