Rainy days in the summertime make me want to curl up under the bed covers and sleep or snuggle under a blanket on the sofa, drinking warm tea and reading a good book.
Today is one of those days; it's raining, chilly, and foggy. I have a small fire going in the woodstove just to dry things out a bit. The paper lined up in my printer was beginning to stick to itself, so hopefully the fire will help. I don't have much energy to do anything, although I have a list of items that need to get done since it is raining and I'm forced to be inside. On good days, my computer sits idle more often than not because I'm out in the garden, mowing the lawn, or off picking blueberries and raspberries, which I pack away in the freezer for the cold winter months. So, today I should get a pile of tasks taken care of, plus return to the novel I'm writing, which languished for a bit while family was visiting from out of state. But neither the list nor the novel are really calling to me. Perhaps I should take a hint from the cats. Both are sound asleep, one on our bed, the other in the guest room at the opposite end of the house. Tea and a book and a soft sofa will probably win out.
How do you spend a rainy day in the summer?
This winter in Maine has been extremely long and cold. Most of the wood is gone, and several feet of snow still cover the yard. The few paths we kept open all winter with the snowblower and shovels are now down to mud.
I crave color. I look outside at the endless sea of white on the ground, the trees still showing their bare gray and brown trunks, and long for the brilliant yellows, purples, pinks, and greens of springtime flowers and grass. I hung a twenty-foot-long Mexican papel picado banner in the yard last summer, its intricate cutout designs a blend of flowers and Mexican motifs, but it now hangs tattered and torn from the trees, the pennants mere scraps of yellow, blue, red, and green, the patterns no longer distinguishable.
An e-mail from a yarn company arrived in my inbox this morning, and I sat for ten minutes just looking at the beautiful shades of the new yarns being advertised. The sight of those oranges, reds, yellows, heather-greens and mottled purples was a balm to my soul. Perhaps it’s time to take up knitting again!
Wishing you warmer days and brighter colors . . .
Blustery winds today, with the temperature only at 2 degrees-I don't want to know what the wind chill factor is, I just know I'm glad to have plenty to do inside. But, this cold weather has been here for over a week, so it's beginning to feel like Mother Nature has put us on house arrest or sent out a double-dog-dare-you to see if we are brave enough to venture outside for more than the ten minutes it takes to bring in more firewood.
Yesterday I did go out but there was no real wind. Even so, with it only about 10 degrees, I put on layer upon layer--long johns, jeans, wind pants, wool socks, shirt, wool sweater, down jacket, ear muffs, hat with ear flaps, down hood, scarf, wool mittens inside leather chopper mitts and heavy boots before venturing out for a walk. My glasses instantly fogged up so I took them off and walked semi-blind out to the mail box and back, about one and a half miles. I was still warm once I got back to the house, but was glad I hadn't gone any farther. This morning, one tiny spot on my cheekbone feels a tiny bit frosted where it was exposed yesterday. I will have to be extra careful today if I decide to brave it.
At least it's warm inside and we have plenty of food on hand and lots of books to read.
Plus, I am tackling the enormous task of rewriting my novel. After having several beta readers give me feedback, I realized the whole structure needed to be revised, so am starting over from page one. It actually feels good to shift everything around and find a new flow to the whole thing. And since it is set in ancient Mayan times, I can forget about the cold outside as I wander with my characters through the warm Mayan jungle. Sometimes I am so immersed in the book that I forget where I am in real-time and get a jarring surprise when I come up out of writing to look out my window and see all the snow and hear the wind!
Keep warm, stay bundled up if you go outside!
As the summer winds down on the calendar, life seems to be speeding up in other realms. The large maple by the brook is showing signs of color in its leaves and the evenings have been cool enough to warrant that extra throw blanket on the bed; fall is coming. And with that, the knowledge that there are many things in the garden to tend to such as digging the potatoes, harvesting the basil for pesto, freezing the beans, broccoli, kale, and swiss chard for winter soups; the wood split in earnest back in June now needs to be stacked before the autumn rains really begin which means all those odds and ends stored in the wood shed over the past few months need a new home....the physical work is necessary though to counterbalance this life on the computer, a life that seems to grow larger on a daily basis as work steadily increases for this freelancer.
That is not a complaint, just a comment as I shuffle between keyboard, garden, and wood shed. An added fly in the mix right now is the sad but necessary fact that my husband is away for two weeks, attending a memorial service for a family member. He is at times bored, I am at times overwhelmed. I long to send him my editing or book reviewing work, he longs to be home stacking wood. We will both be okay.
The uncorrected proof of The Cracker Book arrived in the mail the other day. Chores were instantly ignored so I could hold the real product in my hands, a close facsimile to the image I have carried in my head ever since my publisher said 'yes' back in January. I am excited and anxious as the countdown to the actual publication date slowly but steadily advances upon me. I am still amazed that this idea is now a tangible item in the world.
Meanwhile, my first attempt at a novel is getting mixed reviews from beta readers. Some people are unable to put the piece down, others tell me to throw away the first one hundred pages and start the book from there. I am up one minute and down the next and need to pull back and listen to my instincts on how to proceed. I am eager to work on the next project but know this novel still deserves its time and space, so I force myself to be patient and continue to edit and revise and read yet another book on the art of writing a novel.
Meanwhile there are books to read and review, manuscripts to edit, papers to translate, and a steady stream of emails that arrive that need tending. I feel like the Internet has morphed into the sorcerer's apprentice; once my email address got on to certain lists, the steady stream of notices and blogs keeps advancing despite the numerous deletions I make on a daily basis of things unread. And so, life keeps moving forward even as the days grow darker a little bit earlier and the evenings cool off enough to make me start a new list of things to do with 'clean wood stoves' prominently on the top.
About Ditched the Niche
One woman's perspective on