If You Really Want To Know

What I DID do last summer

By Jeff Salter

This week and last week are both about summer, but while LAST week was about what I left un-done or never got around to — THIS week reveals what I DID accomplish during these summer months.

First, let me redefine “summer.” Back in the old days, summer started with Memorial Day (end of May) and ended with Labor Day (first full week in Sept.). So, growing up, I recognized summer as three solid months – nearly 14 weeks – of break from the grind of Spring’s and Autumn’s school semesters. But currently some communities tinker with summer to the point that it might start in early June and end nine weeks later in early August. [Yeah, like in Possum Trot.] For my purposes on this Hound Day blog, the summer of 2015 covered an expanse of 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Period.


I couldn’t mention summer activity without discussing the elaborate, expensive 8 X 12 foot chicken house my wife acquired to house her growing flock of precious hens. And after we had it delivered, she still wanted a roost bar, what she calls a poop deck, several braces (of course), and another bar to hold in the wood shavings. [Oh, and a tiny porch with a ramp for them to strut up and down.] You may not believe me when I reveal that we spent parts of eight days working on those few projects.


A goodly chunk of my time is spent on my 93-year-old mom, who lives down the hill, about 500 feet south. Daily visits to check on her, weekly runs with her to the grocery, and whatever appointments she has. This summer it was out to the heart doctor and in from nurses and physical therapists.


Our church doesn’t have the Wednesday evening classes for kids during summer, but we do have Vacation Bible School and I helped with that for the eighth season. And, of course, Sunday School and Worship Service each Sunday (except one I missed for illness).

Entertainment & Activity

I watched 13 or 14 episodes of Walking Dead and 6 or 7 episodes of “24”. Read at least 10-12 books (likely more) and dozens of magazines. With my wife, I went twice to “Market on Main” — a local collection of vendors of various foods and items.

Our son and youngest grandchild came up (from Louisiana) for a short visit.

I went to the local ‘Y’ for my regular exercise about 45 times.

Went to eye doctor and had to get new glasses. Had two teeth worked on at the dentist.



But mostly what I did on my summer vacation was WRITE.

I participated in 17 hour-long writing sprints on four different stories.

On June 29, I picked up a story (inspired by a dream) which I’d started seven months previously. During July, with the aid of six hour-long sprints, I completed that novella (NEP, about 35k words net) and had begun work on its second draft.

Worked through edits on a newly contracted novella (P2MM) which should be out later this year.

Continued work on the novella SYIMD – including four summer sprints – doubling my existing word count (from April), with new total of about 13k words.

Story ideas were coming faster than I could write them. Other starts this summer were:
HHITC – begun July 15 – generating about 500 words
HAW – begun July 15 & bolstered with five later sprints – generating about 5650 words
TWWS2L – begun Aug. 25 & bolstered with two sprints – generating about 2500 words
NLI – begun Sept. 4 – generating about 3700 words before Labor Day

Wrote one Short Story for a local anthology, but changed my mind about using it and co-wrote (with my wife) a different Short Story for that collection.

Wrote 15 Hound Day Blogs for “Four Foxes One Hound” and at least two or three for my other blog, “Write By Salter.”

Participated in two Takeovers (for book release parties by other authors) — one for 60 minutes and the other for 30.

Typed up three new story concepts during this period, as well as at least 17 others (which were handwritten from earlier months).

Partly because of all this writing, I took 105 afternoon naps this summer.


How did you occupy your summer days?

[ JLS # 244 ]

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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9 Responses to If You Really Want To Know

  1. jbrayweber says:

    My summer wasn’t spent with as many naps as you, Jeff. I pulled out less than a dozen.
    Besides spending a handful of weekends at the beach and my volunteer work with a football/drill team league, I’ve edited 4 books, not including my own book which I also edited, created a website, attended a conference, held or was involved in multiple meetings for various volunteer positions I hold, took a few workshops, and began research on a new paranormal book. Still nowhere as impressive as what you’ve accomplished.

    But now, the kids are back in school. So…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You were incredibly busy this summer. With that many writing projects do you bounce from story to story or do you tend to stick with one until you get stuck?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      so far I’ve been fortunate NOT to have gotten stuck on any. There are a few that I’ve kinda lost interest in, however. My biggest problem is collecting focused time to work on them without distractions and without having to jump up and go somewhere (visit Mom, exercise, grocery, etc.) Every day has has some obligation that requires me to drop everything and go. Then it’s difficult to get back in the saddle.


  3. Well, for Heaven’s sake…here I have my post ready, pleased with how much I had gotten in, writing-wise, but you really put e to shame!

    The ‘poop deck’! Love it!
    You’re a good son, Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I love the way you enumerate the smallest details! I’d be hard pressed to state how many times I did anything, especially naps. Sometimes I’ll cat nap in my recliner for fifteen minutes – do I count that, or only the lie-down-and-forget-about-the-world naps? So glad your sprints have been productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      easy to count my naps. Just total the weeks and multiply by seven. Ha.
      Yeah, the sprints have been a boon to my productivity. It doesn’t always work out that the sprint schedule allows me to work on the WIP I’m most consciously dealing with, however, because (as you know) sometimes I’m re-writing or editing and neither works during a sprint. So I’ve often had to pick up a totally diff. story to sprint on… part of why I’ll have several stories going at the same time.


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