Yup. I love fall. The trees stop producing chlorophyll, allowing their more interesting carotene and anthocyanins to show… then the leaves fall and get crunchy. It’s scarf and layers weather, rather than big bulky coat weather. Various root vegetables come into fashion. I start to think seriously about making pies. The only thing not to love about fall, as far as I’m concerned, is football. October seems to be the sharpest demarcation of this season, and it just so happens this year that several other exciting things are happening on or around October 1st as well.

1. As I’ve said before, and will probably say again because I’m self-absorbed (and hey, isn’t that what blogs are for?), I have three publications coming out on or around October 1st – in M-Brane SF #9, the final issue of Farrago’s Wainscot, and the SF queer anthology Things We Are Not. This queer anthology is going to be especially awesome. You can pre-order the book starting on 9/28!

2. My beloved Clarion West classmates and I will begin our second annual writing contest on October 1st. Spearheaded by the dashing Shane Hoversten, this contest involves a rigorous set of rules, a complex point system, and an addendum that I added yesterday which requires the competitors to good-naturedly heckle each other. The basic gist of the contest is to write as many “structurally complete” short stories or novel segments as possible between midnight October 1st and 11:59pm New Years Eve. Extra points for submitting the story to markets during the contest window.  The winner will receive the prize of his or her face on a coffee mug, which all of the participants will buy. That way everyone wins, but everyone also knows who really won. Last year, the prize was a t-shirt where the winner was depicted behind bars “in the prison of his own genius.” (Pam has some nice pictures of herself, Kira, and An in these shirts, which you can see here). Shane was the big winner last year because he cranked out an 8000 word story a day for the last week of the contest, stunning us all into silence. Not so this year! I will triumph and they will all drink out of my face!

3. To be fair, this is unrelated to fall or October 1st, but it is related to writing. On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Grove of hownottowrite fame. He was in Chicago at a big fancy conference for his super-awesome job, and we met up at a bar downtown.  We talked about the stuff writers talk about — you know, writing — and tried to hear each other over the terrible 90s music that was blasting from the speakers. The reason I bring this up is actually two reasons. One — Jamie is awesome. Two — he just wrote an interesting  blog post about meeting other writers. It’s so easy to make connections online, and yet sometimes it feels just as hard to take that first step as it is to introduce yourself to a stranger at a bar.  I’m terrible at it, personally. But we need each other. Plus it’s no fun to toil away all alone in your dank apartment. This way, you can toil away in your dank apartment… with lots of Twitter friends. And everyone wants Twitter friends. So check out his post. And then check out my “Writers” links to meet some great writers and awesome people. Tell them I sent ya.

4. Oh, and one last thing to look forward to — as we speak, Mr. Jeff VanderMeer is making his list and checking it twice, judging who will be the winners of the Brain Harvest Mega Challenge! So keep an eyeball on the Brain Harvest page… we’ll be posting the winners very soon!!