Blogtober (Redux) #2: We’re in Iceland, people. Iceland.

So there are places in the international world that I’m intrigued by but haven’t really sat down and considered the logistics of going there. Fiji. Galapagos. Greenland. Iceland.

Oh, wait. I’m in Iceland as we speak.

En route to Frankfurt, we stopped in Reykjavik for my layover. We disembarked and entered some of the coldest air I’ve experienced in a while. But it’s Iceland air. Even if it’s for an hour, I’m in Iceland. I’m excited about the English directions to the gate and to the ladies room, happy that I figured out how to open the bathroom door, thrilled that I got a brief whiff of the atmosphere. All in Iceland. No hints of Aurora Borealis when we landed, but it’s seriously all good.

Next stop Galapagos? 

   
    
 

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Blogtober (Redux) #1: Keep Calm…

…I’m going to Europe. 

  
I greet October with a calm demeanor that belies the bubbling brew of excitement I hold underneath as this trip begins. I’m at the airport and very much trying not to squeal. And it’s also Blogtober Redux! I don’t know what to do with myself. 

Onwards and upwards, y’all.

Blogtober, Europe, and Me.

As we embark on a brand new October starting tomorrow, I’d like to officially announce the return of Project Blogtober! BlogtoberYou remember last year’s endeavor to blog every day during my favorite month, and my promise that I would do it again this year. Well, we’re doing it again! Here’s to blogging every day and enjoying the process like I did before. Oh, and here’s another announcement for you:

For the first fifteen days of Blogtober, your Square Peg will be blogging from–wait for it–Europe!

What?

Yes! Tomorrow, I am flying out of these United States towards a traveling adventure in Germany and London! I’m both excited and nervous. Excited because I love traveling and I love Europe and it’s been a whopping 11 years since I’ve been on that side of the world. Nervous because I’m traveling and it’s Europe and it’s been a whopping 11 years since I’ve been on that side of the world. You feel me. Other than my stateside trips, it’s been a while since I’ve embarked on an international traveling adventure. Now we need a passport (check), different currency, apps to figure out currency, etc. But I’m poised and ready for it. Here are a few of the questions I’ve received after letting friends and family and a handful of co-workers know about my impending trip.

Who are you going with?
No one. This is a Solo Square Peg Trip, which I’ve mentioned that I’ve done before and enjoy. I will be meeting/staying with new friends when I arrive, however, so this is a good thing.

Why are you going?
Edification. Meeting new people. Seeing new sights. I chose Germany because I’ve never been there and I hear it’s beautiful. I chose London because it’s insane that this Brit Baby hasn’t yet been to the place she’s dreamed of since she was a tween.

Wait, you’re really going alone?
Short of sitting in airports by myself, I won’t really be alone when I arrive in these places. It’s all good, Mom. I mean, readers. (Obviously, that question has come up.)

What are you doing with your hair?
Yep, an actual question. It’s not surprising. If you’re a lady, traveling includes your hair plans. And I’m someone who doesn’t mind hair products in a suitcase when I’m headed stateside. But going overseas? I got my hair braided into Senegalese twists this past Sunday. Worry-free, literally one product I need to pack, over and out.

Ze twists.
Ze twists.
Seriously, by yourself? Be careful!
I will. My resting face is “fierce”, as my mother likes to point out, so I’ll do my best to keep anyone, even nice old ladies, from approaching me.

Take lots and lots of pics.

Not a question, but a promise. Here’s to Blogtober in other lands and documenting every inch of the adventure along the way.

stand on an aged, wood floor like an evergreen.

  
Happy Official First Day of Autumn. You know how I feel about this season. 

Below is Mary Hamrick’s poem about the season. Evocative. 

Autumn
by Mary Hamrick

Autumn is like an old book:
Marred spines turn mean yellow,
staples rust red-orange.

Every stained page is stressed
by a splat of color. Rough-red,
like an old tavern,

we become hungry birds
and prepare for fall.
Shape and shadow are candied citron

as lanterns turn bitter yellow. Autumn
is a red fox, a goblet filled with dark wine, a hot chilli pepper with smoky eyes.

Pressed leaves take in the colors
of seafood paella and saffron; these leavesare like death, climaxing with a smile.

Autumn: Her dress is a net of mussels;
dark shelled, it covers up
summer’s weatherbeaten body.

So pull out your boots
and stand on an aged, wood floor
like an evergreen.

Autumn Promises. (#2)

(Feel free to read the first batch of promises here.)

Dear Autumn,

I promise to not blame you when the things I hope for during your autumnal months don’t come through. After all,
your crunchy leaves and orange moon can’t really wring people/things/goals into action, can they?

I promise to do something about my habit of purchasing pea coats that are three sizes too big. You deserve better than that.

I promise to travel. (That’s a year-round thing, but absolutely during you, my favorite season.) lateOctober

I promise to read actual books this fall. Not e-books. Actual books that require the sweet turning of pages. I’ve grown too comfortable.

I promise to not treat September and November as my autumnal red-headed stepchildren. October is not the sole reason to enjoy this season. (Even though it’s my favorite month.)

I promise to enjoy your crisp mornings along with good friends and my faith.

I promise not to snicker at all the sour-faced kids trudging towards school.

I promise another Blogtober.

I promise to enjoy the dwindling moments of your sister, summer, and not clench my fists when she overstays her welcome during days that long for your cool touch.

I promise to not give in to pumpkin spice lattes. Sorry, Starbucks. Just no.

I promise to get myself to a place with hillsides and meadows and golden winding roads, where I can see you in full measure.

I promise to remember that your darkness is not infinite–merely a chance to remember that there are stars and a moon above my head.

Project Blogtober: Check. (Blogtober #31)

fall3

The plan to combine my favorite month with my favorite season by blogging every day? Check. Done and done.

What good times. Thanks for supporting my blogging efforts this month by reading and/or commenting and/or liking, thanks to those of you that joined me for the project, for those of you that decided to follow This Square Peg, for all of it. I certainly hope that I won’t disappear because we’re done with Blogtober, but I’m also extremely lazy and that’s what we lazy writers/bloggers/square pegs do. But even if I’m away from a day or two, resting my typing thumbs, take comfort that I’ll return soon enough. Kidding. (Or nah?) So I started blogging in 2008 because a former co-worker mentioned that my acute writer’s block would be forced to retreat if I wrote regularly. In her estimation, the creative part of my brain, filled with sad cobwebs at the time, would wake up if it saw that I was making an effort to simply write, even if my blogging wasn’t necessarily fiction or poetry. I took her advice and began my very first blog. She was right. It’s been an adventure ever since. I remain a very happy blogger, and Blogtober reminded me of that.

Thanks again. Team Blogtober! Yeah! (Um, there will be no Project Blogvember, in case you’re wondering. Feel free, though. All yours.)

fall2

 

About your Author Redux. (Blogtober #30)

Oh, hi. We’re doing this again, huh? How exciting.
Sarcastic much?quoteballoons

As you say, let’s move on. How are you feeling about Blogtober so far? Tomorrow is the last day…
I’m thrilled. This was a great project and I loved every minute of it.

Lessons learned?
Definitely that it’s possible to be regular with my blogging. I found myself looking forward to getting on here and posting, even more than I do in general. It was also interesting to find creative ways to weave autumn within each post.

Admittedly, you didn’t do so bad with that autumn theme.
Is that a compliment? Alert the media.

Sarcastic much?
Let’s move on.

I see what you did there. Look, I honestly thought every post would be about leaves and the color orange and such. I saw some variety there and there. You done good.
Thanks.

Will you Blogtober again?
Absolutely. Blogtober 2015 will be a thing.

Great. Now, how’s the creative writing thing going? You haven’t spoken about that in a while. 
Wonderful. Beautiful! I’m working on a collection of fiction, brand new short stories, which will be published shortly. Really excited about that. After that’s completed, I begin The Novel.

Oh in caps? Is it the Great American Novel or what?
Well, that’s entirely subjective for the reader. But I placed it in caps because I’ve feared the novel for a while. The commitment, the time it will take, etc. I prefer short stories because I can whip ’em out, you know? But whatever. I have about three novels in the pipeline and it’s time to put on my big girl writer pantaloons and just get to work. I’ll be sure to discuss my novel efforts further.

Big Girl Writer Pantaloons? Really?
It’s scary stuff! But I’ve also been very inspired by fellow awesome writers/friends who hunkered down and started their novel projects. (Thanks, Laura!)

Ok. Still trying to process the pantaloons. All right, what else is happening in your life?
Same ole. Work, life, life, and work.

How’s the hair?
She’s fine, thank you.

She?
Mm hmm.

Why not he?
Anyway, she’s doing well. I mentioned having straightened her after returning from my trip to Vegas and enjoying that change in the look. But after I washed her, it was clear that she didn’t take kindly to the change. My curl pattern has gotten a bit looser and some of the ends just refuse to curl. But, all in all, she’s coming back to me. I’m babying her. And I’ve promised her that we will never go straight again.

So drastic, you.
It’s imperative. I need to keep her happy and healthy and curly.

Will you be doing a protective style? It is fall, after all. And it’s only going to get cooler. You need to protect your beloved strands.
Look at you, all knowledgeable and advise-y!

We are the same person, Einstein. Well? 
Yes, I will be changing things up in a few weeks. Pics will come, of course.

Good. Now, quite obviously changing the subject, are you active on social media?
Indeed I am. Check out my Contact page and see the social media soup.

That Instagram link isn’t working, my friend.
I’ll fix it.

Seems a bit irresponsible to have it on your contact page, broken link and all.
I said I’ll fix it.

Calm down, Sally. Sheesh. 
You’re trying to provoke me. And my name isn’t Sally.

Oh, yeah? So what is it then? Your name?
I see what you did there.

Smart, huh?
Yeah, I’ll give you that, Sally.

The Giving Tree. (Blogtober #26)

Let us treat our doomed love like
the vivid orange and greens of autumn,
like the majestic trees in our midst that offer their dying leaves with opened, giving hands,
uncaring of the stark emptiness to come but falling ever so gracefully and beautifully onto the cold, hard ground–

The death of our love is impending, my dear,
but let us smile through our tears and bravely sway together in the crisp breeze until our winter comes.