Is it summer that does it? Is it the warm breezes, the intoxicating smell of flowers, the promise of ice cream? I don’t know, but something makes it hard to knuckle down and do what’s has to be done.
One thing for sure — summer in Maine is too damn short and it’s a crime anyone has to spend any time indoors. And yet we do. Because, you know, working and stuff.
So how am I spending my summer “vacation”?
Here’s some random stuff. Because it’s too nice out to hold a thought in my head.
If the photos don’t match the topics, that’s because who wants to see crummy photos of work and stuff when you can see photos of summer in Maine?
WRITING MY THIRD BERNIE O’DEA MYSTERY
Oh, you thought it would be out by now? Join the club. So did I. Still, it’s coming along and it’ll be out when it’s out.
I constantly say — as I’m sure every other writer in America who’s not a millionaire does — I would love to be able to do nothing but write. Not only would I have hit my deadline on the book, but the book would kick butt.
Part of the problem with having a lot of things to do when you’re trying to write isn’t just finding the time, but finding the head space. Or controlling the head space. Some of you writers may know what I mean. When I really get going on a book, it’s working in my head all the time. I don’t want to devote my brain to anything but my book. I don’t want to limit the time. It’s like being in love (only better in a lot of ways because the book doesn’t hog the remote).
When I write in the morning, I don’t want to stop to do the other (paying) things I have to do. When I write in the evening, it ends up keeping me up at night as scenes continue to develop in my head.
I guess if you have to have a problem, that’s a good one to have. I think of how boring life would be if I didn’t have that stuff in my head.
JUDGING SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS
Every time I do it, I vow to never do it again. But again, money. Not a lot, but just enough to dangle under my nose and kill my summer.
I have to read 75 for a contest, critique them and send back three, by Aug. 1. I won’t embarrass myself by telling you how many more I have to do.
Almost had a heart attack last night when I thought I’d misunderstood and I actually had 100 to do. Ha HA. Imagine the hilarity when I realized there was a clerical mistake.
It’s become a monster. I have three now. The veteran of the group, Crime & Stuff, with my sister, which we’ve been doing since November; a spin-off, Groovy Tube, also with my sister. It was going to a be a Crime & Stuff, but there was so much to say it got its own podcast. Season 1, The Crimes of the Brady Bunch. And then, my solo effort, Notes from a Cranky Editor. Figure I’d put all that yelling at the TV and morning paper to work.
It’s cool that more and more people are getting into podcasting, both doing it and listening. No, I don’t make any money from it. But as we find ways to build brands and market ourselves (yes, YOU, writers), it’s a big emerging thing.
And anyway, it’s a lot of fun.
Gotta pay those bills! At least some of them. I’ve got a couple of sweet regular gigs and am enjoying being my own boss quite a lot. It’s almost like working, but more fun.
You what would be worse than having a summer full of work where I couldn’t get outside? Having a summer like that anywhere but Maine.
I find lots of excuses/reasons to get out and about, and I’ve vowed to take one day a week to just go somewhere. I’m going to try to mix it with places that have to do with the book I’m writing, because few things help generate that process than being in the setting. At least for me.
One scene in my book takes place at Popham Beach and I’ve already found many reasons to go. I can’t stay away. Next trip will be Franklin County, a nice trail I’ve picked out near Flagstaff Lake.
Gotta do it before the summer is over.
These things aren’t in order of importance, though the book is number one, but as I said up top, it’d be a crime to not get outside. Summer in Maine is short. Work and everything else — even the stuff with deadlines — will be there when we get back.
Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at@mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at maureenmilliken.com. She hosts the podcast Notes from a Cranky Editor all by herself, as well Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.