24 more days with students…then summer break begins.
This year I have vowed: No Goldfinching. This refers to last year when I spent way too much of my precious break reading The Goldfinch, only to be completely disappointed in the ending. It has occurred to me since that I could have spent my time much better. I could have read several novels in the time I spent reading The Goldfinch.
And do I have novels to read? A gazillion here on the shelf and more on my wish list.
The last two years I made plans ahead of time for my summer. In 2013, I wanted to start a writing circle, and I did. I had cataract surgery and my husband and I took our first driving trip in seven years. I started my first blog and wrote nearly every day until vacation disrupted the pattern.
Last summer my plan was to visit a lot of places, like the Dali Museum and Marie Selby Gardens, and use them as settings for stories. I made the visit, but never wrote any stories. The Goldfinch beckoned, and pulled me away from short story reading I had prepared to begin. My short story collections sit here, collecting dust.
As do my story ideas. The one I’ve been working on inspired by a picture I took of two girls with a horseshoe crab at the beach. The one based on Nanci Griffith songs I outlined in my head while driving to Sarasota. The one I have drafted based on a Kacey Musgrave song. Oh, and don’t forget the one sitting here outlined in a notebook from two years ago after hearing Johnny Rivers sing “Summer Rain” on The Marty Stuart Show.
Let me be clear — most of The Goldfinch was very good. I still remember the characters and many of the situations in fine detail. I would have never kept reading it if it hadn’t been of some worth. I was just so disappointed that the ending got preachy and rather pointless. It felt like the author ran out of ideas. But seriously, I don’t want to dis a Mississippi girl. Obviously many people love the book.
Lesson learned. This year I have a few grand plans. Read-read-read those novels. I have found that school year drains me for reading. I am writing this blog every day, so yes, I will write. I will continue my mandolin lessons. My husband and I have a project here to fix up his old office as a music room. And my journals — they are going, going, gone. That alone will be a huge project.
The good news is that our county does not use landfills. Instead, they use combustion units in a “Waste to Energy” system. I was thrilled to learn this. Now I have no guilt about tossing all this STUFF we have here. It is time. And what I toss will be used for energy to cool and light homes, keep ovens going, and all other manner of amazing things that electricity does for us.
My husband and I are taking another fabulous road trip, back through places we missed in Mississippi, and to revisit Nashville again. We just can’t get enough.
When August comes, I will be turning 60. That alone warrants getting my life right. By now I know what I need to do.
Summer is on the horizon. I am ready. I am resolved. I can do this!