Last year, I left out "writing a book," and look what happened. So I'm starting off with that on my list. I've actually given my agent and editor a new deadline at the end of August, so you can all hold me to it. I'm pretty sure public shaming is what I need right about now.
|Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald|
One of my perennial items has already been crossed off: heading to Hadlock Field in Portland to see the local minor league team, the Sea Dogs. I went earlier this month with my brother-in-law and Youngest, and it was as delightful as it always is. So I'm adding "Go again!" to my list.
One of the things on my list is to get outside to enjoy the patio more. Last summer, Ross and the Boy built a lovely slate patio in the perfect spot in our back garden: sunny, breezy, with lovely views of the trees, the flowers, and, in the evening, the sunset. We have comfortable chairs and enough tables to handily set down a drink and a book. Ross has taken to heading out to enjoy a beer in the late afternoon; I need to remind myself that working on the computer or doing the laundry or what have you is not more important than sharing some time outdoors together.
On the non-writing front, it's now Year Three of our five year garden renewal plan, and this summer's projects are deeper weeding around the grape arbors and high bush blueberries, continuing to fight back against the Japanese knotweed (extensive tarping has really helped) cutting down more of the small young trees crowding against our fence (we may get professional help with this) and, least but not least, building a firepit from a kit. I'm super excited about this and hope it doesn't wind up on the "There I Fixed It" blog.
Finally, along with the patio, I'd like to entertain a bit more this summer. We love having friends over, but without a central location for chairs, table and the grill, we usually limited our summer get-together to a float on the Saco River (also on my list!) Now, we have a nice space to gather, and since Ross loves to grill...
Reds, what's on your summer bucket list?
RHYS BOWEN: My summer plans? Loads of laundry after five weeks in Europe for starters. Then intense writing to finish current book. Then daughter and family arrive for three weeks, so house full of noisy teenagers. Then book launch for Crowned and Dangerous on August 2 and various events around the country. Then at the end of August I'm giving a speech on Mackinac Island. So not exactly a summer of lazy days on the porch!
JULIA: I don't know what vitamins you're on, Rhys, but I want some.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Yes, yes, the pool will be open. I promise I will go in. Maybe..... But I will float! One of my favorite things is to get a book, and a pink grapefruit fizzy drink, and then and float and read on a puffy raft in the pool. Looking forward to all kinds of summer food, (Roberta and Hallie will tell us what), and gin and tonics. Rose wine. Those wonderful days when the sun doesn't set until 9. We'll go to Tanglewood a couple of times, and some book trips. But--I have to finish my next book. HAVE TO. And I confess, I am (at this moment) looking forward to it. That, of course, will change.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: I am in "book jail" this summer — but we're still doing our annual trip to Rhode Island and I'm looking forward to a beach day with the family (authors in book jail occasionally get day passes if we make our word count) and then a lobster roll at Aunt Carrie's (best seafood ever). I'm also excited because my BFF Caitlin is coming to from San Francisco to New York (her daughter was accepted to the American Ballet Theatre's summer school) and they're going to be spending lots of time with us. It will be fun to watch our kids play together — and also nice to let Noel watch the kids and get some GIRLFRIEND time! Catching up, walking in the park, drinking wine, chatting away..... Also: fireflies. Love the late June and early July fireflies. So magical.
JULIA: Congrats to Caitlin's daughter! The ABT is serious ballet.
HALLIE EPHRON: Sadly my bucket list this summer includes FINISH THE BOOK, too. I have comments back from my editor and have to get it back to her August 1. But we are taking a much anticipated trip to Iceland for a week... because life in New England has too few Puffins in it. We'll also spend a few days at least on Peaks Island off the coast of Maine. And I need to make a Mexican style shrimp cocktail - poached shrimp swimming in a dressing of spicy tomato juice with hunks of avocado, sweet pepper, and fresh cilantro. We already had our first rootbeer floats.
LUCY BURDETTE: It's the summer of the family in my neck of the woods. We have 2 family weddings to attend, in California and North Carolina, plus our first grandchild due (also California), plus more family visitors. All should be great celebrations! I hope to be playing a little golf, walking a lot with Tonka, and making progress on a new book. (As of now, no one is waiting for it, but fingers crossed that changes.) We are already enjoying strawberries and rhubarb from the garden, cherries from the northwest, and produce from the farmers' market. I can't wait for local corn! (The photo is what was was left of my first strawberry-rhubarb crumble of the season.)
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Obviously, my summer is all about FINISH THE BOOK. Which will hopefully be in the next week or two, but then there will be edits and copy edits and page proofs. But once the manuscript is turned in, I want to do a few of the normal summer things. Hallie, the root beer float! Have ice cream, have root beer. Gee, I guess I could eat that while typing... I want to get my hillbilly hot tub set up and float around under the stars. I want to eat tomatoes (with everything.) Our farmer's market has been open since March, but we have yet to see a real vine-ripened tomato. I want to sit on my deck in the morning when it's lovely and shady, and I want to spend more time on my patio, playing with the dogs, instead of looking at it from the window.
And sometime this summer, I promise I'm going to get a photo of the sno-cone stand down the street at dusk, when their colored lights come on. This is a trailer and some picnic tables, with a string of lights in the trees. It's so tacky and small town. I love it, and every year I'm afraid it will be the last...
JULIA: Okay, if Hank doesn't float in her pool by the week before Labor Day, she's throwing a pool party for us. Hallie, you bring the ceviche, I'll bring a home-made blueberry pie, and Susan can make us cocktails. Deal?
How about you, dear Readers? What's on your summer bucket list?