I’m still very tired, but that’s about what I expected at this stage. The best thing I can report is that nothing unusual is happening. I am ‘just’ tired. I don’t appear to be about to lose my sight or my mind or my sense of balance. I’m not being ironic when I say that, right now, I’m pleased.

Despite being tired, I’ve been working away at Hild. I’m pleased to report that I now have 700 pages: 145,000 words. My guess is I have at least 100 pages to go before I get to the end of this draft. But that’s the exciting thing about first drafts: I honestly don’t know. But I’m imagining some big scenes at the moment and couldn’t happier if I’d been dipped in chocolate. (Or if, y’know, someone cured MS. Or if I won the lottery. Or if Salma Hayek walked through the door and her clothes fell off. Or–well, okay, there are always ways to feel more smug about life. But this sincerely doesn’t suck.)

One major annoyance stemming from being so tired is that I might not get to carve a pumpkin this year. I enjoy doing that. I also enjoy munching up all the cute chocolate thingies that Kelley buys to for trick-or-treaters. (She usually ends up making two or three runs to the store. I smile guiltily and promise not to eat the most recent batch; I lie.)

So that’s the situation in our house today: Hild grows, so does my waistline, and I’m hoarding my energy. The weather is wild: wind stripping the leave and whirling them up into a sky the colour of tin and lead, squirrels getting bowled along the lawn like little fuzzy eight-balls. All just the way it should be in autumn.