Routines in the Summer

By Jeff Salter

We’re yakking this week about whether (and how) things are different in our summer schedules.

When I was a kid, of course, the summers were heavenly: no school. Could wake up when I wanted (more or less)… and was allowed to stay up later (if I wanted) to watch TV.
This photo is of the Bogue Falaya River Park in Covington LA, which I visited frequently during my childhood summers.
bogue falaya park '61

For a look at my childhood summers, check out this link from two years ago. The beginning is about vacations I never took in the summers, but then it settles into the type of things I DID do during summer break (as a kid).

By the time I was in junior high school I had a part-time job during the school year and the hours increased during summers. After both my Junior and Senior years of High School, I worked full time during those summers in a feed and seed store.


As a grown-up, my jobs never varied much among the seasons, so the summertime only meant I’d get hotter and sweatier on my way to and from work.

In my retirement years, however, the summers usually give me a breather from my work with the kids at church (since those Wednesday evening programs only run during the school terms). I love working with those kids, but surely do enjoy my summer months off.

Retirement & Writing

These days, my writing and editing workload depends (partly) on how many contracts I have going and where each project is in its cycle. For reasons I can’t explain, it has seemed (in these past three summers of publishing activity) that I have NOT had many deadlines to deal with during the hot months. So that has usually meant that I’m more free to work on new stories or overhaul older ones (to get them ready for submission).

This summer, for example, I have the final proofing stages of one contract and can anticipate all the editing and proofing stages of another contract. In addition, I’ve submitted a novella which I hope will receive a contract soon.

[This past summer – 2014 – I felt like I lost the entire summer to a huge project at our house and a series of numerous medical appointments.]

This summer, I’m hoping for a mixture of contract deadlines and (hopefully) new work.

Here’s a cool summertime song for you


Since three of our six grandkids are local and school is out, I presume I’ll see them more than during the school year.

But since I don’t travel much at all any more, I won’t get to see the other three grandchildren much, I’m afraid.


What are YOUR summers like?


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Routines in the Summer

  1. jbrayweber says:

    My summers are a mishmash of trying to keep the kids from driving me crazy with “I’m bored”. Working from home and having the kids out from school creates challenges. Trying to get them to understand that just because they are free during the summer but mommy is not doesn’t always translate well. We go to the beach as many weekends as we can, and I also have a tradition where I take them to the museum before school starts back up. We travel for vacations maybe once every three to four years, but we do try to do one big, fun event once a summer.

    Love the pic. Is that you, Jeff, with your float?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      No, that’s not me. This pix was posted by somebody from my hometown that I didn’t even know.
      Yes, I can certainly see where a person trying to produce creatively at home during the summer would face EXTREME distractions from out-of-school kids.
      Sounds like you have a pretty good balance, though, of focusing on them and still keeping some modicum of flow with your work.
      The older they get, the less of them you’ll see in summer months.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like you have a little more creative room in the summer months than the other seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I really hope so. I’d like to finish several of the projects I’ve started. Some already have nearly 30k words apiece. Another batch of starts have about half that amount already written. Would love to get them completed and into a second draft.


  3. I hope it is a restful yet fruitful Summer for you,Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’ve got at least three that are at 30K and another that’s at 12K. I just need some dedicated time to finish them. Funny how a week that looks empty on a calendar can be so full that nothing is written! Congrats on all your new contracts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol Todd says:

    When I think of summer, I think of the song from “Porgy and Bess,” – i.e., “Summertime” – when the livin’ is easy, Summertime, when the cotton is high (well, we used to drive past fields of it sometimes, and it did get pretty high, as did the sugar cane)…

    I think summer for me now is slightly more relaxed than the rest of the year, because my grandkids (in whose schooling I participate) are off and kicking back for a bit. Summer is a time when I think of going to the beach, the pool, or maybe on a road trip – because those are the things I did when I was growing up. As Jeff mentioned above (we lived in the same hometown for a good period), the Bogue Falaya State Park beach in Covington was a mecca in the summer. I used to go almost daily with my mom when I was just a little girl – for swimming lessons. On weekends, my grown cousins and their families from “the city” would come over and camp in the park. We’d go out and visit with them and swim and sun (and sun-burn), and occasionally manage a ride in my cousin’s speedboat. Those were such relaxed and fun times – I haven’t seen anything that slow in a long, long time. As I got older, camping was forbidden in the park, and the cousins found other places to play. I spend long summer days at Covington Country Club’s pool. It was fun – mama would drop me off and I’d just spend the day in and out of the water, socializing with whoever might show up.

    I like what Jeff said about the river, though, and the opposite bank. That bank was a place of dark and mystery for me, too. Not to mention that the water got “deep” as you swam across, so we had to build up some nerve to even go there. Arriving on the opposite bank was rewarded with a glimpse of tangled vines and plants and a pristine mini-sand beach. However, the creepiest thing was to be on that side of the river when the tide came in from the lake, backing up the water and bringing floating debris, jumping fish, and “dark water.” When the water level rose, that was the signal to depart and swim back for the other, more friendly shore. It’s funny how things stay with you but you never think of them until someone brings it up. Thanks, Jeff, for letting me renew the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Your info about that water level and the tide coming from the lake has given me an idea for a cool, creepy scene in a story!
      I’m surprised my brother Charles never told me about that. He always enjoyed scaring me!


      • Carol Todd says:

        I’m surprised he didn’t tell you, too. I would assume y’all were there later in the day, at least occasionally. Of course, the only time I was there later in the day was when my relatives visited. Otherwise, we went in the morning and went home in the middle of the day, or went for a short afternoon visit.

        Glad I provided a scene for a story! I think it will work well…8-)

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        LOL. Charles always made sure to tell us about gross things like how oysters defecated on themselves (or whatever). But, yeah, it’s surprising nobody mentioned that tidal backwash thing. And we were often there — at Bogue Falaya — in the afternoons. Don’t remember any late afternoons or early evenings, however.
        It’s all a bit hazy now.


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