Growl and tooth-gnash: I am meant to be writing, and I love the piece I'm meant to be working on, and yet I sit and stare and stare. The story is old and tired, writer alone in the night with fingers itching to type words that don't want to come out and play. Tricks: there are tricks. Thirty minutes and then I can stop. Or: pick any word and just start to write. Or: eat some more M&Ms. Or: oh! sit and talk to someone about things completely unrelated to what needs to be written. And laugh and laugh. Yes. Check-plus.

And then: back to it. The greatness. The greatness is coming. Or, more like: may the greatness be coming. Eat the last two M&Ms, both green. Play relievo with your own words.

I awoke this morning to a double falling: rain on leaves on ground. Our yellow trees denuding swiftly. The yard's big tree half-bare by dark, the dark having stormed coldly in an hour early. The slide, the quick slide, the fall into fuller fall, until you realize the strangeness of winter's not starting until after the darkest hollow of the year. The freeze warnings are on, snow soon to follow. Thank goodness for this cabinet's flowers, the green shut petals and seeds like stars.