I am an autumn person and October is my country. I think only autumn thoughts, thoughts hidden away for the rest of the year only to come out when the world is turning away from the light and towards the dark. I am sustained on the chill in the air, the light of harvest moon, and the hollowness of forgotten dreams. I am imagination and wonder; I am longing and decay.
This week I started reading The October Country, a collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury. Check out my review on Something Wicked This Way Comes if you’re looking for a fantastic fall read. He describes The October Country as:
“…that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain…” (Bradbury 5).
When I first heard about this book while reading Neil Gaiman’s View from the Cheap Seats, my imagination just exploded. I don’t know how else to put it. I was so inspired, so taken by this notion of an entire country of people like me. People who love Halloween, who thrive as the leaves turn. People who see the beauty in decay, who do not shy away from the morbid and the fantastic.
Now, of course, Ray Bradbury is using the idea of The October Country as a vehicle to tell macabre, beautifully-written stories. I’m sure that the autumn people are actually supposed to have a negative connotation. As you read the stories, you see that there is something sinister and hidden in the people of The October Country. However, I can’t help but feel ultimately drawn to these people, to the people that feel kindred in some ancient way.
Therefore, this week’s freewrite is going to focus on the fantastic, the transformative, the autumnal.
Write a short story or poem describing the actions of someone from The October Country. Who is this autumn person? What makes him/her a member of this country? What autumn thoughts weave through the corridors and hidden places of his/her brain?
Optional: If October really isn’t your jam, try writing about The December Country or the summer people. See where it takes you.
What about fall inspires you? What season are you most inspired by? Comment below!
Lit & Love,