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This Autumn

I'm back. I think.

What a summer/autumn this has been, not all of it troublesome. But action-packed, and whenever I see too much action, my blog here gets short shrift. Time and solitude are what it feeds on, just like a novel. The thing is, there's also a new novel out, sorta. Available in print, only not in bookstores yet. On Amazon, though, as of last Friday. Just like the biggest eagle chick in a nest, it has sucked up all of my attention and left this poor little blog cheeping and flapping its undernourished little wings from the sidelines. But now that the bigger bird is about to take flight, FAINT GLOW isn't quite so faint anymore. It's alive. And so am I. Whew.

The new book is titled FIRE ON THE BAYOU, and I'm not going to shill for it here. Flying means it has to fend for itself now, and if I've done my job right, it might soar for miles. Or develop the ornithological equivalent of mange, lose its feathers, and drop like a stone into a canyon full of white water. Think Wile E. Coyote as Icarus. You get the picture.

And maybe I shouldn't be blaming all my neglect on it, because on the days when I wasn't working on FIRE ON THE BAYOU, I could've easily been been blogging. Instead of lazing around outside, enjoying what was one of the most spectacular of Octobers here ever. We always say it's our best month, here in New Orleans, but it isn't really. We anticipate it, but it's usually hotter and way more humid than we like to think it's going to be. A big let-down. But this year, it came through and just totally outdid itself. I didn't have to turn on my air-conditioning for more than about three days, no kidding. My cats sat by the open back door and watched the leaves falling, and they wanted me to undo the screen and let them out, and I almost did. It seemed cruel to keep them penned up. But then I remembered what it cost me the last time I had to take one of them to the vet. So they stayed where they were.

There's a certain polished look to a good October, the light coming in at a slant, the sky a Hollywood blue. Even if the trees don't turn colors--and our live oaks can't, down here--each leaf still possesses an edged quality as if it's stained glass. I'm enraptured by it, by the light. The low humidity. My own new-found ability to comfortably wear clothes instead of yearning to tear them off my sweaty flabby body and run naked and screaming down a street so hot its tar sticks to my sandal soles--the usual New Orleans experience.

And the other thing: October means hurricane season is almost over.

No wonder all I want to do is celebrate.
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