There will be Rum

The sun’s out today ! Like it was yesterday, and is going to be tomorrow and Sunday. Glorious blue skies and sunshine! Okay, so it is Spring, but around here you never know what you’re gonna get this time of year, and typically your sunny days are Monday through Friday, almost never on the weekend.

But last weekend we had glorious sunshine, and it’s baaack! Which leads me to make extremely detailed plans, so as to get the most out of the weather and the weekend. My sister and I practiced this last Saturday, and found not only were we capable of getting it done, but that it was productive and enjoyable. So this weekend, we’re going to try and do it both Saturday and Sunday.

What is it, you might ask?

Absolutely. Nothing.

My grand plans are to wake up Saturday morning, take my coffee outside on the patio, listen to the birds, gaze around the back yard, perhaps discuss the placement of the new plants, ponder the window boxes and what should go in them, admire the state of the freshly mowed lawn (the gardener came yesterday). After coffee, I’ll set up the new chaise lounges and attach the new chair cushions, then my biggest decision of the day will be: Do I read a book, or work on my own?

Sunday will be more of the same, broken only by my walkies, which I’ll do in the morning before it gets too warm.

Have you ever done that, for an entire weekend? Absolutely nothing, even when you weren’t sick? Do you know how rare that really is for the majority of us? You either have kids to worry about, or chores that need doing. There’s usually errands, a project waiting, or some other commitment clamoring for your time. Sure, it’s the weekend, and you don’t have to go to work, but how often have you spend two solid days in a row not doing a thing?

Sure, I might get some writing done. This novel is being written by hand, slowly and deliberately and very enjoyably, but that’s not work or a chore. I have rocks in the tumblers that need to be cleaned, which is also pure pleasure and done in the sun of the back yard anyway. The groceries and errands will be done after work today, gonna pick up some Baileys, maybe a fresh bottle of Bacardi, and just kick back.

That’s the mood I’m setting for the Summer of 2010. Not to be lazy, mind you. My sister has only been at her new job for three and a half months, so there’s no vacation for her this year – – she just had a full year of unemployment, so don’t be feelin’ sorry for her! And me, well, I have a lot of annual leave I’ll have to take, and I’ll just spend it around the house, enjoying the back yard and writing.

Which brings me to the point I was going to make about that . . . This new novel is being done by hand, and I’m taking it slow, on purpose. It’s a departure for me. So much so, I’m using a pen name, which is having an interesting affect on the overall writing of it all. More on that later. The novel itself is set in West Tennessee, in the summertime, and has a long, slow, humid feel to it. Writing by hand, in the summertime, will add to that in a way only hand writing authors would appreciate. Which is not to be cryptic or snooty, it’s just a fact, like grass being green and sweet tea being disgustingly sweet.

Handwriting is so different, I know ninety eight percent of you are rolling your eyes at the thought, and that’s a shame. I won’t bother preaching at you about it, but in my opinion – if you can’t get a novel done without using a keyboard, how do you even feel like a writer?

I’m looking forward to spending an entire Summer outside, with a pad of paper and a pen, so much I can’t even explain it. There was a little nagging fear in the back of my mind that I’d probably get tired, and bring my little Dell Mini netbook outside and use that when my penmanship began to fail me – but I fixed that little red wagon by giving my netbook to my niece as a graduation gift. She’s in Africa this year, and her computer broke the day she arrived, so I gave my little computer to her to keep. That little screen was hard on my eyes anyway.

I never use the laptop for a lot of writing, especially in the summer, because it’s too hot on my legs and my fingers get all sweaty on the keyboard. Not that big an issue with a pad and pen, surprisingly.

So this summer I’m handwriting, listening to bluegrass, learning how to make a Mint Julep (after figuring out exactly what goes IN a Mint Julep) and getting back to basics, in writing, living, thinking, all that. I wish I had an old rockin’ chair and a black and tan coon hound, but that would probably be taking things a tad too far !

Here’s to Summer, long, quiet weekends, lush green grass and a bottle of Southern Comfort! (which is actually a whiskey and probably way outta my league).

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