Honey, Somebody Shrunk the Summer


Yeah, it’s a sunrise and it’s the Bahamas, but I needed something soulful, so…

Did you feel summer slip away, like a door quietly closing? I had an unnerving, visceral sensation yesterday, walking in my driveway when the sun was going down. An arrow of information—summer’s gone!—shot into my head, all because, without consciously thinking of it, I noticed how the angle of light from the waning sun was different, softer, recessive. And it wasn’t as though I actually thought about it—the bent beam just went into the processing center, where time’s sequences are catalogued, and it came out stamped “End of Summer Light.” Only then did the painters from Emotional Central rush out with their brushes dripping with blue.

Blue because seasonal passages are always colored with melancholy for me, even if I’m anticipating good things to come. I too often make the error of measuring by “things I didn’t get done” rather than sifting through the Greats, Goods, Pretty Goods, Neutrals and Wretched Circumstances That Tasted of Bile and Longing. Why some personalities (one being mine) might gravitate to bile and longing has long puzzled me, but that’s one for the psychoanalysts I can’t afford.

Dang, I Can’t Even Get an NSA Agent Interested

My biggest goal that I’d hoped to achieve by summer’s end was to get an agent for my novel. Not for want of trying, but so far, all my fiddling with my query, avid agent seeking, fussing with my opening chapter and sacrificing infants on a candlelit altar has been in vain. I’m going to continue to look into traditional publishing, but after six months of querying, it’s looking more likely that I’ll have to go the self-pub route with this, as I did with my first novel. That’s OK, but I’d hoped to get a pass on all that entails with this one (though part of what that entails—a lot of platform building and marketing outreach—isn’t sidestepped with traditional publishing today anyway).

Longing and bile aside (I keep a bucket handy, filled with both, plus a mixer), I am making some progress on a new short story and a novel, so there’s that. Plus, some fun articles of mine coming out soon on various subjects in magazines and papers.

The light slants, fall beckons, still many sentences to shape.

Writers, does the sliding of the seasons affect your work, goals, or cocktail preparations?

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2 thoughts on “Honey, Somebody Shrunk the Summer

  1. This year, northern Wisconsin decided to flip the switch over night. High of 93 two weeks ago, which wasn’t quite a record, but close.

    Last night: 37. And in between, an inverted hockey stick.

    I miss the 3 months we had last fall where we had the windows open 24/7 with the wind moving things on my desk and keeping my Pendleton handy.

    Here’s something I’ve come to believe, based on the advice of a professional I had some chats with: even a hardened case like me can learn to see beginnings instead of endings.

    Prodigious a change as that seemed, he knows I’m a musician, and pointed at guitar tuning. When one string is just slightly off, it’s horrific.

    But the fix, once the source is identified, is a minor adjustment to a single aspect.

    Not magical. Still work to maintain. But better. Far better.

    Beginnings abound; some thrust upon us, some of our own making. But not too long ago, I would have been in a blue abyss of endings.

    Instead, I’m struck by the last light of a wonderful afternoon with friends as it gilds the treetops to the east. The golden sunniness of beginnings. If I get to choose, and I believe I do, I’ll take it.

  2. Joel, that’s altogether lyrical of you, seeing beginnings rather than endings. And that it might just be a different tilt of the head to see such. I’ll take a cup of that golden sunniness too, if you’ve got a sip to spare.

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