Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen
JAN: I biked down to South Beach this morning to get my last glimpse of the ocean before heading home. And now I'm laundering beach towels and packing up coolers with all the windows and doors open so I can get my fill of sea breezes.
And you know what I feel? Relief.
I loved the crystal clear days, the strong sun, the stars at night. But now? Enough of that.
How can I focus on the right name for a character or the clearest definition if all I want to do is get on my bike and ride to the beach? How can I puzzle out a workable plot when someone needs a fourth for doubles on a beautiful day? Clearly to get anything done, I need a chill outside, lots of clouds, and preferably a downpour.
In fact, I do my best writing between January and March just because the weather is so bad. Obviously, I have issues with self-discipline -- I've had to remove Solitaire from every computer I've ever had. I also get bored easily, have little tolerance for routine, and need a change in seasons just so I don't have to eat barbequed food for another eight months.
So it could just be me, but does anyone else look forward to cold weather for its positive effect on productivity?.
ROBERTA: Funny that you're so patient with slogging through tedious or difficult reading, Jan! You saw with Friday's post how much I'll regret the end of the summer produce season. (that's me, eating first!) We had to pull our cucumber plants out, and the zucchini, and the beans are looking peaked. And like Hallie, I hate winter. The thing that bothers me even more than the cold is the light. Or lack of it, I should say. It gets dark here in Connecticut by 4:30 in the worst part of the season. And that makes me feel like hibernating, not writing.
HALLIE: So THAT'S why I haven't gotten but a piddling amount of my new book written for the last three months!
For me, end of summer means college starts and my husband goes back to work. Which is one fewer distraction in the house but no one to hang out with at lunch. The worst thing about summer ending is winter is not far off. I hate hate hate winter. Hate ice, hate snow, hate being cold cold cold.
Ro: Summer started late for me and in the past few years it's ended late. In September I rent a house in Wellfleet. Most of the other renters and tourists have gone home and I get to pretend that I live in a small town with a general store that just happens to have a beach outside. The restaurants start to close and as the days go by there a fewer and fewer people on the road and on the beach. It's wonderful. I finished my first book at the house so it will always be special to me.For me the worst thing about the summer ending is that everything else is going to come so fast...Bouchercon, Crimebake, holidays, then the conferences start...aaayyyy!!
HANK: A box arrived at our porch in mid-July. Usually I'm the one who orders things, but I wasn't expecting a parcel. My husband said--oh, this is a surprise for us. Huh.
Inside was a turquoise blue two-person swimming pool float. Like a floating double chaise, where the two people are facing each other as they float. It's perfect for reading, and even has little spaces that are just the size of a diet coke bottle. Heaven.
All my vacation, 17 wonderful days from mid August til Labor Day, I'd write in the morning, we'd have lunch by the pool, then I'd come back in and write til 4. Then from 4 to 6--floating and reading.
Today, we're putting our float away. (After the football game, Jonathan says.)
Sigh. My white skirt is looking tired. Gin and tonics seem a little too chilly. My bathing suit is hanging on the shower rack, and hasn't budged for a week. We cook inside. Transition is transitioning.
But the dahlias are still blooming like mad. And the air is clear and dry. And I don't have to face a new math teacher or clique of classmates. I like it.
JAN: Oh dear, Hank. Now you're making me miss summer, when I was so determined to do away with it. But I must remind myself that the swimming pool float would be useless to me -- what without the pool. And of course, as you remind me, Patriots are on this afternoon -- and although I don't watch football -- I do make nachos at halftime. A perfect transition!