What’s your favorite part of summer?

A brilliant orange sunset filled the stormy sky last night as I drove into town, and the air was saturated with the smell of blackberries, sweet grass and rain. The mix of beauty and smells turned my thoughts to all the things I love about summer, especially in August when the garden is producing and blackberries are ripe, but we sometimes get thunderstorms, like last night, that hint at autumn. It’s summer with excitement about back to school and apple pies, hot apple cider and fun fall time activities.

But back to summer… I love swimming in the river in August because the water is at its warmest here. (Which isn’t actually very warm compared to some other states.) I enjoy this time of year when we can throw on shorts and tank tops and not worry about keeping warm or stay dry. Summer is more simple.

I don’t think summer is my writing season, though. There is so much to do outside, and it’s light until 9 in the beginning of summer. It’s time to go out, have friends over, float the river and play outside. We also swim almost every day that it’s over 80 degrees. I have been hard at work with freelance writing through the summer, but I haven’t worked on a novel since spring. However, I wrote Book Promoting 101 and A Miraculous Fate during the last school year and published those two along with More Than Memories. That’s one reason why I look forward to those long winter nights. I’m able to focus and write after putting the kids to bed.

Of course summer also means the kids are home, and I’ve actually been working on a children’s picture book with my middle child. He wanted something to do over the summer and loves art. I printed out a couple of stories I’d written and let him pick one to illustrate. Both my sons are talented at drawing and artwork. I’ve focused my creativity on writing, but I’ve also drawn and painted in the past. He’s finished four pages so far that look very nice! I can’t wait to share with people, but we’re waiting until the book is almost done. We hoped to finish it over the summer, but once again, we had so many fun, outdoor activities! But sometime soon he’ll have his very own published book to take for show-and-tell and send to family.

What is summer to you? Camping and traveling, or parties in the city? Like many people, I cherish family gatherings, special memories with the kids and the special magic of the season.

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