September has always been a melancholy month for me. Sweetly melancholy, if there is such a thing.
I try not to let it take too deep a hold. Dangerous that.
It's strange to see such diminished traffic in town. Refreshing too. But I can go on my nature walks now and not be surrounded by tourists.
What I always think at the store is, "I can't wait until summer/holidays are here." And then when I'm in the middle, I think, "I can't wait until summer/holidays are over..."
Thing to remember, though, is that without summer and Christmas, Pegasus Books just wouldn't be viable. I always say, "I make money 4 months out of the year, I lose money 4 months out of the year, and if I'm lucky, I break even 4 months out of the year."
There is an interesting article about restaurants today in the Bulletin where one of the owners says this:
"In the summertime, it's great. But it's a 365-day business, so you can't be busy 90 days and make it through 365 very profitably."
Maybe all my meanderings are floating through the Zeitgeist. There's another quote from a new restaurant in Bend who pretty much says what I've always advised:
"...she... realized one of the keys in Bend is starting small and making an appropriately sized initial investment....I think it's hard to make it in this town."
I believe that people who move to Bend to open businesses simply don't get how extreme the difference is between what they saw in the summer while visiting and the dismaying loneliness of a cold, wintry day in late February.
Meanwhile, there's a bookstore opening in a small town in Illinois that described itself thus:
Abet Books "will carry new and used books from children's tales to novels, as well as board games and comic
books. The board games won't just be classic family titles, but 'niche
European board games' that Nissen hopes to introduce customers to." (Shelf Awareness)
That sounds pretty familiar as a business plan... (almost makes me wonder if they visited my store.) Or, like I said, maybe it's just the Zeitgeist.
Anyway, having these melancholy thoughts.
In my past writing career, fall was also the most productive writing time, which I think came from starting school in September for 18 out of my first 28 years. I used to not be able to write in summer and holidays.
These last two years, I've overridden those impulses. Writing all the time.
Haven't heard from my publisher, and I'm wondering now what I thought was going to happen. Of course it's going to take time. The first books were accepted quickly once the decision was made but there had been almost a year leadup to that point.
I'm thinking my publisher has gotten busy doing other things.
The book is ready to go, whatever else happens.
I think I'm feeling stymied. The necessities of the real world are blocking my free expression, man. I'm waiting for publishers, editors, artists...
Meanwhile, in a time of changes, I've started a diet -- not for health or looks reasons, but because I have a whole closet full of cloths that fit a little too tightly, and if I lose 10 or 15 pounds will fit quite nicely. I seem that have a pretty strong will when it comes to doing this, though I let it creep back over a couple of years. ("I can quit smoking...I've done it hundreds of times...)
Been concentrating on Linda's store, which needed a little bit of kick. Which is what I enjoy doing. I'm investing in book CD's, and just generally spending more time there rearranging and filing. I think we're already seeing some results.
It gets me out of the house and around people, and yet doesn't disrupt my writing. I could work at Pegasus Books instead, but I feel like I get underfoot and it also gets a little intense, blowing away my writing mood. Besides, my guys are doing such a great job that I don't like interfering.
I'm not letting the melancholy take over. I'm making sure I do all the things that drive the melancholy away. Because it can be a pretty severe drop from a little melancholy to worse.
1 day ago