Ah, the change of seasons. The summer heat retreats from crisp, cool morning air. Green leaves give way to bursting orange, yellow and red. T-shirts submit to a top layer of cable knit for that brisk morning walk. Oh, wait. What am I talking about? I live in Arizona. Let me rephrase that. I'm a few days late flipping my calendar from September to October because the high temp has been somewhere over 100 degrees. What's the strongest indicator I have that autumn has arrived? Halloween decorations and costumes now fill up half the floor space at my local Walgreens. *Sigh* Before this post sounds like I'm either complaining (I'm really not) or pining to live in someplace with traditional seasons - let me get to my point. How do you survive in the desert? I'm not referring to specific wilderness info like which bugs will keep you alive - I'm talking about adapting, in the general sense. I've been spring cleaning around here. No closet, drawer or clutter stack is safe. It is refreshingly therapeutic after a long, hot summer to purge a closet. I know - most people like to do this at the end of a long, cold winter, but when you find yourself in the desert -you can either wait for it to suddenly feel like fall - or you can accept the cactus outside your window is not going to spout foliage and get on with life. And is there some comparison to writing? Of course. Most writer's spend a long season working on their manuscripts, books - or whatever they're writing. And when they're done - they want it to be 'done' as well, maybe ready to harvest - as in - get published and start selling. And sometimes, instead of being reader ready - their manuscript needs a thorough spring cleaning! Yeah. Writing a book is like living in Arizona and spring cleaning in October. It takes a lot of adapting to survive.