Tag Archives: Summertime

    Writing Assistant Monday: Off and Away!


Cat bellies increase productivity. It is known.


It’s hot.


If only writing assistants could also be tidying assistants. Between packing and trying to finish up this novel, the house is a bit of a mess.

This will be the last Writing Assistant Monday featuring either of my darling cats for at least six weeks. I leave for my first summer residency at Hollins on Friday morning. We’re stopping DC on the way to visit with some friends and have lunch, then we should be Roanoke sometime in the evening.

I’m nervous. Really, really nervous. And I’ve been focusing a lot of energy on worrying, which I want to try to stop. So in an effort to shift my focus: a list of things I’m super, duper excited about for the summer.

** Meeting amazing authors and industry professionals. Um, hello. I’m going to be taking classes for Alexandria LaFaye and Hillary Homzie. Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman and Terri Windling are amazing and will be all be there for the summer. Visiting are greats like Cece Bell and Andrea Brown and Charles Vess and freaking Maggie Stiefvater. I can’t wait to absorb the energy and knowledge of so many talented, dedicated people.

** Being just beside the BEAUTIFUL Blue Ridge Mountains. Kyle and I already have plans to hike next weekend.

** Bluegrass.

** Books.

** Reading and writing and talking and breathing children’s lit with people who are just as passionate about it as I am.

** Not having to cook (much). Hello cafeteria and meal plan!

** Books.

I’ll miss Kyle and the cats and my friends in NJ, but with each new move (however temporary) there is the chance to expand. A new place to explore. New foods to eat. New favorite people to add to my already long list of favorite people.

And of course, new books.

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I’ve had this song running through my head all day:

Weird, right? I can only assume it’s there because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much my summertime’s have sucked in the last few years. They’ve been filled with job and financial uncertainty, moves (including quite a few relocations), and a ton of stress. Although I don’t want to go into the specifics right now, this summer has shaped up to be the same familiar ball of worry and heat.

Let’s take a quick walk through memory lane of my last 5 summers. I’ll start with what was awful and end with a positive because there has also been a lot of good the last 5 years.

Summer 2008– The bad? We moved in together for the first time. It was really hard for me to adjust to sharing my space with another person. I learned I am a little bit territorial. The good? Kyle moved in. The long-distance part of our relationship was finally over, 3 years later.

Summer 2009– The bad? We were scheduled to relocate to the DC area for Kyle to start his PhD. It was incredibly scary because we had little savings and no idea what I would be doing to support us.  The good? Well, we got married. That was kind of huge. 

Summer 2010– The bad? I was a freelancer, which was really hard for me. I was constantly bouncing around different theatres in the DC area. The good? I met some amazing people and worked on some really amazing projects. 

Summer 2011- The bad? Kyle decided not to continue pursuing his PhD. This came with a massive job search that eventually ended with us moving back to Michigan. It was a hard decision– we were starting to really love DC and had some amazing friends we left behind. The good? We were headed back to Michigan. Also, there was a lot of awesomeness through that summer– it was filled with dancing and friends. 

Summer 2012– The bad? After things went horribly wrong with Kyle’s job in Michigan, we were both feverishly job hunting, that lovely yoyo/rollercoaster ride of hope and rejection. We sent applications all across the country and had no idea where we would end up. If you’ve never done that, let me tell you: it’s rough. The good? We both had really great prospects toward the end. It was timing that led us to NJ and we’ve loved it here so far. Most importantly though, we got to spend an entire summer in Michigan with our families. 

So…so pretty awful summers, but also some really, really awesome endings. I’m hoping that this year will turn out the same. In the meantime, this will be my anthem:

Sing along with us, dee dee dee dee dee

Da da da da da, yeah we’re hap-pap-py

Da da da dee da doo dee da dee da dee da da, yeah

Da da da da da, dee da da dee da da


(I should also note, that we’re ok. We’re not relocating. We’re settled in NJ for at least another year because that’s what our lease says, dammit. August is just going to be bring about some big changes. Once we know more, I will share.) 

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