This will be a short post, as I spent most of the day crafting query letters to send to literary agents, and my brain is fried to that degree that only a walk in the rain can save it now.
This time of the year always makes me feel close to my childhood. Chilly autumn days gathering firewood; evenings curled up in the couch-corner reading Lloyd Alexander, Elizabeth Goudge, or Susan Cooper, and imagining myself into far away places... I was always a fairly contented child. My mother remembers that I could spend hours by myself playing with bobby pins. I remember it very well too. I nearly always pretended they were keys -- magic keys that could open any door. I would unlock all the doors and go through and have adventures. We never had many toys growing up, but I can't remember ever really caring, so long as there were books and bobby pins. The only exception, I remember, is a secret longing I had for a Chia Pet, so that I could cut it's hair off and have it grow again.
Strange how books from childhood stay with you. For me, at certain times of year, I always feel compelled to re-visit certain favorites -- Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard in the Autumn, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising in Midwinter... Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda at any time of year.
I want to be that kind of writer. The kind people keep coming back to. George MacDonald said, "I do not write for children, but for the childlike, whether of five or fifty or seventy-five." The best books are the ones we keep coming back to, no matter how our lives change or how we age or mature.
But now the rain is calling.