When the leaves begin to fall and the prairie turns brown and gold, I stare from the porch, unable to resist the urge to strap on a backpack and wander into the unknown. Amid the demands of life in the 21st Century, there are days I wish a wizard would turn up at my door, invite himself for tea, and invite me to go adventuring. Of course, our suburban lawns and urban landscapes rarely lend themselves to such fanciful walks, but the mind is a wondrous vessel for taking leaps into story.

I’m not unproductive. I just sent my latest mystery to my editor, and my To-Write list is long and ambitious. I have titles and plots and opening lines, a veritable treasure chest of ideas to pursue. My commitments to the writer’s world are also many — serving as contest chair for the Central Ohio Fiction Writers group, planning the 2022 Meet the Authors event at the Springboro Historical Museum, and doing book talks and book fairs. Of course, family matters take precedence and ours, like most, faces challenges in this post-COVID landscape. Yet the voice of autumn whispers. Bilbo and Frodo beckon. The tales of elves, dwarves, ents, trolls, and orcs ignited my imagination many years ago and continue to influence me today.

Perhaps the solution is to turn the desire into a trek just for me, before the bones ache too much to hike the mountains, before the pack grows too heavy to bear. Then, I can write my own tale. Do I have such a story in me?

My husband asked me yesterday where I’d like to travel in 2023. A tough question. The list is long. There are so many places I’ve yet to see…among them New Zealand, where Peter Jackson brought Tolkien’s works to life. NZ has fascinated me since I attended a presentation about the country back in eighth grade. The desire to travel there has never faded. Of course, I must go to Hobbiton, to the house under the hill. Something tells me that journey will exceed expectations. 🙂

Perhaps, as writers, we should always answer the call of the wider world, in person and in our poems, stories, and essays. After all, we have the words, the rhyme, the perseverance. All we need is a reason!