What is your least favorite month? How about season? I love living in a place with four distinct seasons. We’re talking negative temperatures and incredible ice storms in the winter, and triple digit, steam sauna summers. But personally, I’d be okay if winter ended December 26th.
That’s why October is one of my favorite months. It’s a lovely and gentle transition from flipflops, cicadas, and suntans, to goose bumps, gray skies, shortened days.
As a writer, it’s important to incorporate all five senses in writing. We’re not telling a story, we’re inviting readers to experience something. So, today I’d like to practice sensory skills with you and share my October favorites.
Hearing: Every October the small town of Weston, Missouri hosts an Irish festival behind O’Malley’s pub. Nothing says autumn to me like the haunting drone of a bagpipe, a sassy flute, and lively violin. Instruments and singers dance together to create sweeping ballads and playful tunes. How am I doing? Can you hear it? Right now, I’m reading Colleen Coble’s Because You’re Mind about an Irish band and a modern marriage of convenience. This is the creepiest romance I’ve ever read, and I’m loving it!
Sight: I don’t live near the mountains or ocean, but in October, there’s nothing I’d prefer to the rolling, tree-filled hills of western Missouri. Leaves turn all shades of gold and orange as the muddy Missouri cuts through the landscape dividing two states. The train marches alongside the river with the best view of all. Malicious Mischief, by Lora Young, takes the reader back to the time river and railroad collided. October in Missouri paints a lovely backdrop for this historical romance.
Smell: I love the dry, woody sent of friends gathered around a bonfire. Camping has always been a fall tradition for me. Another kind of smell can be found at petting zoos. I probably don’t need to elaborate. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (which has been read every bedtime the past thirty-nine days) is filled with all kinds of farm animals. It’s an autumn thing to go pick pumpkins and see the farm. My daughter is like me in that she romanticizes everything she sees in books. She gets so excited to feed the ducks, milk the cows, and pet the sheep—in real life!
Taste: Hearty, cold apple cider. Apple cider donuts with crunchy cinnamon and sugar coating and a soft, warm middle. Frosty, tangy apple cider slush. Sticky and fluffy apple fritters. Should I go on? In Susan May Warren’s You Don’t Know Me, grandma bakes with apples so tart they “suck the spit right out of your mouth.” Phew! I bet that made your mouth pucker.
Touch: The best thing (okay, only great thing for me) about cold weather is the cozy comfort of sliding on my favorite hoodie. I love to feel radiating stovetop heat on my face as I make breakfast on a chilly morning. Nothing soothes like my hands molded around warm mug of something wonderful. In The Wedding List, by Autumn MacArthur, I enjoyed the feel of spending fall in London!
How did I do? Could you feel, taste, smell, see and hear my October favorites? I’d love to hear about your autumn traditions. Leave a comment below!
Beth Olsson, in a pen cap, is all about Jesus, her Viking, and their two adorable babies. If you know what it means when she says her childhood heroes were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables, and Jo March, then you get it! All kidding aside, they’re still her heroes. Beth started creating stories as early as she can remember, staying awake well after bedtime dreaming up daring characters and precarious situations. As a writer of contemporary romance, with a dash of suspense, she believes the best stories weave the raw beauty of real life with unbelievable adventures.
A proud resident of Kansas City, Missouri, Beth enjoys world travel, genealogy, and sitting around the dinner table for hours, talking about both. The best souvenir she ever brought home was a husband from Sweden. Like any good writer, she has a love affair with chocolate and coffee, but it’s a lifeblood connection with Jesus Christ that keeps the words flowing and heart beating. At the tender age of fourteen, on a tile floor in Costa Rica, she surrendered all to the one she calls Lord. Through life’s twists and turns she’s thankful for this steadfast foundation every day!