Am I writing this post just so I can make a big list of things that I’m excited for in October? Yes! Why deny it! This year has been an objective train-wreck! I am taking an unexpected gap semester from college! But Autumn never lets us down! I am embracing cozy socks and pumpkin picking and basic sweaters with open arms! Grab your Pumpkin Spice Latte! Let’s shamelessly enjoy ourselves!
1. Reread One of Your Favorite Books
Who, me, rereading Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado? Couldn’t be.
2. Go Outside and Journal
Soak in those beautiful fall vibes. Journal about how you’re feeling, or about the dogs in whatever park you’re in. Be present in the moment.
3. (Safely) Visit a Literary Landmark
Take all COVID cautions! Wear a mask! But this month, I went to Salem, Massachusetts. (My picture is of their independent bookstore, Wicked Good Books.) Many literary landmarks are outside, and trips are perfect for fall…you’ll get to see all the foliage on the drive over!
4. Plan Your Halloween Costume
Something literary, perhaps? (My dream couple costume: Emily Dickinson & Death.)
5. Settle Down For A Cozy Day Of Writing
Brew some tea. Turn on a Jazz compilation. Let yourself get lost in a story.
6. Settle Down For A Cozy Day of Writing, But This Time With Fuzzy Socks
7. Tackle a Classic You’ve Never Read Before
I’m in the middle of both Wuthering Heights and Orlando…this fall, I shall finish them! Preferably in front of a fire. (With the aforementioned socks on.)
8. Try Some Fall-Themes Writing Prompts
Write about a time of great change. Write about red, yellow, and orange as if they were people. Write about a ghost who only haunts man caves in McMansions. So many possibilities.
9. Watch a Classic Literary Adaptation
Little Women!!!!!! Directed by Greta Gerwig!!!!!!
10. Take A Writing Class
Fall always makes me think of school starting again. I’m taking a class about poetry and the natural world with Project Write Now – it feels so good to write verse again.
11. Go to a (virtual) Poetry Reading
The Dodge Poetry Festival is free and will be online from Oct. 22nd to Nov. 1st this year! Go see your favorite poets, like Richard Blanco, Marilyn Chin, Terrance Hayes, Edward Hirsch, Marie Howe, Ada Limón, and more.
12. Bribe Yourself to Write With Hot Beverages
LOOK at this tea tray…my heart! Go order your Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Sit down with a Chai Tea. ‘Tis the season to be caffeinated.
13. Read a Horror Novel
If you’re from the US, vote in the upcoming Presidential election! Here is more information. (This will be my first national election that I get to vote in.)
15. Carve or Decorate a Literary Pumpkin
Isn’t this one (from here) precious??
16. Read Mary Oliver Under A Majestic Tree
Okay, we’re getting specific now, but seriously…do it.
17. Have An Autumn Picnic (+ Bring a Book!)
Pack an apple, some brie, and fancy bread. Bring along someone you care about. Go sit in a meadow or a front doorstep, whatever’s available. Read to each other.
18. Write a Love Poem
For someone you have a crush on, for cuffing season. For your mom, because she’ll love it. For the trees, because it should be said.
19. Read This Emily Dickinson Poem Right Now
(Yes, this poem has made me cry in quarantine. Thank you for asking.)
20. Start Preparing for NaNoWriMo
Okay, confession time: October is the best month. But November is still my favorite. It’s NaNoWrimo! Is anyone else shooting for 50,000 words? I’m working on a giant outline so I’ll be ready to write next month. Yay fall!