As I type this, Canadian thanksgiving is well in the past, and the leaves are fully changing colour, and there was even a frosting of snow on the ground this morning. Another summer season of bicycling is behind me now. I would normally switch to my indoor & online cycling set-up at this point, but wow, a switch has really flicked in my mind this fall, and my enthusiasm for cycling and exercise in general has gone "poof" and disappeared in a way that I'm almost astounded by.
I feel like my brain - in the course of a few weeks - has flipped back 20 / 25 years to the "me" of my late 20s, who was living in basement apartments in Toronto and spending all my free time writing novels. The desire to be active and kayak and bike has really given way to the desire to put words on paper again. Contemplating a re-commitment to writing is quite honestly a melancholy feeling.
While almost every bike ride or kayak trip that I do... I do solo... there are still ways to make all those activities very social - primarily by sharing them with your social network on Strava... where you get instant "kudos" and comments and congrats and jokes from friends around the world when they see the map and photos from the 100km bike ride you just did. To give that up, and move to you alone in the darkness, morning after morning, writing words that you delete within 5 minutes ... well, it's not easy.
Autumn always brings the urge to write, for several reasons. The month of November represents NaNoWriMo in my brain (although I don't always officially "do" Nanowrimo and am not doing it this year). But national novel writing month obviously encourages a person to write. As well, Within This Darkness (up until recently titled Within These Trees) is set in the fall... and as I move through autumn forests in my real life, I think of my characters moving through autumn forests, and that makes me want to write as well. And then probably the shift in weather all by itself encourages a person to write - the cold Canadian weather making you want to buckle down with your manuscripts rather than don spandex and go for a bike ride.
And, I've been flipping through notebooks this fall, and seeing dates that I scribbled in the margins... for example Nov 2019 beside notes from two years ago about Breslau in January 1945 when German citizens fled the city under Russian bombardment. I've been working on this book and this trilogy for too long now. Heck - the genesis of it dates back to around 2000. But... the modern version... I need to finally finish this thing and get it out of my mental landscape... and move on.
Perhaps it's finally time to buckle down, and bring this story fully to life, and then shake my thoughts clear, and move along.
I'm Chris Tomasini.