It is summer in Maine and I have grand plans to get through another revision of my novel. But with summer, comes a whole slew of distractions.
There is, of course the garden. I am not a gardener like some of my esteemed Hamline colleagues, and sad to say I have neglected my tiny plot for the past two years, so that means it needs extra attention now.
Then, there are the sun-dappled mornings when walk my dog on the beach for, oh, at least an hour while we romp and chase seagulls and watch the fishing boats set out. When I get back home the sun is in the perfect spot to sit outside in my new Adarondack chair, which is perfect for napping while drinking my second cup of coffee. Or for reading, which counts as work, right?
Finally I go inside to begin my writing day. The windows are open and the along with the sweet breeze, the incessant sound of construction—hammers, table saws, jack hammers, weed wackers, bad radio—blows in. After all, summer in the north coincides with construction season. I close the windows but still the jackhammer pounds through, breaking all chance of concentration. Better to hop on my bike and go somewhere else to work, like a café or the park. I have to stop at the bookstore where I linger for hours chatting with the owners. That’s kind of like work, isn’t it? By that time the café is only good for more coffee.By the time I get home I am exhausted. There is a momentary lull in construction so I must get a nap in pronto!
It is evening already and the dog is looking at me longingly—the beach is open to dogs again so we have to go. There we run into friends, so lingering til sunset is a must. After all, it is summer in Maine and these days are precious. There’s no guarantee it will be sunny or warm tomorrow. And if it’s not, I will work, I promise. Oh, but wait there is all that company. Every summer weekend is booked with out-of-towners. Boston friends can be here in two hours, and they have a canoe and are going out on the Androscoggin River rain or no—so I have to join them.
Give me a frigid, blowing blizzard and I’ll write an entire draft in a week! Summer, discipline goes right out the window. Good thing it only lasts less a few weeks. But then, there is that brilliant New England autumn…. Sigh.