Thoughts on a Fresh Fall Start (+ a Back to School Giveaway)

Fall is my favourite time of the year. Spring is also nice, it’s stretching again after a long winter’s hibernation, but there is nothing quite like fall. It’s fresh and the air smells clean and crisp and you can feel the wind in your hair. Everything is great about fall, the leaves, the weather, the back to school excitement. I even love fall colours! Brown! Diamine Ochre and Ancient Copper, Kiowa Pecan, Lie de The, Oku-Yama, Alt-Goldgrun.

You can get hot apple cider and savour every sip as the weather gets chillier. People are returning to the city after their long summer vacations and cottage stays, and everything is bustling again.

Every year, Jon and I talk about driving up to Kingston and seeing some of that fall foliage and reliving the old memories, walking by the lake, and maybe this will be the year!
Did you know? When Jon and I were in school and he was “wooing” me, he made a kite out of old shirts from both of us cut up and hand-stitched together, not following one manual of instruction on kite-building. After it was all put together, we brought it down to the lake to see it fly! Unfortunately, it was unable to take flight… 

It’s back to school! I don’t know if this is early or late to be celebrating – back to school doesn’t really start until September, but I think a lot of teachers start preparations in August, classrooms and curriculum plans, and I’m sure parents are already thinking of new fall wardrobe and school supplies.

Even if you’re not going back to school, the fall is the perfect time for everyone to get a fresh start – maybe it’s because I have visions of pristine classrooms with newly waxed floors and tins of pencil crayons that are all the same size and have no missing colours.

But your fresh start could be anything, and here are some ideas:

  1. Get a new journal to jumpstart that journalling habit that has been gathering dust. There is nothing like cracking open a new journal, dating it, and diving in. And sometimes that new start helps you leave behind some of the maybe-guilt-and-maybe-pressure of not having done as good a job as you might have liked over the last year.
  2. Take a day and really clean out the garage so you can get going on whatever woodworking or car-repairing hobby you’ve been thinking of. Get a few new tools and pick out a brand new project to work on.
  3. Organize your office space – weed out all of the books you never plan on reading, get rid of all those scraps of paper and old receipts, and set up your office space so it’s clean and organized for your thinking and writing. If you lose motivation, just imagine how nice it will be to sit around and breath in all the organized air.
  4. Give the dog a bath.
  5. Clean out your kitchen pantry of old spices and things you are never going to eat. Finding out just what you have in your cupboards might help inspire you to try some new recipes. Fall is the perfect time to try baking some bread (or so I keep telling myself).

Even though January 1st is the standard day for new year’s resolutions, I think fall is a good time to prepare your space and your mind for a new start.

And to celebrate all this fresh starting, we’re having a giveaway!

It’s a back to school themed giveaway, but it’s just a little something to celebrate the fall. I hope you can put it to good use journalling, taking notes, in your (newly cleaned) office, or to keep track of new recipes or projects 🙂

Wonder Pens Blog Giveaway

For this giveaway, we’re including:

  1. Coach House Press Softcover Notebook in Brown ($12.50)
  2. Leuchtturm A5 Hardcover Notebook, ruled, in Black ($21.20)
  3. Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in Neon Lime, F nib ($33.00)
  4. A package of Lamy Blue Cartridges ($4.75)
  5. A package of Midori D-Clips, Large, Zoo ($9.50)

You know we love hearing from you all, and we’ve received so much wonderful feedback about how it would be amazing for us to open these giveaways internationally. We know it’s been a bit of a bummer for a lot of you folks who don’t live in Canada but follow along with the blog or on other social media, and so, while we’ve held out for two years, we’re finally breaking open the chains.

  1. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post saying what this fall will be like for you or any fresh start ideas or just saying hello.
  2. Contest closes Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 11:59 EST. Winner be selected randomly, and will be announced on the blog August 20th, 2015. Winner will have until Saturday, August 22nd to contact us.
  3. Contest is open internationally.
  4. Sorry, no substitutions or changes.

117 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Fresh Fall Start (+ a Back to School Giveaway)

  1. Stephanie Applin

    This is the first fall I won’t be going back to school, having graduated in June. However, I do love the back-to-school effect of autumn so I will be taking a language class and I’m resolved to practice my handwriting!

  2. Tida

    Thanks for hosting this great giveaway! Fall is my favourite season and I agree that it’s the perfect time for a fresh start. I love the crisp air and shopping for new school supplies!

    This fall, I’ll be starting university (eek!) and living on my own for the first time. It’s going to be really scary for me but I’m going to have a bunch of cute stationery to study with, so hopefully I’ll make it…

  3. acksee

    Even though I have been out of school for over 20 years, every September I get that antsy, back-to-school feeling.

  4. Desiree

    I was able to visit you for the first time this past week, and it was such a treat. Jon was very helpful, and so patient as I browsed the store and asked questions.
    It took me almost two and a half hours to get there, but I’m already trying to find excuses to go back.

  5. Tanya

    I am going to start slowing things down, and try to live one day at a time. Starting with enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Fall.

  6. LisaRR

    Yes September always feels like a new start.
    I can always use some new resolve to clear out junk, piles of paper, etc.
    Thanks for the contest!

  7. Madox

    I feel guilty not having homework anymore, so I’m going to give myself some: writing out my favourite online recipes to rescue them from their purely digital existence. I’m hoping to make a simple little guidebook to my absolute favs so I can leave buttery fingerprints on the pages like my grandmother did in her cookbooks. You can always tell her most-used recipes by the marks left behind by frequent smudges and drips.
    I want to make something worth loving and getting messy when I use it. That seems like good homework to me.

  8. Akosua

    This will be the first Autumn in a very long time where I won’t have school to look forward to (but I’m planning on going back next year). I’m not sure if I should feel happy or sad but I’m just going to enjoy a season without homework 🙂

  9. Shaun

    Although I like the summer and some time off, there is something comfortable about the return to routine in September.

  10. Susan

    Hello – I always end up doing “fall cleaning” rather than spring cleaning, so I’ll be clearing things out and rearranging furniture over the next few weeks. I will also, hopefully, be starting a new job soon.

  11. Pat

    As fall doesn’t happen where I live, I always think that any time is a great time for new beginnings. 😀 I’ve begun going out of my comfort zone and be more adventurous craft-wise. I’ve already finished a DIY travelers notebook out of paper! (well, cardboard) All these creativity I’m seeing on social media is very inspiring.

  12. Cassie Rogers

    I’m going to start a new notebook to revise my Chemistry knowledge. While I say I can teach it, I haven’t actually had to opportunity to do so since I left uni. My worst fear is to get a job and land headfirst in the electrochemistry topic… I’m always looking for an excuse to write more.

  13. wen.e.scott

    Fall is kicking up a storm through a pile of freshly raked leaves, sending them every which way, then raking the leaves into a new pile to kick up a new storm.

  14. Lilith

    Yes Liz! You should come visit Kingston! Pick up some local veggies and eat some Pierogies at the Memorial Centre Farmers Market, then go for a walk with Super at Lake Ontario Park!

  15. NatalieP-J

    I got my fresh start at little early this year – I recently moved to a new apartment, and decided that that was as good a time as any to start a journal. I’ve been faithful for about two weeks, and hope that can continue in the face of another fresh start: graduate school. I found Wonder Pens only this past April, but having such a friendly store nearby really helped jump-start my love of fountain pens. I’ve been finding excuses all summer to put pen to paper. I’m hoping my new journalling habit will eventually lead me to other kinds of writing on a daily basis.

  16. Kevin

    In the fall (or as we say in the UK, autumn) things always start to get even busier for me. People come back from annual leave and my place of work then revs up into full swing! However the change of colours and the evenings drawing in are always nice.

  17. LL

    Almost two decades later, fall still feels like time to go back to school – to buy new supplies, clothes, and bags – that I don’t really even need anymore! Ok, maybe I need those paper clips. 🙂

  18. Vivian Carter

    We’ll fresh start is this: I just got my last test result – and I am cancer free after two years of treatments! I haven’t been able to write for so long (too sick, couldn’t concentrate, worrying, trying to keep the family going). But hey, it’s time! I’d love new goodies to start all over. (With a free and happy heart!)

  19. Sean

    This fall will be quite a significant fresh start for me. I’ll be completing my undergraduate studies in a couple weeks, and come September I’ll be entering the professional world.

  20. Ted

    Maybe ’cause I’ve spent a good part of my life in school, the Tuesday after Labour Day has felt more like the start of the new year than January 1 ever did. (BTW: Queens Alumnus, here. BMus, ’82)

    This fall is big for me. I suffered severe burnout a couple of years back, and my life has been…well, very odd since. So this fall is the time to get back on track, and start building a life I want — or as close to it as I can get. I’ve already started the process, but September is when the plans are put into action. (Truly: I’m scared, and excited, and hopeful, and determined.)

    A few weeks back, I realized that my life was boringly lacking colour and texture. I was staring at my moanings and in my journal, and wondered what I could do to put some colour and texture into my life…a bit of inspiration to pull me along when the going gets tough and weighed down in the sameness of it all. And in a flash of “OMG!” I realized that my journal is a regular Hilroy notebook (white paper with blue lines) and a black disposable ball point…all of which is about as bland and flat as you can get, I realize. A friend –who’s into bookbinding, letterpress printing, and is a dedicated fountain pen user– suggested I might try better materials and tools for journaling. (“Seriously: fountain pen is the way to go. And you’ll be blown away when you look at the colours of ink….”)

    Hopefully September will bring a trip to Wonderpens to try out pens, and look at ink splotches. I feel I’m teetering on the edge of a rabbit hole.

    I’m looking forward to fall, indeed.

  21. Pauline

    As a child, I always enjoyed back to school shopping. I remember always perusing the items at Grand & Toy.
    This September is especially exciting because my son will be starting JK. Time really flies. Enjoy every moment with your little guy.

  22. Yvonne

    Not a teacher but work at school, so September means back to busy and vivrant atmosphere of typical new semesters. Have to kiss goodbye to peaceful office, but hope this fall will teach me to cope better with life and work.

    Just started reading your blog and it’s been a fun journey!

  23. Lyndsay Alvin T. Ng

    There is no season quite like the fall. I like fall. The days where every step we take results in pounds of sweat are long gone. It’s time to relish the cool weather this time of year brings. Love your blog.

  24. Pat D

    I’ll be TA-ing full time in the fall…Nothing like a new pen for correcting their mistakes 😛
    I’ve always been an on-off journal writer…maybe it’ll be time to start again (same with letter writing). And the weather with be cooler then and lots of fresh produce arriving (squash!).

  25. ChristineL

    This fall I will begin to prepare for an MFA in Creative Writing – I have put aside creative work for a decade in order to pursue a PhD and a career in academia, but that path has proven to be a disappointing one. It’s taken years to gather enough courage to pursue writing, but such a risk is necessary. NB: My Midori Traveler’s Notebook is a constant writing companion!

  26. Zephyr

    Start of September should be about when I hear back from a studio I really want to work with. Been taking a lot of notes and using paper for drafting up code. And with fall brings much cooler weather. Weather that I can actually stand while outside.

  27. zzdia

    Living in a tropical country means we don’t have fall, we have storm season. But I do love the cooler weather that this time of the year brings. And rainy afternoons are the best for staying in bed, being lazy

  28. shiaria

    I just discovered your store (and ordered a new passport Midori, thank you!). I am very envious of your delightful letter writing workshops. I think I may have to plan a trip to Toronto just so I can attend one of those!

    I live in Montreal, so fall for me means the return of the students to the McGill University campus. Oh! And changing of the leaves on the mountain just behind the campus as well, of course!

  29. Tenisha Stuckless-Wallen

    Fall is my favourite time of year also. Crisp and fresh. And back to school is always exciting. This is such a lovely giveaway 🙂

  30. Helen

    We’re a two-teacher family – I teach high school English and my husband elementary music, so each fall is definitely a new beginning in our household. We do a big cleaning of the house and cook a few batches of meals to stash in the freezer in preparation for diving into the school year.

  31. taozicha

    Fall is typically a very busy season for me at work. I will try to become more active and maybe start a new jogging and dieting journal to stay healthy through the season!
    Great giveaway by the way! I wonder if the white rabbits are included as well… 🙂

  32. J. C.

    I finally got myself some gum arabic so fall will be a time for me to practice pointed pen with my dip pen and fountain pen inks.

  33. Michelle

    My space is in great need of a good cleaning and organizing, so that might be my mission this fall. But I also want to improve my handwriting, watercolour, and other skills which always seem to make more messes than I want to clean.


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