7 Things to Enjoy at the End of October

Little things that have made my writing life more bearable.

1. “The End of October” by Lawrence Wright

Just this past April, Pulitzer-prize winning author Lawrence Wright published a novel about a pandemic, just as our own pandemic was gaining steam. The story is told through the eyes of Henry, a doctor who leaves Atlanta to help contain a “new flu” abroad. It’s eerily prescient in its examination of how humans bring catastrophe upon themselves. This was one of the best books I’ve read in a while and recently led me to pick up “The Looming Tower,” Wright’s non-fiction account of the events that led to the 9/11 attacks.

2. Binaural Beats

I’m probably the last one to the binaural beats party, but I’m glad I finally arrived. While I don’t believe that binaural beats will “fix” my brain, I have found that my writing flow is much better when listening to them. Whether this is scientifically proven or not, I don’t care. My favorite station on Spotify right now is “Binaural Beats: Focus and Create.”

3. The looming end to this hellish election season

My husband and I just dropped off our ballots at the local polling center and it was truly the best part of the week. We have been waiting 1,451 days for the privilege of voting out the most unworthy individual to ever hold the U.S. presidency. Just stating the facts.

4. The gardening cycle

April and May were snowy and wet here in Chicago, but I still slogged out to work in my perennial garden because, honestly, I was sick of sitting inside at my laptop. Pandemic blues and all that.

Six months later, as I knelt in the crisp fall sunshine and cut down our hostas, I reflected on how satisfying it was to witness their journey. I loved seeing their little pointy buds poking up through the mulch in April and now I marvel at their fibrous yellow stalks. I can only hope that we’ll have a vaccine by the time those little buds appear again.

5. My winter uniform

With these cooler days has come the official transition to my at-home attire of black leggings, a pink Fridah Kahlo t-shirt, and a dark gray hoodie. If I’m leaving the house, my go-to is a gray sweater dress, black tights, and a brightly colored scarf. The scarf is an attempt to make it look like I don’t just wear the same few things when I leave the house. If you disagree, please don’t pop my bubble.

6. Daylight Savings Time

I know, I know: so many of us hate DST. Yet I still look forward to getting that extra hour of sleep when the clocks go back an hour. And it somehow makes me feel as if I’m ahead of the game on Sunday night. “Oh look, I’m *still* working on this draft, but it’s not actually as late as I thought. I have that extra hour tonight.” So goes a writer's life.

7. Halloween candy

My name is Dr. Miss and I have an unhealthy relationship with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m not sorry.

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{writer | educator | Ed.D. | hiker | leader | feminist} email: lorimann921@gmail.com

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