September

I shuffle plants between pots, bringing in the thyme and mint from the deck, uprooting the ragged tomato plants, and transplanting the crown of thorns into a big pottery planter, a planter that looks like it belongs outdoors and brings a vague atmosphere of the greenhouse or solarium into our bedroom. I have been places where people live in the liminal space between outdoors and indoors--the porches of Los Angeles with their couches, the mud rooms of the prairies. In urban Alberta, liminal space is not a thing, except for the bar patios, which I've already practically written odes to. We are adamantly in or out (mostly in), either blasted by snow or blasted by central heat. No wonder we get sick every winter.

It's still warm though. I pickle some hot peppers and use up half our mason jars. I buy a green wool jacket and a handknitted cardigan at a vintage pop-up sale that happens one Saturday at The Empress. Dylan brings me flowers we don't know the names of. We are doing well. I make elk sausage, potato salad, and walnut-plum cake for dinner before Dylan leaves for Pop Montreal and we eat on the deck. The sunlight coming into the bedroom/study where my desk is is warm on my typing hands. I'm trying to write 500 words every day. I have a calendar page printed off the internet taped to my wall, and I colour in the squares for the days I meet the quota. I just finished the first draft of a story called "Mopsy" and I'm working on a new one called "Sea of Mud" right now. It desperately needs a better title. I just finished On Writing by Stephen King and I'm now determined to aim for prolificacy. I don't think my work has ever benefitted from my writing slowly (read: less). I'm also determined and excited to read a Stephen King novel ASAP.

I notice that I am less lonely when I am reading and writing a lot. 

All but one or two of the submissions I sent out last winter have come back to me. I know I need to send out another batch, but lately rejection notices make me angry more than anything else. Last week the fiction editor at The Walrus (the closest thing Canada has to The New Yorker) quit because he was told not to publish a story with the words 'crap' and 'orgasm' in it. This is not the literary environment I want to participate in, and they don't seem to like me much either. (Incidentally, any qualms I had about ruining ill-defined writerly opportunities by making 'compersion' public now seem utterly inconsequential. Apparently most of my prose is already unpublishable.)

Anyway. September's more than half over. I've got the next week to myself and I feel that bookish hibernation urge, which is a relief from the nagging desire to be on a bike all day every day during the summer. I have two new boxes of tea. I hope you're well.