Eek! Black Friday!

Being of unsound mind and questionable judgment, I ventured into the world of holiday shopping on Black Friday, lured by its enticing name. My shopping quest continued  into the following and equally enticingly named days of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. I believe in doing my part, after all, to support the economy.

And I suppose these shopping day names are better than days named Charge Your Card to the Max Day, People Gone Mad Day, or Test Your Mob Mentality Day. (Just saw a news clip of a fight that broke out among mall shoppers trying to get through a retailer’s door ahead of each other.)

So, not wanting to miss a beat, my Black Friday adventure began at the Verizon store. I’d been given now dubious advice that most people would be out at the big box retailers buying gifty gifts – clothes, toys, jewelry, tools. The telephone store would be slow, with morning or around noon being best. (And then there’s P.T. Barnum’s famous, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”)

The place was popping. The security guard opened the door for me and I approached the check-in person. An hour and a half wait, I was told. Are you kidding? I thought about fleeing. Okay, I signed in. I needed to get the gifting started. But I decided not to hang out at the Verizon Store. I’d multi-task.

 

courtesy of greenpackinggrorup.com

courtesy of greenpackinggrorup.com

 

I’d have time to run to my local market and get two dishwasher items – Cascade and Lemi Shine (the stuff that makes dishes washed in the dishwasher gleam.) Stuff I can’t buy at my favorite store – Trader Joe’s.

However, I knew something was amok when I couldn’t find a place to park in the market lot. Why? The market was booming. Wait a minute. Shouldn’t everyone have had a frig full of food from the previous day’s Thanksgiving celebration? You know, all those tasty leftovers?

People were in a festive mood. Liquor, wine, beer, sushi, ice cream, chips, premade salads and sandwiches were flying out the door. Game days, tourism, snowbirds, and invading families were the motivators. Finally, I made it through the checkout line, tossed the box of Cascade, etc., in my purse (forgot my bag), and headed back to Verizon.

The security guard opened the door for me again and I asked the check-in person where I was on the list. I was next. Wow! If I’d missed the call-out of my name, it would have gone to the bottom of said list. I made my purchase (not a fast process) and left for DSW shoes and the mall and more fun and games.

Buying locally means supporting Small Business Saturday which found me in Old Town La Quinta the next day for a double treat – the Art on Main Street show plus the lure of the small boutiques. I had a list and I charged into the fray. First I found the artist’s stall I wanted where I checked out an art book I’d heard about, the type of book to bask on your coffee table. Whoops. $375 dollars. Hm-m-m-m. I don’t think so.

From there I was ready for the stores, but not before getting a coffee and muffin at the Old Town coffee shop. Of course, there was a line, but it moved. I went into the stores from there. I picked up a few baubles and checked off names on my list.

 

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Couple with Christmas shopping

In the swing. (Courtesy of Odyssey.com)

 

In the small shops it was nice to have a salesperson there to help, who knew the merchandise, who was personable as opposed to a big box store where you are more or less a number and a wallet, preferably an open wallet.

Of course, Cyber Monday beats it all – sitting in your pajamas, cup of coffee in hand, typing names like Chico’s, J. Jill, Amazon, and Macy’s into the browser. It’s such a casual and relaxing routine: browse, click on an item, drop the item into your shopping cart, and check out.

But the special day and the real message of this season of named shopping days is #Giving Tuesday – established in 2012 as a day of generosity and philanthropy. I don’t give on this exact Tuesday, but do so closer to Christmas when my friends and I, instead of buying each other gifts, give to a local charity.

The tradition goes like this: we meet at a local restaurant. We each drop the name of a local charity into a small box and have our server draw a name. After the charity name is drawn, we write our checks and the luncheon organizer sends them on to the organization that won the draw.

In the same spirit, my book club members each bring a new, unwrapped book for a particular age range to the December meeting. These books are then donated to a local school library or a charity that has outreach to children.

Giving and volunteering are year long endeavors, but it’s nice to add a little holiday fun to the mix.

 

Santa Carrying Shopping Bags --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Giving, ’tis the season!  (Image courtesy of © Royalty-Free/Corbis)

 

And about Black Friday shopping. When all is said and done, I must say, I enjoyed the excitement: making it back to the Verizon store just before my name was called, winding my way through people to find an artist’s stall with its special book, tasting olive oils at the boutique food store.

And feeling the excitement in the air.

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

And so I ask, “Now what?”

My candidate didn’t win. This is a democracy. We held an election. I voted. I lost. I ranted and raved and pouted. I commiserated with others. Both candidates were far from perfect. They made mistakes, had some questionable behaviors, and had policies you had to look at and balance with your own values and beliefs.

We survived  over a year of an atypical political campaign. It was exhausting, but it had upticks. More citizen discussion. Heavy voter participation. More airing of issues needing to be addressed in our society. Good political technique and finesse weren’t always strong points. Careless, inflammatory rhetoric was used, which unveiled some unsettling behavior and beliefs. Old political campaign techniques from polling to internal organization got a surprise. New techniques appeared. The insider and the outsider were put to the test.

 

We vote and keep voting. (Image courtesy of ravallirepublic.com)

We vote and keep voting. (Image courtesy of ravallirepublic.com)

 

The media and its use in all forms inundated us. I switched among the news channels trying to get a reading. From CNN to MSNBC to FoxNews to C-Span. I can’t remember the pundit who said this on one of the programs but I found it timely: FDR used the radio, JFK used TV, Barak Obama used the internet, and Donald Trump used Twitter.

So now what do I do? I will hope. I will hope for wisdom within the new administration and a smooth transition of power. I also will be alert as to how that power is used. I’ll follow who becomes a staffer and a Cabinet member. Going forward, I hope the two parties can work toward beneficial solutions in policy and diplomacy.

I know some things probably won’t change. Popular versus electoral college vote raises its head. It would be nice to see objective and nonpartisan appointments to the Supreme Court. Campaigns begin lofty but always seem to end up the opposite.

So I ask again. Now what? Hopefully, there will be wise negotiations in trade and in our country’s interaction with other countries of the world. There will be a strong economy with jobs and affordable health insurance. I’m looking for fair immigration policies. (Both my husband and I are the children of immigrants.) I’m looking for tax reform and taking care of our planet, its natural resources, and its climate changes. I’m looking for ways to honor and care for our veterans. I’m looking for inclusion and for measures to improve the lives of families, women, and minorities. Who wouldn’t? The thing to watch now is how it is done, if it is done. The two parties offered different strategies and promises. The winner now has to deliver.

 

New doors and new paths. Artwork by Leonid Afremov "Light Through the Rain

We have new doors and new paths. “Light Through the Rain” by Leonid Afremov

 

What will I do? I will continue to live by my values and ideals. I won’t condone bigotry. I won’t support exclusion within our society. I won’t support  proposed legislations limiting or discriminating against women. I will support the right to peaceful protest to draw attention to a cause, to make sure government is aware of people’s thoughts and needs. Flag burning, violence, and vandalism I don’t support. They disturb me.

I will be watchful for separation of church and state. Uniform laws of the land supersede religious laws which vary from belief system to belief system. Constitutional law protects all of us and all of our religious beliefs. We coexist under that umbrella. I hope the character values of honesty, integrity, and empathy are at a person’s forefront, whatever the religious belief.

I will look to the arts – to our playwrights, artists, writers, songwriters, and musicians – to capture and record, to reflect and peer into the future, to reach into the heart, to explore the darkness, and to lift us up.

I will stay involved and work through my knee-jerk reactions and emotionalism to try to think and evaluate. I’ll read. I’ll watch the news channels and vote in local, state, and federal elections. I won’t be complacent or lose my sense of humor. I will remain uninterested in being mean or unkind. I’ll look for what’s best for the country I love and for its people, of which I am one.

 

Voting isn't a one time thing. (Image courtesy of Associated Press)

Voting isn’t a one time thing. (Image courtesy of Associated Press)

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Finding the “just right” character name

I don’t have a magic potion for selecting a character name. Sometimes the name just arrives. Other times, it’s a hard search. I may have to give the character a temporary name for a while as I push ahead in the story. It takes time to get to know a protagonist or villain or sidekick character. No exact science here, just patience and pondering.

 

Courtesy of blog.dognition.com

Courtesy of blog.dognition.com

 

Some writers have found truly effective names. During a luncheon a few years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing author Vince Flynn explore this quandary of finding a good name for a strong protagonist.

He decided the first and last name would be one syllable each. He wanted the name to hit like a punch and, to illustrate, he twice struck his fist in his palm. He found the impact he wanted in the character name Mitch Rapp. Punch. Punch. Mitch Rapp. Perfect for an undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent who pushes the limits.

 

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I just received this. Looking forward to reading it.

 

Another character name I like is in author Andy Weir’s book The Martian. Astronaut Mark Watney finds himself injured and stranded on Mars. The name Mark is one syllable and strong. Again and again he finds ways to beat the odds to survive and make his mark.

The name Watney reminds me of someone saying, “What? What the heck just happened? I’m stranded on Mars.” As in, What-ney? (I know, perhaps a bit of a stretch.) The name Watney also reminds me of kids taunting one another and chanting “Wat-ney, Wat-ney.” However, in this case, the taunter is Mars.

A good read.

A good read.

 

Yet another character name I like comes from author Michael Connelly. His protagonist carries the name Harry Bosch. The character’s birth name is Hieronymus Bosch and he’s a Los Angeles Police Department detective. Hieronymus is quite a moniker to carry around. Harry is an obvious derivation. The name Harry is close and accessible. Bosch is hard and distant.

In history, Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter who portrayed humanity’s fears and desires. A famous work is The Garden of Earthly Delights. Another is called Hell. I find this name is a nice touch for a talented, brooding detective who must analyze motive and intent and descend into a hellish, criminal world.

 

th_196fed19a57c6bc2e3b62660cdf2abbd_thewrongsideofgoodbye

Comes out on November 1 in USA

 

In my own work I found a name I had fun with. I chose the name Jingo Sparks for the protagonist in the short story “Not Even Gloria” which was published in The Sun Runner Magazine. The name illustrates his personality.

Jingo is kind of a ne’er do well, kind of “jingo-ing” about town in need of money to support a high maintenance girlfriend. Impulsive, he sparks activity when he hangs out in a local bar and instigates a high stakes game of pool.

 

Scan 5_2_2

Jingo Sparks likes his pool hall.

 

A character name may be fluid for a period of time. But taking a cue from the authors above, there are various ways to approach the name game. We can look to

  • symbolism
  • history
  • art
  • literature
  • mythology
  • rhythm
  • sound
  • syllable count
  • a name to create an effect
  • a name that enforces character traits and personality
  • lists of names on the internet
  • I also like the ideas of Andre Cruz on this website, The Write Life. (See number two on his list.)

And can you tell that when I read to relax, I choose mystery, action, adventure, and, once in a while, science fiction? Happy name hunting!

Posted in Authors, Books, Creativity, fiction writing, Inspiration, Looking for Inspiration, novel, Reading, short story, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you get in the mood – to write, that is?

Some days I walk down the hall to the office thinking of other things I’d rather do than write. You know, procrastinator thoughts. Paint a room. Clean the garage. Pay bills. Other days I walk down the hall like I’m going to a party. Thoughts are rolling. Then there are days when it’s a ho-hum stroll. Whatever my mood, I manage to go into the office. Step one: In the office. Check.

 

The long walk 

 

The next trick is to stay in the office and not succumb to urges to leave. You know, that sudden desire for a fresh cup of coffee way out in the kitchen or the compelling need to turn on the TV for news or the lure to sit in a comfy chair with a good book. Before I can run away, I sit in the desk chair and roll it into place, suddenly under the gaze of a Beanie Baby called Nanook and under the spell of three crystals beneath the monitor. They’re telling me to focus.  Step two: In the chair. Check.

I turn on my computer. While I wait for its R2-D2 wakeup sounds and Phantom of the Opera chord, I switch on the printer. It serenades with bells and chimes. A regular early morning sound fest. The computer and printer complete their early morning stretch, prep for my writing dance.  Step three: Warm up the equipment. Check.

Next I take out my journal and grab a favorite pen, a Uni-ball Signo. I begin to write. Into the journal go the date and time, usually somewhere between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Current hot topics or uncensored thoughts or private feelings like anger, hurt, fear, sadness or all things happy go down on the pages. The entry usually takes no more than a few moments because the words fall onto the page easily. I don’t have to censor or be politically correct or be concerned about someone’s reactions to the content. My eyes only. And my brain is getting the signal. Step four: Warm up myself. Check.

 

The writing begins ...

The writing begins 

 

After that, an email scan reveals who I have to answer later or if there is something that needs an immediate response. Social media takes its moment. I check Facebook with a quick scroll of my page, of the three sites I administer, and of the two closed groups in which I participate. Any responses are quick. I don’t let myself dig in or linger. I’ll do another check when I’m done writing that day or during a writing break. Some writers stay away from email and social media, view it as a distraction, and deal with it at a different time. I use email and facebook as part of the writing prep. Step four continued: Warm up myself. Check.

Then I roll into the current project – a short story, an essay, a poem. The document is opened and I’m in. The words may fall onto the page or it may be a slug fest. Step five: Open the doc. Check.

I’m reminded of the many allusions by authors of putting your seat in the seat and staying there. I’m also reminded of Dennis Lehane stripping away the romanticism during an author talk by saying he goes into his office and goes to work. That’s his job. I agree with his POV. That’s what I try to do. I go to work, some days more brilliantly than others. Step six: Write. Check.

Sometimes, though, all bets are off. I don’t go to the dance. During the day or night I’ve been writing in my head, getting an idea, figuring out a better way to say something or solving a story problem. In the morning I hurry into the office, turn on the computer, open the document, and dig in. My brain knows it wants to write. I’m focused like a laser. Other times there may be a deadline. No dance then either. Into the document I go.

 

Courtesy of The New York Times

Slow dance or jump in? (Image courtesy of The New York Times)

 

I don’t know if I get better results by using the slow dance ritual or by just jumping in. The biggest take-away is, either way, I’m writing, whether I arrived at that point slow or fast. (I’ve also been known to be very productive writing in a notebook in a doctor’s office or at a Starbuck’s.) But mostly I get “in the mood” with the above six simple, unadorned, unromantic steps. Here they are again:

Go to the office.

Sit in the chair.

Warm up the equipment.

Warm up myself with a writing ritual. e.g. journaling, writing email and social media responses.

Open the document – short story, chapter, essay, poem.

And write. (Go to work.) And some days will be more satisfying than others.

And writers have been known to play music or light candles or have a bottomless coffee pot or glass of liquid. If it works, I’m a fan. Love to know your secrets!

Posted in memoir, novel, poetry, short story, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Trip to the Mall Gone South

We’d gone to Barnes and Noble at the local mall, had a chocolate milkshake at the food court, and were leaving that mecca of fine dining when, Boom, my husband took a tumble. He went down. Hard. I was a half step away, but couldn’t reach him in time. What happened? Dehydration? Stubbing a sneaker on a tile floor? Dizzy spell? Blood pressure? He fell on his right side and rolled onto his back, but didn’t hit his head. His cane fell by his side. His name is Tony.

 

Ah, a chocolate milkshake and a book!

Ah, a chocolate milkshake and a book!

 

In a nano-second people were there. As I knelt beside him, I became aware of other activity. A man held my husband’s head gently in his hands, placed a rolled up jacket under it, and continued to keep his head and neck stable. Another man knelt on the other side of Tony and comforted him, asking him where he hurt. A woman grabbed her cell phone and called 911. A mall security guard gathered my purse from where I had dropped it. Others stood nearby, but did not press. These four people stayed with us until the paramedics arrived.

The medics came in record time. One assessed, another asked my husband questions, asked where he hurt, and talked with him. Tony answered and also managed to find his sense of humor. At least that was in tact. His right shoulder and arm, not so much. With gentle skill, the paramedics placed him on the gurney. I grabbed my car keys, prepared to follow. The medic told me it would be best and safest for me to just drive to emergency and report to the entry desk. After Tony was assigned a bed, I’d be taken to him. Made sense. Done.

 

An unplanned destination

An unplanned destination

 

With my husband on his way to Eisenhower Emergency, I had a chance to quickly thank each of these people. I wish I’d taken their pictures to share with him and you. Just ordinary people going about their business, seeing someone in need.

At Emergency, Tony’s vital signs were monitored. Heart, respiration, temperature, pulse. X-rays were taken of his right shoulder and arm. Tests done. He liked his nurse who knew just how to joke and talk to him. We spent a lengthy afternoon in the meat locker temperatures. We got hungry. They brought us warmed blankets, apple juice, and graham crackers.

The doctor arrived with the good news. Nothing broken. Anywhere. However, Tony did have a mightily swollen shoulder, arm, and elbow. Prescription? Ice, painkillers, rest, and follow-up with our own doctor. (BP medicine has since been prescribed.) We felt very thankful.

Something else I want to share. I was never more proud of my community, especially during this time of political rancor and name calling. I was never more proud of our diversity. The people who helped us? They were Middle Eastern, Jewish, Hispanic, and Caucasian. How so? We all carry clues. Manner of dress, jewelry, name tag, accent. It’s who we are. The big idea? It didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. I mention their diversity only to make a point – we’re all a community, inclusive, people helping people, people interacting and caring.

And Tony is doing fine.

 

Art by Nate Williams

Art by Nate Williams

Posted in Inspiration, memoir, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

To Collaborate or Not?

Collaborating with others on an endeavor is no easy matter. People have diverse personalities, work styles, and learning styles. You may say, “I prefer to work alone,” or “Collaborating isn’t for me.” Granted, it’s tricky. It’s risky. It’s complicated. It’s intense. It’s also exciting and rewarding. My past collaborative experiences have been in team teaching and theatre production. I’m currently working with an associate on a book.

My first experience was team teaching in a public school. My partners and I wrote units of study combining historical events, literature, music, the arts, and science. We explored the layers of an event such as WWII to give students a deeper understanding of man and the society of the time. The goal was to show how events influence, mirror, and direct society, that people and events don’t exist in a vacuum.

We worked with approximately 60 students in large and small groups. We added media, guest speakers, projects, performance, music, student work, hands on activities. We had flexible space – movable walls, portable screens, and furniture.

 

"Patrol - First Snow by Edward Reep, WWII Combat Artist

“Patrol – First Snow” by Edward Reep, WWII Combat Artist

 

Second was working in theatre as an actor, director, and teacher. Mounting a play is a collaborative effort. From casting, to directing, to rehearsing, to acting, to staging, to tech, to box-office, to publicity. When the production is a musical, add the vocal director  and a large cast plus the orchestra director and orchestra. Mounting a play or musical starts by working in small groups or scenes. These groups are slowly combined to build a complete whole.

As an actor, you rehearse in small and large groups, depending on the play. You use each other’s energy, depend on each other to work for the good of the whole. As a director, you depend on the actors, tech, wardrobe, make-up, and stage crew to do their jobs as rehearsed. When the curtain opens, it’s out of your hands. As a teacher, you coach, guide, and challenge young people to discover.

 

Scene from "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder

Scene from “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder (photo courtesy of internet)

 

Last is a current endeavor working with an associate to develop a book combining poetry and art. The process began with the selection of a basic theme. Once we decided on the theme, we each did a search of our own existing work.

What pieces of poetry were suitable? What pieces of art? We did some matching and tweaking of current pieces. We also created new work. Content grew, organization flowed, and the title arrived. Currently, we are moving toward publication. We work individually, via the internet, and in person.

Two Women at Table by Richard Diebenkom, 1963

Two Women at Table by Richard Diebenkom, 1963

 

When you think of all the potential complications, you may look at the above paragraphs and think, Are you kidding? Deal with all these personalities and variables? With a shake of the head, you may say, “Not for me.”

As with any endeavor, I’ve discovered a few tricks along the way when involved in a collaborative effort:

1. Come prepared.

2. Meet commitments.

3. Respect each other’s work and ideas.

4. Don’t compete with each other.

5. Respect each other’s process. People have different ways of arriving at a mutually desired result.

6. Negotiate when visions differ.

7. Compliment.

8. Listen.

9. Be flexible and stay focused. Discoveries may be made. Plans can change. People are human. Life can get in the way.

10. Recognize that during the creative process, stress and tensions may develop. Remember nos. 3 & 5.

 

There’s great reward gleaned from creating and completing a joint project. Creativity builds on creativity. Ideas flow. There’s discovery. There’s learning. There’s excitement. And, quite frankly, some days you’ll be more brilliant than others. C’est la vie. But when you see a student’s Aha! moment, or mount a play that moves an audience to laughter or tears, or hold that completed book in hand, all has been worth it. And along the way, you’ve built special memories and relationships. Worth the journey.

 

"Cellular Memory"

“Cellular Memory”

Posted in Authors, Books, Creativity, Finding Ideas: The Creative Process, Inspiration, poetry, Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ah! Summer in the desert. This too shall pass.

If you’ve never spent summer in the desert, you may have trouble imagining what it’s like, except you know it must be hot. That is what is known as an understatement. In case your curiosity runs a little deeper, let me share a few analogies and thoughts about summering in the desert.

 

Desert Near Palm Springs by Carl Eytel

Desert Near Palm Springs by Carl Eytel

 

Not to waste words, at times it’s like being trapped in a sauna. That’s when local dwellers talk about the heat and the curse of high humidity. At other times, it’s like being locked in a room with the thermostat cranked up high. That’s when local dwellers tell you it’s sure hot but at least it’s a dry heat.

For you who live where snow falls and the winter is long and dark, it’s getting reverse cabin fever. Just as snow piles outside the door, heat settles outside the door, an invisible barrier.

It’s a time when you become disenchanted with your house because you only leave it at night, if at all, like a nocturnal hunter or in the early morning before the heat reaches an endearing 114 degrees or more. When the temperature is at 99 or 100 degrees, it feels like a cold snap.

You become sick of  your clothes. They’re always wrinkled and too warm. No matter how cool (and I don’t mean stylish here) they’re supposed to be, they’re always clinging to your back. Bad hair days and hat hair abound.

 

On a Desert Island by Melanie Florio

On a Desert Island by Melanie Florio

 

You carry a cooler in the car so your groceries don’t ferment or spoil between the market and the house. Your purse weighs on your shoulder because of the two bottles of water in it. The beverage container in your car always contains a bottle of water. By the end of the day, it’s half used and hot.

Your disposition fluctuates between depressed and irritable. You may become annoyed with the other person in the room. You can look in the mirror and get into an argument. The air conditioner, its sound and unnatural breeze, begins to grate on your nerves.

Plants wither, people and animals must be kept hydrated, things acquire a dusty luster.

And, after all of the above, why stay? It’s simple. The desert is a seductress.

Nothing is more beautiful than a desert sky on a summer’s night. In the blackest of darkness stars glisten, making you feel you can reach as far as infinity. Imagine a desert landscape where flowers, delicate and rich in color, bloom, ignoring the starkness of their surroundings.

 

Prickly Pear Cactus by Sherry Kimmel

Prickly Pear Cactus by Sherry Kimmel

 

Nothing is more stately than bighorn sheep seen on a mountainside or tall Mexican fan palms, pencil thin, strong survivors. Imagine white billowing clouds against the bluest of desert skies. The sound of a summer’s rain is like music. A date garden shares its dignity and bounty. Where I live, I marvel that I’m standing on the sandy floor of an ancient lake with its watermark etched on the mountainside.

Gathering with a group after work or breaking out of the house to meet a friend on a summer’s evening is pure delight. Imagine that first cold glass of wine or sip of beer or something stronger if your day has been a real beast.

Nothing is more soothing than the pure, unsullied sounds of silence in the early morning or late evening, a time when you can commune with yourself.

 

Borrego Desert by Edith Purer

Borrego Desert by Edith Purer

 

You step into the rhythm of the summer desert. Up early. Out early. Home. Out in the evening. Dinner. Sleep.

When summer finally breaks into autumn and temperatures slowly cool, nothing is more grand than the weather and the freedom to go out and play. Weather which stepped on your last good nerve in late August now sells real estate to those who want a desert paradise, lures snowbirds from the tundra, and charms the heck out of you, making summer just an old dream.

Of course, you cheat. You might escape to another home in another clime. You might take a trip or three. You might drive up to the local mountains to feel a cooling breeze on your face. You might drive over to the Pacific Ocean, two and a half hours away.

You may wonder what a person does during these long hot summers. Here’s a list in case you find yourself with a desert summer on your hands. (You can add your own in the comments section at the end of the blog. I’m always open for more!)

1. Binge watch TV.

2. Go to the movies. The local movie house becomes a close friend.

3. Clean closets, cupboards.

4. Do house maintenance.

5. Shop online. I like amazon.com, wayfair. com, overstock.com., Chico’s.com.

6. Read – everything from books to online newspapers to medicine bottles.

7. Eat … Drink.

8. Linger on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-In.

9. Submit your DNA to ancestry.com.

10. Sort and organize photos.

11. Study something new like photography or playing the guitar.

12. Write. In a journal, emails, letters. Work on a novel.

Re: number 12, I completed a short story called “The Long Playing Record” and submitted it to several literary journals. The RavensPerch picked it up. You can read it here. http://www.theravensperch.com.

The-RavensPerch-for-SpreadshirtI also worked on a collection of poetry and art with an associate which involved several meetings at the local coffee house. More to come on that project in future posts.

And there you have it. Summer in the desert. I used to come to the desert only in the winter. To play. I didn’t realize it would talk to me and lure me to stay.

 

trail6841

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments