Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

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By Donna Schlachter

I keep promising myself that one of these years, I’m going to enjoy summer. Instead of spending the months of June, July, and August cooped up indoors writing and revising and researching, I’m going to spend the time in a mountain retreat, on the front verandah, surrounded by trees and a babbling brook. Writing and revising and researching.

So I guess the truth is, it isn’t the work that I resent as much as the being indoors. Seems such a waste of great weather not to be outside enjoying it. I don’t have any problems staying indoors in the winter. I am not a fan of cold and snow. But summer …

And then I heard those words from my agent, Terrie Wolf, that every writer longs to hear. “Take some time off. You’ve been working hard lately. You deserve a rest.”

My mind raced. Which mountain did I want to go to? Which tree would I see beneath? Which babbling brook would sing to me, inspire me as my fingers flew across the keyboard?

Nothing came to mind.

Okay, maybe I don’t need a mountain. Maybe I need a cruise. Sitting on the deck, the sun warming me from the outside, my story plot heating up inside.


Except I’m prone to seasickness.

Okay, how about a quaint bed and breakfast retreat in a sleepy little town. Where do I want to set my next book? Let’s go there.

I’m drawing a blank.

And then I realize my problem. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas of what to write next. I do. Dozens of ideas. It isn’t that there I can’t choose a mountain or a town or a cruise — my problem is I like to write in my office in the basement. I have a peaceful moss green paint on the walls along with peaceful pictures of the outdoors. I have a great desk and a comfy chair. I can have music on in the background, or not. I can stop and pop in a load of laundry or stir dinner in the crockpot. Or not.

And so, despite my agent’s advice, I’m going to stay home. And write. And outline. And research.

Sure, I’ll go out once in a while and see what I’m missing. Sunshine. Flowers. Heat.

I’ll take pictures and keep writing.

Maybe I’ll write a summer story. That way, I don’t miss anything.

Donna SchlachterDonna Schlachter is at home in Denver, where the mountains look closer than they really are. She writes historical and contemporary suspense, and can most often be found in her office. Check her out at, follow her blog at, and look her up on Facebook and Twitter.

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