Summer, Football, and Dreams of a Day or Two Off

So a friend says, “Summer is winding down.”

I scowl at her, and she doesn’t understand. She prefers fall. I like to hold onto summer with both hands, digging my feet in and begging it not to leave. I adore the heat on my back as I sit on my porch, typing on my old, battered laptop. Some of the keys on it stopped working–e, l, n, r–important letters, and so I spent $9 on eBay for a wireless keyboard. I can still use my old, battered laptop, and the keyboard makes my operation much more flexible.

I scowl mightily. Summer is my back porch, three fans going when it warms up so me doggies don’t get too hot. And on those days when it is too hot, I usher them inside, and they sit at the door, watching me and licking the windows. Summer is tennis ball tossing sessions after every thousand words I write. There’s a big kiddie pool on the patio, and summer is for watching me doggies splash. (But not Wrinkles; he detests getting wet.) This is the previous pool … which got popped by Labrador teeth. The current pool is twice as big and a pain in the patoot to clean (but that’s okay because Fable and Missy love it).

Summer is AWESOME, and were I rich I think I’d chase summer. I met an elderly couple at the Champaign County Fair who sell trinkets out of a trailer. Nice to talk to, retired teachers, they travel the country hitting little fairs. “Chasing summer,” they said.

I still have some summer days left. And if the world is kind I’ll be able to write on my back porch into October.

I suppose I get a little less work done in the summer … all those tennis ball tossing sessions, you know. And a handful of breaks here and there to sit on my bench and ogle my butterfly bush. Counted about fifty butterflies dancing around it one late afternoon. But I try to compensate by working earlier and later … the bonus being more time on my back porch.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh summer.

My friend who likes fall doesn’t recognize the BEST things about fall. For her it is cooler temperatures. For me it is football and Honeycrisp apples. I am a football junkie, have four fantasy football teams (two won this past weekend), and a marvelous pick ’em league that is much fun even if I suck at it.

But, back to summer. I picked up some extra work this summer, which kept me from my intended project: finishing The Dead of Summer. I’ll get back to that at summer’s end. Seems appropriate, eh? And hopefully release it before the end of the year. I’m halfway through it. Have a cover … got the cover when I was having the ones redone for The Dead of Winter and The Dead of Night. It’s a nifty cover.

Before I dig into to that next Piper adventure, I’m gonna take a day or two off. Seriously. Two days, I think. Away from a computer or anything electronic. Disconnect from the world, go out on my back porch, play with me doggies, take myself to a movie, and read. I have a big stack of to-be-read books. And I can probably get through the Michael Connelly I’ve been saving to savor.

I hope he put some summer in the book.


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