This morning, I watered the yellow potted mums lining the brick steps that lead to my front door in a cotton sweater against the crisp air. Later I mowed the lawn, wondering whether that would be the last time this year, which led to realizing I need to think of more ways to burn calories over the winter months. Writing and winter equal hours upon hours of sitting, which isn’t good for my mind or body, not to mention my mood. The garden has always been my preferred way to exercise, and after pruning the plants and grape vines in late November, early December–it’s back to the gym.
I enjoyed a superb summer this year with many road trips with family and friends in West Virginia and Virginia, and I participated in several area book festivals and book signings. I visited mi familia in Puerto Rico for two wonderful weeks in August, and in October, I visited with great friends in the Bronx, met lovely readers at a book reading at La Casa Azul Bookstore in Harlem, and enjoyed time with new friends at Las Comadres Writers Conference in Manhattan. It was a busy year. I enjoyed meeting many people I now call friends. I can now cross off, ‘drive to New York City’ from my list–I made it!
Early winter is the time of year we straddle the inside and outside world, and begin looking inward with shorter days. Much like a pregnant woman near her delivery date, I begin nesting the week before the equinox. I wash out the red crock pot, air out my favorite cotton sweaters, and bring out heavier blankets for my bed and for naps on the couch. I prepare my garden for winter by putting down heavy mulch and leaves, and bring delicate potted plants inside. It’s a cozy season, perfect for writing—my favorite season. My garden doesn’t need me as much in the fall, and I sure enjoyed watching the changing leaves from my writing desk in the dining room with windows that overlook my side garden.
My river place, one of my favorite writing spots, is closed up for the season and I will miss it. We don’t have a generator at the river, and although it’s beautiful in the fall, chattering teeth aren’t conducive to good writing. I’ll enjoy my city home and am looking for a fire pit for my patio for cold, crisp nights when I sit outside with friends over a nice bottle of Bordeaux.
I plan for less distractions and more writing time during the fall and winter months. My winter calendar will include a few blog posts and author interviews, and except for Thanksgiving and Christmas with my precious family, I will be pretty much missing in action.
In February 2015, I birthed my first book baby with A Decent Woman, and she is well on her way. I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of how well readers have received Ana and Serafina’s journey. I am currently writing my second book. Now is the perfect time to settle down and finish the new story with characters I’m already in love with.
This blog post serves as a final chapter of sorts, as we near the end of the year, and I am blessed. I continue praying for peace, tolerance, and an end to violence in the world.
I wish my American friends a happy and blessed Thanksgiving with their loved ones.
About Eleanor Parker Sapia
Puerto Rican-born novelist, Eleanor Parker Sapia, was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Eleanor’s careers as an artist, counselor, alternative health practitioner, Spanish language family support worker, and a refugee case worker inspire her stories. She is a member of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, PEN America, and Historical Novel Society. When Eleanor is not writing, she facilitates creativity groups, reads, and tells herself she is making plans to walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela a second time.
A Decent Woman, Eleanor’s debut historical novel, set in turn of the nineteenth century Puerto Rico was selected as 2015 July Book of the Month for Las Comadres & Friends Latino Book Club. Book clubs across the United States have selected and enjoyed the book. She is featured in the newly published anthology, Latino Authors and Their Muses, edited by Mayra Calvani. Eleanor is the mother of two adult children and currently lives in West Virginia, where she is writing her second novel, The Island of Goats.