Wednesday, July 27, 2011


You probably didn't even notice, but I've skipped out on my last few opportunities to post here. I'm sure you want to hear all of my excuses for not doing one of those things at which I am supposedly most talented. I won't burden you with those.

I will say that summer gets me every year. She tantalizes me with her promises of long days, warm temperatures, and endless opportunities to get more done.


By the end of July each year, I remember through a haze of pyrotechnic smoke that summer is a fickle mistress. Her promises are hollow, her pleasures rapidly replaced by the pain of a hard slap against a sunburned back. I gaze longingly at the new gazebo in my backyard, where I was going to take advantage of the shade and long days to make huge progress on that new novel. Sadly, I haven't seen much of the inside of the gazebo, because the lawn needs to be mowed and watered, bike tires need to be fixed, sheds need to be painted, and dirt--don't even get me started about dirt, which in my opinion is the last substance we should build our homes on, since all it seems to do is bring forth is weeds and bugs.

My neighbors love the July holidays. I'm pretty sure their mortgage is paid off, because they invested several thousand dollars in fireworks this year. They also interpret the law prohibiting fireworks after 10pm in our city as a "suggested guideline." Of course I'm not going to call the police on them. I have to live next to these people for the rest of my life. Besides, if the endless gut-wrenching explosions, shock-and-awe fountains of sparks, and torrential clouds of burnt gunpowder won't draw the police, they're not likely to pay attention to my 911 call.

I don't want to come across as a complete party-pooper. I do enjoy a good seeded watermelon (there's something suspicious about seedless fruit), and fireworks in a controlled, scheduled environment with a fun soundtrack can be a hoot. Parades are okay under adequate shade and accompanied by chilled beverages and snacks. I like running in the 5k and 10k races and seeing the outdoor entertainment. And who can deny that a properly-constructed Navajo taco is one of the greatest of delicacies?

So summer's not all bad. I just don't find the time for writing, because there's so much ELSE going on. I'm torn between one desire to get out and DO everything doable, and another desire to lay down in the shade and take a nice nap. Writing just doesn't seem to fit into this milieu. It doesn't sound like a summer verb. Run, hike, swim, watch, paddle, swing, snooze, eat, yes. Write? Sounds like an indoor, cold-weather activity to me.

Of course, I'm writing this little diatribe in the summer. Maybe that's an indication that writing season is getting closer! I think I'll go take a walk in the sunshine, and think about it. Don't expect another post from me until mid-September.


Anne Marie Jenner said...

All this is multiplied several times per child, for those of us with children. School is out, and they want to play...and they need rides to their play places, and rides home from their play places. when they're home, they want to be entertained, taking more time from our proposed writing time. I've found the scriptures to be true. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to work, and a time to play with our children; a time to write, and a time to quietly observe the world around us for background descriptions for our novels. There is so much more that goes into "writing" than sitting at a computer typing. No matter where I am or what I am doing, my brain is busy with gathering data, assembling it, working out kinks from a plot, noticing a location to have action happen in, revising icky dialog...I'm always "writing", even when I haven't put fingers to keyboard in weeks.