Autumn Whirlwind

shoes on sidewalk
Photo by Bellemedia, Dreamstime Stock Photos.

Wow. My life has been a whirlwind these past few weeks. Some of it amazing. I started teaching English as a Second Language, which is promising to be a life-changing journey for me. Some of it not so amazing—like a beloved family member being diagnosed with a serious illness.

So, in the midst of all of the craziness, I’ve been plugging away at my novella Oak-Bound and trying to get it done by the end of this month. I’m close, guys. It will probably be 25-27K, and I’m right around the 22K mark as I type this. I hope to get another 1K or 2K words in before I go to bed tonight.

So. Close. This is a story half a decade in the making. I remember sitting at my friend Amelia’s kitchen table and going over critiques of the first first chapter of this story. And then I set it aside. I wasn’t ready to write it then, but Nick and Cassie kept whispering in my ear, and I knew I couldn’t give up on them.

Five years later, a first draft is close to being completed. And yes, there will be a happy dance when it is done.

So, where does this leave my progress on my goals for this quarter? Well…

  1. Finish a draft of Oak-Bound. On track, and I hope to finish this in the next few days. Fingers crossed!
  2. Revise Spellfire’s Kiss,once I receive feedback from my kind and helpful beta reader. On hold until I finish Oak-Bound.
  3. Participate in one or two community events each month. Going to see author Sharyn McCrumb at the local library on Sunday, and hubby and I bought tickets for a hayride next weekend.
  4. Meditate or do yoga twice a week. Nada.
  5. Continue paring away the excess in our home and making the townhouse our own. Ordered new chairs for the living room and library, and I’ve piled up a large quantity of items to take to the thrift store. I’ve also hung some photographs in our hallway and in my library.
  6. Bonus Goal: I just found an upcoming call for submissions for an anthology based around the mythology of Baba Yaga, this fascinating figure from Russian folklore. I’d like to write a draft of a Baba Yaga novelette—somewhere in the 10-12K range, so I’m adding this goal.

I am hoping the rest of autumn will be calmer, as I settle into a teaching routine, dig deep into my stories, break out the cozy sweaters, and move closer toward submitting some of my stories for publication. I currently have one short story out on submission and will hear back sometime next month.

What about you? How is your autumn progressing? And please, because I love this season, what is your favorite thing about autumn?

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at

23 thoughts on “Autumn Whirlwind

  1. How exciting to almost be finished with a project that’s been brewing so long. I know the feeling!
    My favorite part about autumn? Not too much, considering the amount of yard work that needs to be done before snow falls (which is the forecast for next week). Once that yard work is done however, maybe I can hole up in the house and pare away some of my excess.
    Best wishes for a productive week!

    1. Thanks, Chris. I’ve honestly never had to rake leaves. I grew up on a farm, and we just left them to their own devices, and now I live in a townhouse and we have a landscaping company that handles leaf removal (and snow, too, thankfully). I hope you’re finished with your raking and can relax with a cup of tea or cocoa and enjoy the last traces of autumn before winter sweeps in!

  2. Looks like you’re doing well. Awesome about almost being done with Oak-Bound. I have a few projects like that. My current WIP was a novella I started two years ago, finished writing recently, and now am expanding it for publication. It is such a good feeling.

    Fall is my favorite season, hands down. The crisp air, the hot chocolate, the changing leaves, Thanksgiving…I do not like raking leaves, though. 😉

    1. Thanks, Erin! Yes, everyone seems to be in agreement about raking leaves. It’s a price we pay for autumn splendor, I suppose. Glad to hear from another fall fan. I love anything pumpkin spice. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Raven. You’re right. Sometimes a story needs to simmer for a long time before it’s ready to be told. That’s the mystery of the creative process. I didn’t know Card wrote a Baba Yaga story. I knew Deborah Blake has a whole series based around her, though I haven’t checked it out yet. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. When you’re ready, you will find everything through Chapter Seven in our email chain. Chapter Eight is almost finished, and that and Chapter Nine should be ready by the end of the week. =D

    Happy about the new adventure; sending much positive energy to your family member, and warm snug wishes for a warm sweater and much fall wonder!

    1. Thanks, Shan. I haven’t been getting your emails. Can you resend to deniseyoungwriter (at) gmail (dot) com. I don’t know why they’re not coming through. They’re surely out there in cyberspace somewhere! Thanks so much!

      My family member is in treatment and seems to be in good spirits. We are cautiously hopeful. Thank you! 🙂

      1. I attached them all to the thread. Weird they’re not there…

        I will get them to you, but it may be a while. Life has presented something I can’t set aside or put off, so everything else will have to fit into the spaces left over.

      2. By now you know it isn’t – but we’re doing the best we can to find the good stuff in it. Because I believe there’s always good stuff.

  4. Wonderful progress, congratulations.
    My favorite part of autumn is no smoke in the air for us in Montana. it was such a hard fire season here and it is over! Our weather has been in the 60 degree area which is perfect running and yoga weather. Keep it up and you’ll get there!

  5. How exciting to be so close to finished! Sometimes WIPs have to percolate, I think, so it must be lovely to have the end in sight.
    Sorry to hear about your family member–I send many good thoughts for a rapid return to health.
    I love autumn, the cool nights and crisp mornings especially. I like nothing better than snuggling up with a cup of tea in front of the fire, looking out the window at the wealth of color.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I just sent the first draft off to my critique partner. It was nice to type the ending lines of a story I started so long ago.

      I, too, enjoy the cool nights and crisp mornings of autumn. I like breaking out the cozy sweaters and warm socks (I just bought some Harry Potter inspired socks that I’m enjoying). And the colors are always breathtaking!

  6. I just love your header image Denise. It is so soothing and peaceful. That said, I am so sorry to hear about the illness that your loved one is suffering from and hope they recover soon. Meanwhile, your making great strides in your writing. And you’re getting more settled in. I am still waiting for Autumn actually since I live in Phoenix. It’s just dropped below 90. But I love Fall and miss having four seasons, especially Autumn. Love the cool temperatures, the changing of the leaves, hot cider and apple pies! Enjoy girl!

    1. Thanks, Karen! You just reminded me that I haven’t made an apple pie yet this season. Maybe I’ll have to do that this weekend or next week! Yum!

      I hope autumn arrives for you soon in Phoenix–at least in time for Thanksgiving. Take care! 🙂

  7. Best of luck with all your goals! A Baba Yaga novelette sounds like a lot of fun. And I know what it’s like to have characters whisper in your ear for years, waiting for their story to be told, so that’s awesome how you can finally do Nick and Cassie’s justice. Also, how exciting about the teaching job! Glad it’s been so rewarding for you so far. So sorry to hear about your family member, though. That’s tragic. 😦

    1. Thanks, Heather! It’s shaping up to be a surprising story–and there’s a vampire love interest, so we’ll see how that goes. I just finished the first draft of Nick and Cassie’s story, and I’m excited to share it. Hopefully I can finish the second draft soon and start sending it out on submission. My family member seems to be doing okay so far. We’re just hoping and praying treatment works. Thank you!

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