Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ROW80 Check In 5 - Writing Season

Since what I'm writing right now will be published under a pseudonym that will not be revealed, I've decided not to talk so much about the specifics of what I'm doing right now. Instead I'll do a quick update and talk about more general writing issues.

ROW80 Update 5

I can't report exactly what I did this half week. I didn't keep track. I took a little more time off, then started making adjustments to all sorts of things, and got down to work.

A lot of that work was editing.  I got one story done, and another maybe a third to a half done.  I have decided to wait until I finish the second to publish the first.  (And since I'm writing stories in overlapping waves, I'll probably have a good chunk of a third done at that time.)

I also have a cover which only needs some tweaks.  And I finally settled on a pen name for the naughty stuff.  Which I shant tell you, but I will say that I chose it based on typography. More about that in another post.

For today's post, I want to talk about weather, or more specifically about seasons:

Writing Season

I hate summer.

I hate hate hate hate hate summer.

I have some reversed version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I think.  Light overstimulates me and makes me miserable and I can't sleep and yet I'm sleep deprived and can't stay awake either.  My eyes and head hurt from the glare most of the summer.

And heat?  I can't abide heat. I lurk in basements until nearly dawn because it's too hot to sleep, and then it's too light to sleep.

In the meantime....

I have been in school or working in an academic institution for pretty much my entire life.  The academic calendar is supposed to be great for writers.  You have summer to get all sorts of writing done. It's supposed to be vacation!  Like being a kid, who can run FREE during the summer.

And I have fallen for that line every year of my life.

Somewhere around February, you start thinking "Oh boy when summer break comes, I'll really get something done!"  And as the spring semester wears on, you look forward to it more and more and more.  Boy, you're really going to see some writing THIS summer. Man, it's gonna be GREAT.

And then Daylight Savings Time hits, and sometime later in May, the days just get too freaking long, and then in June the heat starts in.  And sometime in July, I'm curled up on the cool tile floor of the basement bathroom, whimpering and wishing it would just end.

And then, just as August decides to cut us a break with some cool nights and shorter days....

It's time to start ramping up for the new school year.  After all, the summer plans have completely failed by then.

Fall, on the other hand....

I love Fall.

I love love love love love Fall.

September, imho, is the best of all possible months. (With the possible exception of any other month with an R in it.)  The days might be balmy or brisk, but all within the perfect comfort zone.  At least in Michigan.  If it snows, it'll be warm the next day, and if there is a blazing heat wave, the nights will be cool.

But of course, when you work in Academia, September can be the Month From Hell.

September is when you find out just how badly an idiotic administrator can screw up critical things when nobody is around to stop him/her/it (and how well they can hide what they did until the very moment that critical thing is most needed).  September is when all the new, confused and tearful students are panicking and lost (often because of the idiotic thing done by administrators over summer).

September is when academic support people are working overtime (and often off the clock) to make sure classes actually happen.

September is when academic support people don't even NOTICE what time of day it is or what the weather is, or that it's even September.

And just the other day, I realized something.

This time, for the first time in almost fifty years....   the coming September is ALL MINE!  It belongs to me me me me me!


If I can just survive July and crawl through August to grasp it.

See you in the funny papers. 


Anonymous said...

OMG you're Robert Galbraith, aren't you?!?!?

I love my academic schedule... it consists of teaching one little two-credit course each Spring, and that course meets in person during the odd weeks and virtually during the even weeks. I love it!

But what I love even more is the fact that this Fall I will finally have BOTH my kids in school full time! Huzzah!

Dawn Montgomery said...

Enjoy the freedom!!!! I am also one of those people who loathe summertime and all the sunlight. :D Love your "any other month that has an r in it" line. It made me crack up.

Good luck with your week. Do you think blackout shades would help with your aversion to sunlight while you're working?

Unknown said...

Now THIS is why I love blog-hops. Here I am, just linking around, and I discover a marvelous blog such as this. Despite your distrust of summer, I still like you and more importantly, your writing. I too am sitting in my basement, with the central air blasting, but am about to go host a birthday party at the lake for my twelve year old daughter and ten of her friends. It will be ninety today, and the humidity and heat index shall be record breaking. (I guess it's my own fault for getting knocked up in October. THAT'S what brisk weather did to me!_)
If I never return from this odyssey into hell, know that I thought we might be friends and blogmates someday, and please remember me fondly.
~Just Jill
(NOT a bible study site like on the last Linky...)

Jae said...

You need to move to the northern states or something, at least during the Summer. Or maybe next to an ocean so you can at least hop in to cool off.

I prefer the Fall as well. Best season there is. :)

Lee McAulay said...

You'd hate Scotland in Summer... Scandinavia even more so. I worked in the far north of Scotland as a teenager and one of my colleagues, an Australian, was seriously freaked out by the short nights.
"The sun goes down at eleven! It doesn't really get dark!! And then it's up again at three-thirty!!! Why does it bother????"
Summer heat, mm, maybe not so much. Except this year, apparently.
30 degrees Celsius...
But then autumn begins to kick in about late August/early September: the hedgerows fill up with cobwebs and blackberries and the days are still warm but the nights are cool; the swallows depart for Africa, and the Equinox sets us off on the long slide to winter...
It's a grand time to be alive.

The Daring Novelist said...

Jae: I live in Michigan.

The only thing north of here is Canada. (And not the warm part of Canada either.)

The only places I've ever lived are Michigan and Quebec. (Though I did take a "southern" vacation in New Jersey this year. And I visit L.A. from time to time, where it is often cooler in August.)

The Lakes (or "Inland Seas" as they are known) do modify the climate along the west coast of Michigan, but even if you live close you have to go out into the sun to jump in them. (They are, however, usually very very cold -- except in September.)

Lee - exactly. The further north you go, the longer the days are in summer. (I have no problem with long nights.) I've been to Scotland, very similar climate to Northern Michigan, even though it's further north.

The Daring Novelist said...

Amy: Children do have an effect on your writing "weather." Huzzah indeed!

Dawn: I have shades and use a sleep mask, but the intensity of the light during the day has an effect on metabolism, even if you can successfully shut it out during sleep.

Jill: Okay, I misread what you said. I thought you said that YOU were in your nineties, (and I can tell you I was very impressed that you had a 12 year old daughter).

Kyra said...

You're like me, I hate hate HATE summer. I really think there's something to that reverse seasonal affective disorder thing. (Of course, here in southern Arizona, everyone hates summer. But me especially.) And I do love fall - though November is our September. When my kids were little, summer was kind of a double whammy - too hot to do anything, and I couldn't do anything anyway because the kids were home. But the only one left at home now is 17, and he's mostly self-cleaning and self-feeding (mostly), so it's easier to get stuff done when he's home.

Writing naughty stuff, huh? And we have to figure out who it is? This is a challenge, right? :D

Shah Wharton said...

I hate the sun and live in Dubai (but I'm just about to return to UK for four glorious days :D )

NO been here before, sorry this is brief. My flight awaits. I'll be back. X


Cora said...

My own situation is pretty similar to yours. I can't stand summer and heat and glaring sunlight depresses me. And since I work as a teacher, I'm tied to the school holidays as well. It's tolerable when we get a typically grey and wet North German summer. But this year, we ended up with constant heat and glaring sunlight almost from the start of the summer holidays on. The first week was okay, but now it's just horribly hot and no sign of getting cooler either. Ah well, it can't be helped.