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!
By day, Kelly D. Scott is buried in Excel spreadsheets, which is why she must write.
She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting and, almost ten years later, she completed her MS in Accounting at UT Dallas. She wrote her first manuscript in 2017 when a photo in People magazine sparked an idea. 130,000 words later, that book is parked safely under her bed.
Kelly resides in the Dallas area with her illustrator husband (whom she met on Eharmony) and her two boys. She has lived in Texas all of her life, except for two and a half years when she was a missionary in China and Thailand. Oh, and she did spend a summer as a missionary in Australia where she learned how to do the Tim Tam slam. When Kelly isn’t writing or lost in Excel, she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, watching football, and spending time with her family. She is a member of ACFW.