Friday, September 07, 2012

My mom can tell you which meal she had to miss when each of us was born. I always thought this was a weird way to make me feel guilty, and not very effective, as I take no credit or blame for the hour of my birth.  That's just my biorhythm, the natural cycle at which my body works.

Sunrise. Not taken by me.
 I have friends who rise early to write or run, cook, clean, read, or some other thing at that unearthly hour. There are very few things I want to do badly enough to get up for before sunrise.
I used to email a writer friend, "good night" and she would email back a moment later, "good morning."  Four a.m. meant different things to us.  Crazy people who get up before the rooster crows can't understand how I can stay up and function just fine, thank you very much, for several hours after midnight.

We all search for people like ourselves in order to validate what we do, why we do it or how we do it. That may be one reason writers are asked "what's your process?"  When do I write? Late at night, of course.  I am most creative then.  I do edits during the day.  My muse is tucked away, softly snoring. (Don't tell her I said she snores, okay?  I need her in a good mood.)  I'm more analytical during the day.

Ah, sunset. More my style...and time of day.
People think I started writing late at night because I had babies when I "came out of the closet" as a writer and set to finish a manuscript.  That's partly true.  My house became peaceful after 10pm, with everyone abed.  I had two hours before my son would wake, but he went back to sleep easily enough, so I came to look on that break as a good time to stretch.  Then I had another two or three hours before I made myself go to bed.  An hour later, at four, my husband woke for work.  Bless his heart, he learned quickly I'm not a morning person.  Nor do I think him incapable of making his own breakfast or putting together a lunch.

Fortunately, my babies woke up cheerful in the morning.  They were just too cute to be grumpy with at 6 a.m.  They were so delighted with the world and with seeing mommy again.  I tried to live up to their expectations and earn that unconditional love.

I guess I'm feeling nostalgic (late hours make me emotional too, which may be why writing is easier for me at night).  My "babies" would be horrified to read stories of themselves as infants.  They'd be horrified to read about themselves here at all.  "Mo-o-om," I can hear them complain, as though they're sitting beside me reading my screen.  They're at that precious age--teenagers.  They've always appreciated that I don't expect them to get up early when they don't have school.  My mom used to vacuum outside my door. On Saturday morning. At seven thirty.

I think she was getting even with me for making her miss dinner so I could enter the world.  Because I was, of course, born late at night.

How 'bout you?  Morning person or night owl?

Megan Kelly

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Blackberry season is here

This has been the perfect growing season for the blackberries that grow wild in the greater Seattle area. We’re lucky to have so many bushes within walking distance or a short drive away, with berries free for the taking. I’ve already picked quite a few, and made pies and cobblers. I’ve also frozen bags and bags of berries, which I’ll pull out and use this winter, for a taste of summer on a cold day.

Picking berries (and sampling often as I pick ) is half the funprovided I’m wearing jeans, a long-sleeve shirt and sneakers to protect against pesky thorns. I especially enjoy berry picking at the end of a long day of writing. Getting outside in the late afternoon sun feels like a mini getaway, and I often gain new and unexpected insights into the story I am working on or the one I’m getting ready to start. 

I just finished a book—yay!!and think I’ll got out now, and pick some more.

Which fruits grow wild in your area? Do you take advantage of the bounty as I do?

Until next month and wishing you all a fabulous and plentiful September,


Sunday, September 02, 2012


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