Saying goodbye to favourite seasons and characters

Now that the windstorm has died, we’re left with bare branches. I can envision their earlier colour, once burgundy, then scarlet, now strewn as a blanket beneath. The forecast is for frost tonight.



This is the part of autumn that makes me wistful. I love all the weeks of lingering warmth and glorious colour, and am always reluctant to see them end. Mind you, there have been compensations. We enjoyed a toasty fire in the family room fireplace last night for the first time in months. I’ve also been cuddling into a cozy afghan while writing this week. Oh, and the bins of winter wear came up from the basement recently and I’ve re-discovered my favourite sweaters.

Nevertheless, I hate saying goodbye to what has become familiar and comfortable. I’m SO not an adventurer, at least not in real life. In fiction it’s a different matter. A new season suggests jumping into a new story, and that aspect is always exciting.

But am I the only one who hates to say goodbye to make-believe characters when their story comes to an end? After creating them and spending months being an integral part of their lives, loves, and struggles, it’s hard for me to cut them loose and send them off into the world on their own. I want to follow them.

That has to be why sequels and series are so popular. At least in a sequel I could continue with my favourite characters into their new adventures and conflicts. So far, my stories have all been the stand alone kind, but there’s a growing community of people within them that wants to return. During this month’s NaNoWriMo endeavour, I’m trying to finish another independent novel, but I’m already thinking ahead.

There are whispers on the wind from earlier characters, begging me not to abandon them. Hmm … something familiar to help disperse the chill of the approaching new season. :)


To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven”

[Ecclesiastes 3:1]

~  ~  ~


A Season of Changes

Just a musing today…

The first fall after we planted our Burning Bush shrub in the front yard, its leaves turned a brilliant scarlet. Most other years since then a few leaves partially changed, but the majority remained mottled green until they eventually ended up on the ground.

Fall Garden

(Consider clicking on photo to enlarge.)

This fall’s changes have been somewhere in between — some nice colour, but nothing so vivid as the first year. In the back yard a few shrubs are still changing, while others have already dropped their leaves before any colour had a chance to develop. Strangely, the annual Begonias out in the garden are still blooming, while on the back deck our hanging baskets and tubs have lost their flowers and only gangly greenery remains.

Autumn is my favourite time of the year. Although I admit to liking something about every new season, I’m always happy to escape summer’s intolerable heat, winter’s barren landscapes, and  spring’s on-again, off-again rain.


Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all.
[Stanley Horowitz]


We teeter on the brink of another new month, drawing closer to winter, wondering what effect the predicted El Nino may have. I think it must be time to retrieve the boxes of winter clothes from the basement. After months of T-shirts and cotton blouses, I’m looking forward to cozy turtlenecks and woollen sweaters.


The leaves fall, the wind blows,
and the farm country slowly changes
from the summer cottons
into its winter wools.
[Henry Beston, Northern Farm]

~  ~  ~

(I’m not a huge fan of Hallowe’en,
but for those who are…

Stop, Look and Be Awestruck

Feed Me


How often do you stop and really look around? I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to walk and think. After all, wandering provides a great opportunity to mull through plot problems and life dilemmas. I also like to keep an eye on where I’m placing my feet since I have the unfortunate habit of finding roots, dips and hollows that trip me up and, more times than not, cause a sprained ankle.

Granted, keeping an eye on the ground has resulted in finding objects that I might otherwise have missed — like coins, a frog in the grass, and the dog’s lost ball — but when I’m not looking up with the intent to actually see, I miss a lot, too.

I miss appreciating the beauty of an arid landscape… (Consider clicking on photos to enlarge.)


(Near Cache Creek, BC)

and seeing the fire-glazed colour of the sun.


(Smoky afternoon sun, Cranbrook, BC)

I miss exquisite fall reflections…


(Oie Lake in BC’s Cariboo country)

and brief encounters with local wildlife.


(Black Bear – Oie Lake, BC)

Sometimes I simply miss the potential of endless horizons…


(View from the Creston-Salmo Pass, southeast BC)

Too often we don’t look at all, or we look but don’t see. I believe as writers we have to be keenly aware of our surroundings. It’s through observation that we learn to experience the emotions we want to convey on the page. Two closely related emotions are awe and gratitude.

When did you last experience that combination? In what situations might you have allowed one of your characters to experience it?


For the LORD Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.

[Psalm 47:2]

~  ~  ~

Evening Reflection

The evening slips silently into nightfall. Away from the brash city lights, we are cloaked in total darkness until the moon peeks over the hill and scatters ripples of light across the water.

Our summer sanctuary, this — a place of solitude, a place for reflection.




The sun leaves auburn shadows 
There’s purple clouds in sight 
The evening fades down the skyline 
We lose the golden light. 

Purple paints down the horizon
The sun, not putting up a fight
The evening’s gone and this day is done
And now it’s time for night.

[Daniel Thorne]


“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.”

[Psalm 65:8, NIV]

~  ~  ~



This beautiful rainbow became visible from the cabin one day this past August. It’s only the second one we’ve seen there in the many decades since we began going.

DSC06204 copy

Rainbows always used to make me think of God’s promise — the one to Noah and his family in Genesis:

“Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.  I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” *

In more recent years rainbows have become a symbol of the Gay Pride movement. I was curious as to why, so did a bit of research.

According to an article in the Washington Post, “Gilbert Baker, an artist and drag queen, first created the Rainbow Flag in 1978…. Baker’s rainbow flag actually originally had eight colors — hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo/blue and violet — but it gradually lost its stripes until it became the six-color version most commonly used today. Each of the colors has its own significance, he says: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit.”

Earlier the movement had been represented by a pink triangle, but Baker says he saw a flag “as a more powerful symbol than a seal or a sign, since it is flown to represent a nation, people or country. ‘We are a people, a tribe if you will. And flags are about proclaiming power, so it’s very appropriate’.”

So, now I know the reason for its choice. But these days when I see a rainbow, I think first of Gay Pride, and a tiny part of me feels like somehow God’s rainbow has been hijacked for a purpose other than he intended. I suppose it’s irrational, but that makes me a little sad.


* Genesis 9:8-13, NIV