Have you ever heard the term ‘built in fan’? It’s usually used for things like sports or entertainment of some kind. You may be a fan of a particular team because their star player went to your school (even if you weren’t friends or never met), or you’ll like a particular actor because in an interview you read once they claimed to love a band you love as well. It creates a connection between you and that particular person, for no good reason other than coincidence.
I’m a built in fan of autumn.
I am a good Canadian boy. I love the cold and chill of the fall and winter. It’s engrained in me, written in my DNA like a cattle brand on every strand. It could be because in the right direction up the family tree I’m a 9th-generation Canadian, my family coming here before Canada was even a thing. Or it’s just luck of the genetic draw, but I prefer to believe it’s because I was born in the heart of October, nestled neatly between Canadian Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en. Birthed deep in the heart of north winds and kaleidoscope forests.
As my life as carried on, the connections grew. Not short on that list is the joy I feel at Hallowe’en. I embrace my love of darker things and death as an abstract, because death keeps us human. It puts us all on an unseen ticking clock above our heads that forces us all to embrace the moment however we see fit, and that is beautiful. Hallowe’en, as the poster child for this time, connected with me early. I love its history and traditions, which I’ve made sure to pass on to my kids. Sure we carve pumpkins in to Jack-o’-lanterns, but why? What do they mean? Why do we hand out candy and dress up? Even on a surface level, the history of these traditions resonate with me far more than the traditions of Easter or Christmas (not that I don’t love those times for their own reason). I’m not obsessed with death (despite Death being one of my favourite characters to write! Just see my debut novel Death Dresses Poorly for proof), but I do feel a respect for it I think other people lack. That’s part of the reason I look forward to making a feast on Dia de Muertos, and enjoying the yearly reminder that that clock continues ticking, and that is something to celebrate, not fear. Autumn is truly the season of death, and I love it all the more for that.
But let’s slide away from that morbidity and look at more joyous things. Thanksgiving was always fun for me growing up. My family would all truck up to the old farmhouse and spend the day listening to my grandparent’s stories about when they were kids growing up in the open fields of Southern Ontario. The leaves would be so bright and vibrant, and before our dinner was ready many of us would wander through the acreage and back to the forest behind the property and just enjoy the cold wind on our faces and the smell of sweet rot in the air. Even typing this, I can feel and smell those moments as if they are happening right now at my desk.
So when I grew up and fell in love, when did it happen? When did I meet the love of my life? And when we wanted to get married, when did we do it? What season on the calendar could possibly hold such a memorable and life-changing event? Naturally we had a chilly autumn wedding, complete with accompanying turkey wedding dinner. There was never a doubt that we wanted that kind of feeling to surround us on a day so important.
As a huge baseball fan, when is the most important part of the year? As a Maple Leafs hockey fan, when is the time of year things get started and are filled with the most promise (though don’t get me started on, like, all of the rest of the season. Spring is where hope goes to die)? Playing catch with the football in the yard with my kids? It’s always there, where the furnace starts to turn on and we aren’t yet crushed by the cold of the coming months… well, except this year, it seems. Such is the nature of living where I do, I suppose.
There’s just a feeling that fills me when the air chills and I switch from cold sunny drinks to Irish cream in my coffee. When a hot drink is worth its weight in gold, but it’s not so cold beyond your door that you fear to venture out there. The earthy smells and hearty meals. You may not live somewhere that autumn really hits like it does here, but I sure do and I always have. It’s something written on every part of some of my favourite memories, and some I’m looking forward to in the years to come. Even now I’m working on a story where autumn is practically a character, like New York is in movies. I can’t wait to share it with you one day, and hopefully my love of everything fall-related shines through!
…Except anything pumpkin spice. Good lord do I hate pumpkin spice…
Here’s a look at Marc’s latest release
Between Conversations Tales From the World of Ryuujin from the links below:
In the world of Ryuujin, heroes rise and fall, but there are always stories that slip through the cracks. The tales of the people who shape the years to come. Heroism and betrayal. Conversations between friends and enemies that will change the course of the world. These are nine stories from a world that is historic, modern, and terrifyingly futuristic. A world where science and magic intertwine, and give birth to the unknown souls who become heroes, and the legends who fade away into history. From the author of the renowned dark comedy Death Dresses Poorly, and from the world of his hit science-fantasy duology Catching Hell comes a collection of adventure, drama, joy, and terror as we look into the lives of the powerful, the meek, and the people who make the world turn over the course of centuries.
About the author:
Marc Watson is an author of genre fiction of all lengths and styles. He began writing at the age of 15 and continues to be a part-time writing student at Athabasca University. His debut novel Death Dresses Poorly was released in 2017, followed closely by duology Catching Hell: Journey & Destination. His new book Between Conversations: Tales From the World of Ryuujin is available starting September 25th, 2020.
Marc lives in Calgary, Alberta. He is a husband and proud father of two. He is an avid outdoors-man, martial artist, baseball player, poutine aficionado, and lover of all Mexican foods. He can be found at online www.marcwatson.ca, as well as on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marcwroteabook, and on twitter and Instagram at @writewatson.