Everything we need

My daughter is at a high imaginative age. Since we came to The Brambles she has pretended the house is one thing after another. An airplane. A boat. A camper. A hotel. A tent. One thing is consistent: whatever the house is, we can stay in it forever, because it has everything we need.

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I love that phrase. As summer slips in autumn it rackets in my head more and more. Autumn is about gathering up everything you need against the hard winter ahead. I don’t think we’ll have a very hard winter here (I’m told three inches make a snowstorm) but there will be less warmth, less light. We will want to stay indoors. We will enjoy it.

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While I wasn’t writing (I say that because now I am writing) I filled my quiet nighttime hours with a game called Banished. It’s exactly the scenario from Dark and Deep: a group of settlers have arrived in a forested wilderness with limited supplies, and have to build a settlement. Can you imagine my delight?

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Once I figured out the basic strategy of a winning settlement, I played several games to the point where everyone was comfortable and clothed and fed, and I was sitting around collecting livestock and new types of seeds. What a lot of fun that part of the game is. I have wool, so now the tailor can make better coats! I have coal, so the blacksmith can make steel tools! We have fruit–let’s make liquor! Ooh, I want to see how pumpkins will look in the field …

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It’s so ridiculously satisfying to watch the little electronic people have nice lives. Satisfying, but foolish. Nothing comes out of it except the enjoyment. Time to buckle down. Time to work. Time to go back to my own electronic people, and see how miserable I can make their lives.

The life of a writer.

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