I don’t love summer for the weather. Heat and humidity are no great friends of mine. I don’t love it for the length of its days or for its celebrations (though I’m quite fond of my wedding anniversary).
I love summer for its freedom. I like my job well enough, but my favorite benefit is the opportunity to take the summer off. Sure, I read and plan for fall, but most of my time is my own.
So, forgive me if I cry out in celebration. Woo-hoo! (I'm so excited I've decided to let myself indulge in an excess of exclamation marks. Sometimes they just won't be denied).
I’ve spent the first few days decompressing after the usual end of the semester grading frenzy. It’s been wonderful.
I’ve been reading a lot. I’m getting a head start on the Hugo Awards list. I’m in the middle of two novels: You by Austin Grossman and Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops: Control Point. I’m looking forward to making a dent in my huge To-Be-Read pile.
I’ve been watching television. Hannibal remains one of my favorite new shows. It’s gorgeous and disturbing. We finally caught up with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Series one of Endeavor was quite good and I’m going to check out the older Inspector Morse series.
I’ve been indulging in more Dragon Age. The next installment comes out in October. I'm going to push myself to play at least one or two different titles as well.
And…I’ve been planning the rest of my summer.
I will be attending two cons this summer.
The first is Fourth Street Fantasy in Minneapolis. I’ve never been to it before, but it looks like great fun. A few days of in-depth discussion of fantasy literature is not something I wanted to miss.
The second is Gen Con in Indianapolis. I went for the first time last year and had a fantastic time. I just finished putting my Wish List together for this year’s events. Most of my time will be spent at the Writer’s Symposium. It looks awesome.
Last summer I took a bunch of writing classes at LitReactor. They helped me step up my game. This year I’ve signed up for two (so far).
The first is 200 Proof Storytelling with Craig Clevenger. I hear nothing but good things about it. I’m particularly interested in the section about “eliminating the dead wood that drags down your prose.” I want to become a better editor of my own work.
The second is The Practical Craft of Fantasy with Scott Lynch. When I saw that class pop up on the LitReactor page I squealed and ran for the credit card. I’m a fan and I’ve been working on an idea for a fantasy novel for some time now. I think this class on worldbuilding and craft will help me get it together.
The current larger WIP is still in the early stages. I’m not sure if it will continue to develop as a set of novellas or if I’ll work them into a novel. I’m still very excited about the story and the characters so there’s no danger of abandoning them—but they need to sit a while longer.
In the meantime, I’ve got a list of short stories I want to write. They’ve been waiting patiently, but it’s time some of them made it to paper. It will give the opportunity to explore different tones and genres. I also like to keep the submission cycle in motion.
If all goes according to plan I’ll have at least four stories out this summer. I’ll be making noise about them when the time comes…but I’ll try not to be too obnoxious about it.
I’ll be participating in a family ice cream making contest. I think it’s the third year. This means lots of practice and lots of odd flavor experiments. Last year included Strawberry Candied Jalapeño. I’m thinking this year I need to try something with Beets. Also, bourbon—but not in the same batch.
There will be a getaway vacation with my husband, visits to see my family in Wisconsin, and trips to Louisville to see my husband’s family.
I’m looking forward to continuing weekly meetings with the Writing Group.
All in all, I’m anticipating an awesome season. Hope you are too...
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