“There was dew on the grass this morning, when I came down to make a cup of tea – September’s in the air.”
That quote, taken from The (D)Evolution of Us, had not been true for me until yesterday evening, and we’re nearly at the end of the month.
I started writing this sitting up in bed in my pyjamas, with fluffy socks over another pair, considering closing the window. My cat, Bob, was purring by my side. There was a chill that reminded me of the song, Bright Eyes. My mum loved autumn.
September has always been a poignant time of year for me. Maybe it’s the hangover from going back to school/college/university, exacerbated now by walking my own little boy to school. Owls are still hooting at quarter to six in the morning; the leaves are flame-like; the hawthorn berries and blackberries that haven’t been eaten, are shrivelling on their branches. Our pumpkin has already grown and turned orange, its stalk and leaves have melted into the damp earth, and my little boy brought it inside this afternoon. I was obliged to draw Chase from PAW Patrol on it. And I have labyrinthitis, which means my whole world is spinning, and everything feels unreal.
My third novel, Underrated, is with my brilliant editor, Lee, and I’ve finished a short story I was working on. I feel like I’m tidying up, tying up loose ends, ready to move on.
And I found myself starting my fourth novel. It’s set in the present day, and is the story of Liam – Kayleigh’s baby son in TDofU and Glasshouse – who is now twenty-three. For whatever the reason, I can’t not write about the world as it is right now.
I went to visit Mum in the cemetery the other day, and afterwards, found myself driving around places I used to know well. I ended up at the location that inspired the scene in Glasshouse where Dr Whittle unknowingly observes Adam dropping the cuddly blue octopus he bought for Liam, into the canal in Eskwich. By sheer chance, it was just after half past three, and people were walking children home from school. There was a cat on the tow path, and it jumped up and sat next to me on the bench that Dr Whittle had sat on. I decide to open my new #WIP, there. The afternoon sun was hot, the shadows long, and I felt desolate, but excited. Bittersweet.
Which is how September is for me. So it’s time to move on.
(And would you believe, I’ve literally just received an email from my editor, about Underrated…!)