Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What I Want From Summer Vacation

This is my first week of summer vacation. As readers of this blog already know, I am a middle school Spanish teacher by day, and a novelist by night. On the side, I also parent, wife, dog-mom, volunteer, organize, cook, shop, drive, household, and sometimes even watch TV or go to a movie. It's a lot of hats. After a while it makes my neck stiff from the weight.
So summer vacation is a relief (both to me and my chiropractor) because I get to take off the teacher hat for a few weeks. The teacher hat is some kind of sponge hat, because it gets fuller and heavier as the year goes on. By April, it weighs approximately as much as my car, so putting it down is a welcome respite.

For teachers, summer vacation is like a promised land, sparkling on the horizon. The problem I always run into is getting everything I want and need out of my non-teaching time, so that I come back refreshed, refocused, and ready to inspire young people to learn.

So my summer list:

  • Writing, lots and lots of writing. Finish the sequel and submit it. Revise the opening to Cold Spring and resubmit it. Finish writing the novella for the superhero novella and submit it. Write a few more short stories. Resubmit (revising if necessary) everything that has come back rejected. Decide which of my projects will get my hard focus next: the second book in the Cold Spring trilogy? the third book in the menopausal superheroes? the middle grades novel? 
  • Reading, lots and lots of reading. I struggle to find time to read during the school year, and I love to swim in the sea of books all summer long.
  • Summer outings: swimming, beaching, farmer's markets, berry-picking, hiking, visiting grandparents, GEN CON!
  • Sleeping and resting: let those days start a little later and actually wake up feeling rested. Take naps. Watch a little TV.
  • Household catch-up: All that stuff that piled up all year and is now a fire hazard in the garage. Yep, time to bring out the backhoe and deal with that stuff. 
Over the years, I've learned that I have to be careful to divide my time between home, family and words or I don't get the refresh that summer vacation is supposed to bring me. I have to feel like progress was made on all fronts and that there was enough relaxed fun-time. 

So, here's to summer, filling my cup back up so I don't run dry during school months. I'll try to spend mine under a nice summer hat: colorful and broad brimmed and fun. 


  1. Loved this post, Samantha.
    Hope you have a great summer x

  2. Sounds like you need a schedule of sorts to make sure the summer yields all you need it to. Best of luck with that!
    I Saw it on Facebook @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead