Since I have become a substitute teacher, my summers have become oh so sweet. They are tiny scoops of gelato, and I try to savor everything about them. My first summer off, I concentrated on reading. My goal was to read a book a week, which I did and then some. Last summer, I was on a mission to show my son, who was preparing for cross-country, that it was possible to get your 300 training miles in, even if you had to walk most of them. I armed myself with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series on audiobook. If you saw me panting, all hot and bothered, on the side of the road last summer, I assure you it was only partially due to physical strain. That Diana can write a love scene! By the end of summer, I had proven to my son that 300 miles was possible-- a feat he did not reach, though my feet grew a size in the exertion.
So, this summer, outfitted in all new sandals as necessitated by last summer's miles, I have come up with some new goals for myself. I have four, but only one I'll talk about today. Spurred on by my ability to succeed in the summer and by the recent resurgence in my writing career with the publication of my ebook, I am making writing a priority. I have three projects which are in various places in the process: a youth novel, an adult novel, and a memoir dealing with the change in my mother status as my kids get ready to fly the nest.
With three projects going, it is my aim to be organized. I hope that juggling these three projects will stave off boredom, help me to keep working if one project encounters roadblocks, and help me to stay in the flow of writing.
Traditionally, I start my summer brain over Memorial Day weekend. Substitute teachers don't get much work after the holiday anyway. I am using this week to prepare myself. In some ways it is the opposite of the normal flow of life. I am contemplating notebooks, notecards, planners, pens that write smoothly--all the back-to-school practicalities. Of course, this is all compounded because I am geeking out on my iPad. The apps for novel writers are amazing: Manuscript, iBookwriter, Evernote, Notebooks. The choices are dizzying! I am also looking at accessories like keyboards for my iPad. Here is where I will admit that I already have an external keyboard for my iPad; I am not crazy about it. What fun it is to check out alternative options and imagine myself typing away. I am only giving myself this week to contemplate such fancies. (Come next week, it will be all about the writing.) But it is still today, and I can't help but wonder if Staples has a Memorial Day sale.