As a writer, summer is a bittersweet time for me.
The bitter? Once the final school bell rings for summer break, I cease any and all writing. Other than the occasional blog post, I do not create new work nor do I edit old drafts. I do address other needs pertaining to LaPalm Books, however. I remain active on social media, update my blog, continue to market, interact online with writers and readers, and take the opportunity to perform necessary updates or improvements to my web and other various sites. I also revamp book covers, complete revisions to eBooks, and tweak anything that was neglected while in the throes of readying a new book for publishing.
I still work. But I do not write which accounts for the bitter.
The sweet? I get to spend virtually every hour with my son. Summer is his time. He has my undivided attention. We tour museums, visit historical sites, explore the city, find new restaurants, peruse yard sales, and enjoy two separate family vacations. During the school year we are busy. Life is chaotic. A river of sports and work and school schedules carry us along, and we have little choice but to follow its ebb and flow. But during the summer months, we are free. Time stops, and I feel the pull to stop along with it. And although I relish accomplishment and crossing items off the proverbial to do list, I pause to enjoy and reflect. I understand that this is where I should be. I need to be here, with my son, with my husband. In the moment. Being in remission from cancer means I refuse to waste any and every day. Of course, I still worry about stupid things and fritter away time on useless things.
I am human. But because I am human, I want to live.
The reward? I am grateful for the chance to share these moments with my son, and I would never wish the situation to be different. I choose this because I want it. More than anything. He is growing before my eyes, and there will come a day (sadly, very soon) when he will prefer the company of his friends over that of his mother. But as a self-employed person who works from home, the balance proves to be a tricky one. I am determined to walk the fine line and as I do, I hug my child tight, laugh at his amazing sense of humor, and marvel at the young man who filled a space in my heart I never knew was empty.
Yet at the same time, I surreptitiously jot notes in preparation for the fall. An idea for a new book and its characters sit in the shadows, waiting for me to outline, draft, and shape their story. And just knowing it is there makes the bitter disappear to make room for all that is sweet.