Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer's End

LeSigh. Can summer really already be over? I didn't get it all done again, of course. Doing *everything* I want to do every summer would require at least five women, and my cloning experiments failed (my daughters turned out to be their own women, with their own things they want to do).

Still, it was a good summer. As I start to have end-of-summer panic, I need to remind myself of that.

Longtime readers already know that I'm a middle school Spanish teacher in my day job, and that writing novels is my secret identity (which I'm trying to make less secret, so people will know I write books and maybe even buy them).

So, summer is, in part, about self-care and recovery for me. It's also my time to live life as a full time writer for a few weeks. So, I'm always trying to balance writing productivity with rest and recuperation and progress on all those life tasks that are hard to complete when I'm not available during business hours (August-June).

To feel good, I really need all three things: rest, writing, and life/project time.

As I write this, I'm at the beach, making sure that I end my time with sea salt on my skin and a brain scrubbed clean by sand. I did pretty well on the rest and recuperation angle.

I walked damn near every day with my dog, ate breakfast (a luxury I can't find time for during school), read sixteen books (and may finish another one or two this week), visited my parents for a few days, took a nap a few times (I'm terrible at napping, even when I need to), and watched more television than I watched in the entire six previous months (I finished a few shows: Good OmensWynonna EarpThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Black Lightning, The Boys, and, of course, Stranger Things). I started Downton Abbey, so that'll probably take me all school year to finish now :-)

Home/life productivity gets a middling score. There was one big thing I wanted to get done involving paperwork and I didn't get there, because I couldn't find all the right pieces. I admit to procrastinating on looking, and I'm mad at my past self for being so bad at sticking to ONE organizational system for important papers so you can find them when you need them. Luckily there isn't a hard deadline on that one, so I can keep looking and get it done this fall.

I did work out some financing for a home improvement project that will make a big difference to our lives, and I did get my home office several steps closer to the space I want it to be. I'm especially proud of that since everything I've done in there, I've paid for with writing money only (which is why it's all DIY and second hand, but still: I paid for it with my writing money).

Some of my home/life project energies went to my oldest daughter, helping her arrange her college monies for fall and move into her FIRST APARTMENT! (yikes, I'm old).

Writing went well. I set aside the novel I've been working on for the past year (YA dystopian romance, working title: Thursday's Children). It needs more time to simmer before I can get that dish ready to serve and I finally admitted it.

I started a new novel (gothic romance, working title: The Architect and The Heir) and made lots of progress on my first all-indie project, a collection of 13 weird tales I plan to release this Halloween, choosing and organizing the stories, self-editing, arranging for cover art and professional proofreading, and learning some new software for formatting.

My daily writing chain is now 2,144 days longs (nearly six years), and summer's work included nearly 35,000 words on the new novel. It's flowing well, which speaks to the importance of following your passion in your writing (another balance: between focus and dogged stubbornness).

I've wanted to write a gothic romance since I first read one, when I was around eleven years old. It took me a while to actually do it, but it's the most fun I've had since the first Menopausal Superhero novel.

I think I probably wrote this post primarily for myself, to look back on in a couple of weeks when I'm haranguing myself and accusing myself of having wasted my entire summer once I'm buried up to the neck in schoolwork. After all, I hold myself to very high expectations on a lot of fronts. I'm meaner to myself than I would ever be to anyone else. So, it's good to make myself admit from time to time, that I got this!


  1. Sounds like you had a great summer.

    1. It was :-) As always, I wish it were longer. But a girl's got to eat, so heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's back to work we go.