Did you know that in the calendar the ancient Celts followed, New Year’s Eve wasn’t December 31? Nope. Their wheel of the year turned to a new one at midnight on a completely different date: October 31. On the night of Samhain, they believed, the veil between this world and the Other Side was the thinnest, and the living and the dead could pass freely through it. (Ditto on the eve of April 30, before May 1, Beltane, but to a lesser degree.) This was the origin of the traditions that we’ve come to cherish as part of our annual Halloween celebrations, although we tend to give it a much more sinister flourish.
But it’s not time to talk about Halloween just yet—hey, I haven’t even picked my pumpkins, and gods only know where my bat garland is. The reason I’m bringing up the turn of the year is because I think New Year’s in autumn works great. Of course, I can only speak from the northern hemisphere’s perspective, but up here, it just makes sense. The entire vibe is different. There’s so much change going on. I mean, look at it—the weather cools off abruptly (your mileage may vary, of course, depending on your latitude). The landscape changes color (ditto). The kids go back to school.
Oh—and another “new” thing begins: the fall TV schedule.
And here is where I start snurfling and feeling sorry for myself.
I love TV. The problem is, I love TV too much. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I have a deadline now. My fifth rom com has to be delivered to my editor by the beginning of November. In between now and then, I must write many tens of thousands of words. And then I must rewrite them (many times) before I send the whole shootin’ match to my publisher.
Lots of work to do…and yet the fall TV shows call to me like sweet-voiced sirens. There are so many I want to watch…but if I do, I feel massively guilty that I’m enjoying someone else’s work when I should be creating my own. This leads to a whole lot of weeping and wailing and rending of garments on my part. I want to watch all the premieres. I cannot watch all the premieres. Thus, I must avoid comments about said premieres on social media.
Case in point: As I type, it is Tuesday evening, nearly twenty-four hours after the season 2 premiere of Sleepy Hollow aired.
Let me rephrase that: I HAVE NOT *#&@^!-ING WATCHED IT YET.
Me. The one who loves twisted-history stories. The one who adores UST, which this show has in spades. The one who (koff) has a bit of a thing (okay more than a bit) for tall, lanky, short-bearded Englishmen. Haven’t seen it. My agent, the inimitable Jordy Albert, is appropriately horrified. She wants to talk about it, and she should be able to talk about it! With me! We must drool! We must squee!
But no. *Siiiggghhh* “I’ve got work to do first.” *
Needless to say, if I haven’t let myself watch my most-anticipated returning show yet, I must mean business. If I don’t let myself watch Sleepy Hollow, I won’t let myself check out the all my other returning shows, of which I have so many I dare not list them all (um…New Girl, The Simpsons, The 100, Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal, Glee, Brooklyn Nine-Nine…egad, thank goodness most of my favorite shows got canceled last year, or this would get pretty ugly—er, uglier—pretty darn fast). Not to mention all the new series that sound intriguing, like Forever and Selfie and How to Get Away with Murder and Jane the Virgin. And all the midseason replacement shows, plus my neglected Netflix bingewatching? I can’t even right now.
Anyway, my point is that, like the smell of new pencils and notebooks during back-to-school shopping, the turn of the calendar incites all kinds of anticipation in me. “Bring on the new!” I want to shout. But I shall stay locked in my figurative turret instead of romping in the fallen leaves (yeah, I romp—what of it?), so I can produce my next novel by the agreed-upon date.
Luckily I love my protagonists, and I’m returning to my small-town Marsden series, so it’s like I’m rejoining old friends. Kind of like going back to school, come to think of it. So this might not be so bad after all…as long as I get my homework done in time to enjoy all the cool events fall has to offer…and it’ll be a really happy new year…on November 1!
* Okay, confession: When I was down with the fabulous enterovirus D68, bestowed upon me by my oh-so-generous child (thanks, son!), I was only capable of lying the couch and staring into the middle distance. So I put Hulu in front of my glazed eyeballs and watched the pre-premiere previews of Selfie, A to Z, Red Band Society, and The Mysteries of Laura. Verdict: Liked Selfie, A to Z, and The Mysteries of Laura. HATED Red Band Society. Um, guess which one is getting rave reviews? And all critics hate Laura. This is why I end up with almost nothing to watch by the end of December—I’m a freak who loves the underdogs, and I pay for it in the end.