Saturday, May 18, 2013

Writing inspiration: on time and timing

When I was a kid, summer days and Saturdays were a gift. This was before all the play dates and soccer scheduling that kids have now, so if you were up and dressed and breakfasted by 8 or 9  a.m., the whole day was yours.  In fact, if you weren't out and on your bike and knocking at a friend's door by about then, your mother might say, as mine did, "If you can't find something to do, I can find you something, like cleaning your room." All the moms did this, and all the kids were outside and around the neighborhood.

I vividly remember that exciting feeling of waking up and having the whole day ahead of me, as though it were a present. On the first few days of summer, the feeling of having that free time was almost overwhelming. What to do first? Put on a play? Make a camp in the woods out back to play "old-fashioned days," which was one of our favorite things?  It wasn't an endless summer, like that clip that Historiann posted the other day, but it was close.

I'm feeling a little that way this summer. I'm not teaching summer school (obligation #1 removed) and have been in touch with the editor (obligation #2 and feeling of guilt removed). I've made a long-anticipated trip to the archives (obligation #3 removed and incentive gained), and, although there's still some mandatory travel ahead, I'm seeing what I hope are some good and productive days ahead.  I also have a good sense, as I did not in previous summers, of what needs to be done, though I'm still overwhelmed a little by what needs to be done first (which chapter?).

So I have the time, or at least some of what I need, and the timing is right.  It's not an endless summer, but I counted up the days and I can, with luck, get it done.


Historiann said...

17 undergraduate research papers to score, and then I'm right there with you, Undine. Do you wanna ride bikes and then come play in my treehouse? We are wired for juice & so can plug in our laptops there.

sophylou said...

C'n I come play old-fashioned days??

undine said...

Historiann--absolutely to bikes and treehouse both. Didn't you post a picture of your treehouse one time? I was impressed.

sophylou--absolutely to old-fashioned days, too! The most fun part is cooking things like pussy willows and flowers--mashing them together--but weaving dried grass and blazing trails is pretty awesome, too.