Fall, by Deb Emily

Fall is lame here. I don’t know if it’s that the temperature change in England is too gradual or what, but the leaves don’t turn colors. They just turn brown. It’s inadequate.

I’m used to the gaudy variety of American northeast autumns. Here’s a picture of one of the prettiest ones I ever experienced:

Millay's tennis court

This is Edna St. Vincent Millay‘s old tennis court in Austerlitz, NY. Her 600-acres there are now an art colony. Artists of all kinds, including writers, can apply for one-month residencies. I was there, back in October ’93, with four others. We had all 600 acres to ourselves.

We lived in a barn:

Millay Colony barn

A caretaker and his wife shopped and cooked for us. We each had a private studio in which to create, and all that beauty to wander around in.

One of the other artists who shared that month with me is Thomas Paquette, who happens to paint autumn beautifully. If, like me, you live somewhere where the leaves just aren’t doing their job right, check out his art and refresh yourself.

And if you think some solitude and concentrated work time would do you good, apply for residency next year.

8 Replies to “Fall, by Deb Emily”

  1. Emily, that residencies sounds just incredible. I hope you blog more about it in the future – I’d love to hear about the effect all that solitude and cooking had on your writing!

  2. We have lovely foliage here in Michigan! It’s gotten very cold here, very fast, after a warm September. I love fall, though. Even up here, August heat starts to feel oppressive. Plus, Halloween is so much fun, and selfishly, my birthday is in the fall and though I can’t say the creeping years are that much fun, it’s wonderful to have family and friends celebrate one’s very existence!

  3. Writing this pre-coffee, too … risky … There’s nothing like fall in New England. Well, except maybe fall over Edna SVM’s tennis courts. But South Jersey does try, especially my town, where fake corn stalks are strapped to every tree for the entire length of the main street.

  4. Emily, you need to plan a day trip (or a long weekend) up to the Lake District. I lived there in the fall and it was beautiful! Lots of leaf change. I think it’s because it’s higher up.

  5. For beautiful fall foliage there’s a need for equal amounts of rain and sub during the summer and then a drastic dip in overnight temperatures in September or early October. New England has a natural climate for the amazing color change, Old England…well, maybe it needs to trade locations with Scotland. 😉

  6. Sarah, the residency was wonderful. I was fresh out of college, and still trying to figure out what I wanted to write, so it was a time of artistic experimentation for me rather than a time of accomplishment.

    Tom’s friendship is one of the highlights for me. He and me and Scott Torkelson (paints in oils and knits) and Albert? (yes, he added a question mark to his name) and Frankie (the other writer) had a grand time. (In response to this post, Tom emailed me to reminisce about he and I trying to figure out how work the bidet and getting blasted in the face 🙂

    Joelle–Thanks for the tip about the Lake District!

    Larramie–thanks for the science tip 🙂

    Alicia, I do happily remember NJ autumns. So pretty.

    Kristina–“Happy Birthday” a little bit in advance!

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