Feeling something in the air

It used to be that fall was one of my most difficult seasons to get through as I was plagued with a general sort of restlessness that the cooler temps and shifts in light brought on.  Writing actually helped, and you can see a lot of my restlessness in my earlier work where quests and travel played an important part.  (FIRST TRUTH, DECOY PRINCESS) Not so much anymore, and placing the books in Cincinnati put a damper on the travel somewhat as well.  Oh, we still get out and around, but the tastes, smells, and feel of the air don’t change dramatically, and isn’t that the crux of the restlessness?  Of travel?  The changing light and feel in the air as the sun swings round to a different path?

Where you are in latitude makes a difference, and I’d love to see a study done on perceived restlessness in the fall compared to latitudes.  Those nearer the equator don’t have as big a change as those closer to the pole.  Just the 800 miles between Michigan and South Carolina make a huge difference.  Do people who live in higher latitudes tend to write more quest stories than those at the equator?  Curious.

But I’m restless today, and it’s going to make sitting at my desk difficult.  And if I can’t go anywhere different, I can at least write something different.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not starting anything new.  But when I get restless, I do start to think “what if” more and with a wider scope.  Also, “why not?”  I like taking my time with the “what if” and “why not?” because when I go, I like to know where I’m going.  At least when I start out.  -grin-


Filed under Drama Box

18 responses to “Feeling something in the air

  1. Jackii

    I think the restlessness also comes from something that was ingrained in most people’s childhoods–associating fall with the start of a new school year. New supplies, new classmates, new subject matter, every now and then a new building to get lost in. It’s a ritual that lasts into adulthood. Now, the weather begins to change, and we remember how, each year growing up, we started a grand new adventure when the seasons changed. I forget where I read it, but I’ve heard that new projects and goals started in September have a better chance of being completed than goals started in, say January. Now I try to save my New Years resolutions to start them in September.

  2. Rache

    In the deep South, we can finally emerge from our air conditioned homes and enjoy the more temperate outdoors. There are many trips planned to the North to see the color changes since that doesn’t happen here.
    I grew up in a nomadic family (AK to MS constantly), so I’m always ready to go!

  3. I get restless in the fall, but for a different reason. I am a night owl, always was, but even more so now that I am older. The sun affects my migraines, so I enjoy the coming longer nights. I never get tired of the wonders of the night. The rustle of the branches as the squirrels bed down. The occasional scuffle of the skunk that roams the neighborhood (and lets not forget the smell!). Where most people see menacing shadows, I see beauty in the trees. It is the best time for walks. The sounds were better when I lived at my parents ranch. The hoot of the owls, the coyotes talking to each other, even the sounds of the peacocks which some people find disturbing. However, it does put a damper on the gardening. I’m thankful my hubby bought me a greenhouse last year. Now if I could just get him to install a light it would be perfect!

  4. Hiya Kim…Long time, no post…life has taken me away from the home computer and the only thing I really have time for on my phone is to send a quick text or take a quick call. Or look up directions if I happen to be lost. 🙂 I’ve missed your musings and I hope all is well with “Guy” (say hello) and T1 & T2 and pups.
    I’m so happy about the early release next year…waiting until February sucked. 😉 Yay re: CCNY…I really hope to make it…we’ll see what my work schedule holds. Well, just wanted to say hello and let you know that when people ask what I read and who my favorite author is the answer is still the incomparable Kim Harrison.
    Looking forward to October and January…until next time,
    Judi in NJ

  5. vampyredhead

    Here in Cincinnati, it’s getting cooler and just making me want to stay in. I have a friend who gets depressed around this time of year and use one of those light lamps. Not sure what you call them. But here in the Hollows the sun is shining and it’s beautiful out, but too cool out.

    • I know a few people who go into severe depression during the winter, and I’ve heard the lamps can help. Something about the shorter days and less sunlight. But I love the colors of fall, the glorious reds and golds and bronzes.

    • jkh

      Also here in the Pacific Northwest, latitude 47 degrees North, with a generally mild autumn/winter featuring mostly grey days and nights, we have a large number of authors, in particular fantasy/speculative fiction writers. My theory is that there’s nothing spectacular to see or do outdoors, beyond getting wet and/or hypothermia, so creative people DO turn inwards.

    • jkh

      It’s a full-spectrum lamp. They’re good for plants, too. Here in the Pacific NW we have lots of incidences of Seasonal Affective Disorder — SAD is the perfect acronym for it.

  6. Kimberly

    I used to be more restless in fall when I lived in Indiana. The rush was on to gather the needed wood for winter. Make any necessary home repairs before the cold set in. Get weatherized. Get the Jeep “weatherized” for the upcoming winter. And the list would go on.

    The definite change in the time the sun was up per day played heck on my psyche. I thrive on the sun and its rays. Most mornings no matter what time sunrise is, I am up with my coffee on the porch awaiting its first rays to crest the horizon (or treetops as the case may be now).

    Now that I live in the Panhandle of Florida, things are a bit different. The fall “rush” is not as bad. The growing season is longer here and super cold temps are later, so I can garden longer. I do look forward to the cooler temps instead of triple digits however. It allows me more outside time which I think takes my restlessness away. I do miss the color change of leaves now however.

  7. Starr

    I noticed I tend to have more difficulty writing in the fall, which isn’t great because NaNoWriMo in November. I never thought about the shifting of seasons before, although I do love the fall. So many pretty trees in Northern New York and the smell of them. It’s like decay but in a good way, mixed in with the crisp crunch of the air and the taste of pumpkin pie on your tongue. 🙂

  8. I get the same feeling in the fall … That it’s time to get moving, make changes, get out, do something – anything! It makes sense that the stirrings are tied to our genes … Our brains haven’t evolved much beyond those of our earliest homo sapiens ancestors, and we still have the same basic instincts. An intriguing post, Kim, and one that’s got me thinking … (which can be dangerous, LOL).

  9. Vampyre

    I’ve never thought about it much. It must be an instinctive thing brought on by the change of the seasons.

    It’s a time when food was gathered and stored for winter or whole populations of animals migrate somewhere else.

    Maybe if you were able to get your release dates in Autumn, even more people would come to your signings. Akk! You’d need a stadium…don’t change a thing. 🙂


    • jkh

      I agree, Vampy. It wasn’t that long ago that we all needed to prepare for the long, dark, hungry time, or migrate. I want to get out and deeply mulch my plantings with compost; but I don’t have any flower or vegetable beds anymore…

    • Vampyre

      This is off topic but I feel the need to share it, I’ve been watching Star Trek:Voyager on Netflix. The first season was in ’95. I have noticed they use reading devices that look a lot like Kindles back then. Now if we could get working transporters and warp engines, we’d be ready to go. We could do some serious migrating. 🙂


    • I’m still holding out hope for the forward leap in the medical community …

  10. Here in northern Alberta, Canada, I think we get restless too. I think it’s because the change in light is so dramatic. Maybe it has something to do with centuries of preparing for winter and now, there’s not much to do unless you’re on of those Mountain Men.

  11. I am not sure what to call what I feel in the Fall. I am much more active. I clean out my garden, get rid of all the wilted planter flowers, put away the summer decorations in the yard and get out the fall wreath and pumpkins. I am more slow and laid back in the summer heat and once it cools off I can feel my energy surge back in.

  12. Kelley Donaghy

    I used to be really restless when I lived in Delaware, I always thought it was that I was city bound. Now that I live in upstate NY, I’m not as restless, but I don’t need to go anywhere now for peace and quiet just right outside and I’m where I used to yearn to be when I lived in the city. Although I did watch a special on National Parks last night and was a little homesick for Montana, the first love of my life!

    I didn’t get to post on your column yesterday, but I stopped wearing watches a while ago when my last one’s batteries died. I find I am uberaware of where clocks and such are in public places now and can’t believe how easy it is to know what time it is by just being observant. Time is an obsession with so many, that I don’t need to be!

    Thanks for all you do Kim!

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