The Last Days of Summer

Welcome to the last week of August. I love this time of year. That first chill in the evening air reminds me the last petals will drop from the flowers and color will come from leaves changing their colors. Corn on the cob tastes a little sweeter because summer vegetables will soon be replaced by their heartier fall counterparts. This morning, my toes were cold enough that slipping my feet into wool slippers was exactly the right thing to do.

One of my favorite aspects of the end of summer is the promise of new beginnings in the fall. I have not outgrown back-to-school excitement. I like getting ready to do something new, something better, something different. I like having a seasonal reminder to think about what’s working–and what isn’t–and then start fresh. And this is my week to do it.

I’m spending this week at our place upstate to start writing something new and to tweak my writing process. As a New Yorker, I love the constant buzz of the city, but there are times when my soul craves quiet. As I’m writing this, the loudest noise outside my window is the slight rustle of the breeze through the trees. No, I’m wrong, a black-capped chickadee is chirping, too.

I’m revisiting how I approach my writing. Put another way, I’m thinking about process. It’s a question almost every writer gets asked about and with good reason. Having the right process is what gets you through the tougher stretches of writing. I need to trust my process when nothing else seems to be working. When I focus on process, it’s easier for me to see what matters.

What’s particularly wonderful about this week is that we have two amazing writers sharing their own thoughts about writing suspense. Tomorrow, our own L.A. Chandlar–whose fabulous third book, The Pearl Dagger, comes out that day–will answer some questions about writing and her own process. On Thursday, we’ll be joined by Jaden Terrell, the author of the Jared McKean series, who’ll talk about her process of writing suspense. On Friday, I’ll ask the Miss Demeanors share their most unusual takes on process.

In the mean time, I’m going to curl up on the bench under the stairs and read, think about how to tweak my writing process, and possibly nap. No: definitely nap.


  1. What a lovely space, Alison. I think you will get a lot of work done. I have mixed feelings about the end of summer. I love having classes start up and feeling like life is taking me in new directions. But I hate having it get dark earlier. Plus I keep getting hit on the head with acorns.

    1. Ah! The acorns. I spent a rather pleasant bit of time fishing them out of the pool the other morning. Luckily, none have actually hit me yet. Do they seem more prevalent this season to you?

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