Pumpkin Fever

Autumn is rapumkins-on-a-pumpkin-patchpidly approaching, and with Autumn comes a plethora of amazing flavors. No, I’m not talking about the all the colorful leaves falling through the air and littering the ground. I am talking about all things Pumpkin: pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin seeds, and whatever else you can make with pumpkin (canned OR fresh). Sure, there’s also the apple products, but in my opinion, there’s no other ingredient than pumpkin that can go into such a wide variety of foods and create such an excellent flavor. All that stuff is coming soon, and I know because the beer is already out (and the coffee too!). The beer is always first, and it’s my favorite.

Or, my vice, rather.

Every autumn I suffer from what I like to call Pumpkin Fever. It’s an extremely dangerous ailment, and you should be very careful around those suffering from it. Brandishing a pumpkin flavored food or drink without sharing could cause someone suffering from Pumpkin Fever to go severely out of his gourd, with side effects ranging from extreme addiction and gluttony to lethargy and a strong desire to carve faces into anything orange and round. The lethargy comes only when the infected one consumes several pumpkin flavored products, but it is not to be overlooked, as too much can cause a comatose-like reaction. But on the other hand, if the hunger is not sated soon enough, he could go into a pumpkin-fueled rage, which is not a pretty sight.

And speaking of pumpkins, Halloween is also right around the corner. My favorite holiday. I love the image of death and scariness, and wish it was a week-long holiday instead of just one measly night. I enjoy decorating the house with cobwebs and ghosts and witches and vampires, and carving scary and silly faces into pumpkins. I also like listening to Halloween-themed music when it starts getting close to the holiday, especially Midnight Syndicate. If you haven’t heard of them, I suggest you look them up and listen to a sample. They are dark and creepy, and are a perfect addition to a haunted house. And then there are the scary movies on almost every TV channel. Most of them are cheesy, but they are still enjoyable on a dark night.

So that is the kick I am on right now. And come January or so, when all the pumpkin products have been emptied from the shelves and replaced by boring winter and spring flavors, I will begin to have withdrawals and will probably have to be hospitalized to help recover my senses. So please, if you know someone suffering from the madness of Pumpkin Fever, help him or her by sharing your food with him.

 

Progress Report

At the beginning of the year, I told myself I would keep up on this blog–at least once a month, preferably once a week–just to keep myself actively engaged in writing. But then, towards the end of my final semester in college, I took a break to focus more on my schoolwork, most of which I barely managed to complete on time. And when the semester ended, and I was finally finished with school and earned myself a degree, I thought about returning to the blogosphere to maintain that one post a week that I had somehow managed to keep up for the first four months of the year. At the same time, though, I started using all my writing time for fiction, and I decided that was a much better idea. The blog could wait.

And it did. I found it’s still here, just the same as it was before. Imagine that.

Now that summer is almost over, I have taken a few moments to reflect on the past few months, and reviewing my New Years Resolutions, I decided to give a little update. A lot has happened.

My main resolution was to write. My goal was to become published; at least one short story out there for the world to read if they choose. I also wanted to maintain an average of about 1,000 words per day, write at least one short story per month, and work on the novel on the side. Unfortunately, none of that has happened. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard. I have accomplished more this year than I have any other year in my past, and I am extremely happy with that. I don’t even think I’ve averaged 500 words a day, but I have completed nine short stories this year, and seven of those have been brought into being since school ended in mid-May. For the most part, I have been following a routine, which is good because I know it’s important. I feel a little burnt out, though, and for the past month I have been writing a lot less. I cut my writing time in half, managing only 100-200 words most days, just so I can spend more time with my kids before my son goes back to school. I feel that is the best decision, even if it hurts my writing. I still make sure I write SOMETHING every day, though, and that I am content with, for now. Next year is a whole new story, especially if I can get published this year. I do feel my writing keeps getting better and better, and that is not just my ego talking. I have learned a great deal by reading and writing a lot, not to mention the advice from other writers.

My reading objective is doing much better. I have been following the #readeverywhere advice, and I have been reading everywhere. I had originally planned to read 25 books this year, thinking that was a lot. It’s not. I’ve already hit 29. Five of those were non-fiction, and another five were collections of short stories. I have also read twelve separate short stories (from magazines or books or whatever). Now that I’ve seen how much I can actually read when I try, I will definitely bump that number up to 50 next year. I am maintaining a list of everything I read, even rating each book and story, and I plan on posting it at the end of the year, instead of writing a review like I had starting doing. That was just too much, and was taking away from my writing time.

My other resolution was to lose a few pounds, and I am happy to say I have succeeded. 12 pounds have been shed, and I see more going away in the future. At least until Thanksgiving and Christmas come around. But I have been more active lately, and have been eating and drinking less. I feel great. That’s the important thing.

So overall, I would say I have succeeded quite a bit so far this year. Though my writing is lacking a bit, I have still accomplished more than ever. It would be unwise for me to complain about that. There’s always room for improvement, though, and that I plan on doing.