Has Anyone Seen My Summer?

Sad woman silhouette worried on the beach

This week, our resident hound supplied our writing prompt: “Is there a particular season or month (or time of year) in which your writing seems more productive?”

Up until this year, my most productive writing month was summer. It’s no secret that I juggle a full calendar, but from May through most of August, I don’t have to think about school or orchestra rehearsals. Unless it’s raining, my mom can drive herself to where she’s going (unless it involves a highway or she needs to get home after dark). Sometimes hubby and I take care of our grandkids, but they’re old enough to keep themselves busy, or ask grandpa for help. So normally, I’m able to devote a lot more time and energy to writing during the summer.

When it’s warm outside, I can get away from the TV that’s constantly on during the day. I can sit on three-season porch at the patio table with my laptop and a big glass of iced tea. If it gets too quiet for me, I can play music from my iTunes library or find a classical music radio station.

Last summer was an exception. We spent the entire months of May and June clearing out my mom’s house so that we could sell it, and the rest of the summer figuring out what to do with all her stuff. Almost every weekend was spent cleaning, tossing, selling, recycling, donating, and setting things aside for family members who wanted certain items. During the week, I dealt with realtors, repair persons, and other issues that kept popping up. I started to write about all the headaches we encountered in that experience, but then I realized this post is supposed to be about writing, not about roadblocks. Suffice it to say, this past summer I did not get the writing done that I had planned. I had a writing deadline that I missed by over a month. But somehow (through lack of sleep, canceling on a few planned activities, and being somewhat anti-social) I completed the promised work, though it meant non-writing projects were neglected.

Once the school year began, it became even more difficult to write. I’ve been able to complete edits, blogging commitments, and necessary promo only by participating in weekly sprints and attending weekend writing retreats away from home whenever I could. But even that writing time is often taken up finishing school paperwork, since a number of additional issues have arisen surrounding the sale of mom’s house.

Presently, I’m caught up on school work, but I’m still trying to catch up on the house projects and upkeep that were neglected during the family’s major summer activity, and I’m starting to get frustrated because a holiday is coming up and we’re hosting. I need to clean up, which is a major task in the best of times, and nearly impossible when I’m preoccupied by other facets of my life. But the semester is coming to an end, and I’m hopeful things will calm down a bit after the holidays. In the meantime, I’m brainstorming characters, conflicts, and plots so that the next time I’m able to write I’ll be able to make headway on a new project!

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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9 Responses to Has Anyone Seen My Summer?

  1. Diana Stout says:

    Huge empathy for you, as I’ve been there. I have faith that the writing will endure. It’s the writing that keeps us sane! Hugs.

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  2. HA! Well Scarlett, I give a damn, and that is my problem when it comes to writing.Talking the time to sit down and get it out of my head and ‘written’ down has been a problem for many years. I think now that I have had to have things on hold, it will have a bigger priority, but not in this week or so before Thanksgiving.I will have to have a scaled-back feast, but I will have one, and I will have to take it slow.
    I can’t imagine dealing with your mother’s house and all the things one accumulates! You are a good daughter.

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Tonette. I’m sure your family will understand the need for you to scale back for the holidays, and I know everything will be fabulous.

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  3. Jeff Salter says:

    We need to have a topic just for roadblocks and other external obstacles.
    So this was my topic. Hmm. Wonder which season I had in mind. I’ll have to figure that out before Thursday, I guess.
    Yes, going through the estate of a loved one is exhausting on many levels… and it sounds like this one put a disproportionate burden upon you. God bless you for sticking with it.

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I think most of it came to me because: A, I’m the only sibling living on the same side of the state, and B, I’m not working full-time. My brother actually retired in July, but he’s still a two-hour drive away.
      Anyway, I’m sure you’ll figure out something by hound day – as you always do.

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  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    With your busy schedule I can see why you’d get more done in the summer. Sorry last summer was so chaotic.

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  5. You’ve certainly had a busy few months! Hopefully things will calm down some after the holidays then maybe you can get more writing time.

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