I’m Writing This While Drinking a Pumpkin Spice Americano Even Though It’s Pretty Cringe

I’m drinking a Pumpkin Spice Americano. Because it’s keto. And also, because it’s September, which means that it’s kinda fall even though the calendar says it’s still summer and white chicks everywhere will argue over whether or not we can drink pumpkin spice lattes yet until the end of fucking time.

To be honest, I didn’t take as much advantage of this summer as I probably should have (considering that it was actually nice instead of plagued by forest fires in my area of the planet). I did visit Whistler with the family, which was our first legit family vacation since Covid. It was nice. See?

It was also my first summer with central air-conditioning in my house, so give me a bloody break for being an introvert. I just don’t wanna take my kids outside when it’s 36 degrees outside, all the grass is yellow and crusty, the bushes are covered with spider webs and every store doorway is plagued with crickets. It’s the dog days of summer and it’s okay to stay inside as the flowers wither, the spiders spin their webs and the glorious pumpkin vines take over the decay.

I am very much looking forward to it.

Back to School Means a Break, and a Pumpkin Spice Americano

Honestly, as much as I love spooky season, fall comes with different vibes as a parent, because it means that my daughter goes back to school and every morning has to start with the agony of waking up very early so I can get ready to work and also get my kid ready for school.

Things in my life have become rather exhausting, and it’s at the point where I realize that I do need to take a bit of a break from writing for a while. I did work for an entire year on my upcoming short story collection. I deserve a break. I deserve a little time to make some Halloween decorations and read some books and make my own pumpkin spice Americano because Starbucks actually really fucking sucks.

I recommend this Pumpkin Praline Pie syrup from Jordan’s Skinny Syrups if you’re the DIY type like me.

Writer Burnout

This week, I opened up my novel again. I definitely took a longer break from it since I last vowed to make it better. I didn’t mean for that break to be so long. I definitely don’t intend to take break from it for a George R.R. Martin amount of time but I needed time away from it. Shit’s hard when you spend years on a single project. You amp yourself up. Your head gets gigantic. You’re convinced that you’re going to be the next big thing. Then you hastily finish a project after an agent shows interest, thinking there’s no way you’re going to be denied all your hopes and dreams, and just like that, you are:

Fortunately, in my case, I wrote short fiction again. I wrote my new collection and now I finally, FINALLY am free to just…do whatever I want? It’s a weird feeling. I have no calls I want to write for. I don’t really feel an urge to plunge into a new novel, although I do have ideas frothing in a document somewhere.

I’ve got ideas everywhere. I feel like a machine of ideas with zero ambition and I’m totally okay with that because I need this break from the pressure to produce so badly. So, while this feels like a “break”, it isn’t really.

What I’m Doing Now, Other Than Drinking A Pumpkin Spice Americano

Like I said, I opened my novel. I read the first couple of scenes and while I think they’re good, I’m tired of them. I’ve read them so many times already. Hopefully, if I keep the document open and keep reading, I’ll find the right place where I need to make changes. Inspiration will strike eventually.

Just for fun, I did open up another old story, “Election Season”, with the intention of rewriting it. It’s a horrible kidnapping story (my guilty pleasure genre!) about the 2016 election, and while I did manage to get it published, I have always wanted to revisit it with a little 2022 perspective on the current state of political affairs. I also wanna just make it less bleak and more satirical, which I’m not sure is entirely possible with a rapey kidnapping story, but I am always up to these kinds of challenges.

I also recently wrote a very erotic story for a submission call that I was really hoping to make. It got rejected pretty quick, which got me all butthurt until I wrote a punny tweet about it:

I’m gonna revise it and try to get it back out there. Assuming, of course, if I can find a market that wants “upscale dark erotica”. I feel like it’s an untapped market.

How About a Pumpkin Spice Americano?

It’s better than a latte. More coffee. Less carbs, which is great for a sedentary hermit like myself. It’s okay if it’s not your thing. It’s okay of you’d rather go to Starbucks. Just be nice to your barista. They’re important people. They deserve to be treated well, and they deserve a tip. Enjoy yourself a fucking pumpkin spice latte. Or begrudge people for enjoying pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t really care. Go ahead and squabble.