1. Step outside and the senses are sharpened. Sight, Touch, Taste, Smell, Sounds - those key tools in a writer's toolbox are quickly awakened.
With the rush of cool air across the skin or into the lungs, with the bright colors changing across the landscape from morning to night, with both new and familiar smells of foods offered up at regional harvest festivals, there is an invigorating sense of a larger world around us and our connections to it.
Inktober and NaNoWriMo.
I've loved watching the sketches done by my illustrator friends show up in my social media feeds during Inktober. Getting a glimpse of their talent from day to day is another kind of inspiration for the creative spirit.
3. The swift transitions in weather and temperature can offer unexpected surprises - both good and bad. Experiencing them reminds me of getting beyond the climax of a good book and on the way to a satisfying ending.
Brisk mornings that unwind into pleasant, warm afternoons remind us to take hold of opportunity when it presents itself because soon the warmer temperatures will lead to cooler ones at night. Although cooler nighttime temperatures can offer their own rewards - a warm fire in the hearth, a cozy blanket on the sofa, a cup of hot tea or cider steaming beneath our lips.
4. As the year's end approaches, the Fall season offers a final opportunity to readjust and establish goals. I write both picture books and middle grade novels, and this November I plan on jumping into NaNoWriMo to spur myself on to finishing a novel that I've already started. I've got a bit of a head start, so call me a cheater, but I prefer to think of it as having my course already scouted and mapped. The big trick will be sitting down daily to reach the final destination. But I am already beginning to get tingled with the anticipation of working through it.
Here are some great quotes from writers that I like to believe were inspired by interactions with nature.
"The bluebird carries the sky on its back." - Henry David Thoreau
"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars." - Walt Whitman
"Never lose an opportunity to see anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all." - Emily Dickinson
"If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden." - Frances Hodgson Burnett