How I’m Spending My Summer, 2015 Edition

It’s that time of year again.

Summer is the best season there is.  This may be my personal opinion on the matter, but I do believe there’s some degree of universal truth to it as well: the weather is warm, the days are long, people are friendlier and happier, and the clothing is less encumbering.

I guarantee you’ll never see on this blog a post entitled “How I’m Spending My Winter” because winter sucks and the only thing I do during that time is wish and eagerly wait for summer’s triumphant return.

(I’m exaggerating: I enjoy the cold, snowy, contemplative darkness that is the eastern Canadian winter and actually lament the fact that Vancouver doesn’t have the same, or really, four distinct seasons at all.)

Summer is, however, when things slow down significantly at my job, when the longer, brighter days allow me to do more with less sleep, and when I typically take some vacation.  As such, I like to be (even more) strategic in how I spend my time during summer and to use the excess of it to tackle some important tasks.

Last year, I came up with four big summertime projects, of which I successfully accomplished only two.

I’m taking a slightly different approach for 2015.  Not just because I dislike having a near-failing grade associated with my name, but also because I have a lot more little things that need doing.

This year, I’m focusing more on the key locations I need to be in during July and August, which in and of themselves will inform the specific tasks that require my attention.  I will find myself in three main situations.

1) At work

Unlike most  years, I’m not taking a solid, consecutive chunk of time off for vacation, so this will allow for more long-term, focused projects at work.  That evaluation framework I was meant to design last year is back on the table, and this time, I want to see the job all the way through.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers coverFor me, the term “work” doesn’t just apply to my day job though.  All my writing and writing-related tasks also count as work; I consider writing a second, part-time job, albeit one I as yet don’t get paid for.

It goes without saying that  a major writing-related project is to finish my WIP, but beyond that, an even bigger task is to learn something about revision, which I’ve never really done before.  I’ve got a copy of Renni Browne and Dave King’s classic Self-Editing for Fiction Writers just waiting for me, along with numerous blogs and articles I’ve saved and bookmarked on the subject.

I also need to put more effort into researching for my next novel.  It will be set in Ancient Greece, but I’ve done almost no reading on it despite that very task featuring on my summer list for last year.

Another writing-related undertaking is some improvements to A Frame Around Infinity.  I want to add a landing page to create more of a complete website rather than just a blog.  I also want to add in social media icons and update a few links.

Finally, I need to reformat my hard drive.  It’s a disgusting, time-consuming job but I really must stop putting it off, especially with the free upgrade to Windows 10 only available for a year.  At least if I do it on a bright summer’s day, I can sit on my balcony while waiting for software and updates to reinstall.

2) At home

I moved house two months ago and still haven’t finished unpacking.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s about 90% complete.  Everything I require on a day-to-day basis is in its proper place: my dishes are away; my books are shelved; my clothes are hung up; I’ve been cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry regularly.

But my walls are naked; my tables and counters are without ornaments; my plants are so overgrown, I fear they’ll climb out of their pots and strangle me in my sleep; my balcony garden is virtually non-existent; I’m shy a side table in my (now larger) bedroom, and I have a box of old clothes that needs disposing of in one way or another.

When I moved in, I unpacked everything needed for my immediate comfort and functioning in one fell swoop and then quit because I didn’t want to take any more time away from my WIP in its current, near-completed status.

But it was never my intention to leave these things undone indefinitely, so during the summer is when I plan to finish turning my house into a proper home.

3) At play (sort of)

Lonely Planet New Orleans coverAs I previously mentioned, I’m not going on a huge, month-long holiday this year, although given where I am going, that’s probably a good thing.

I’m going to New Orleans with my mother.

That I’m going with my mom isn’t the negative part.  That it’ll be the middle of July, when it’s hot as f*cking hell down there, is.

(Not that anyone twisted my arm – in fact, when my mom informed me she was heading there to go to visit some friends, I rather invited myself along.)

I also have a fun day out of town with a friend planned for late August: a trip the beach and for some pie from a renowned bakery (possibly in reverse order since last year we left the beach only to discover the pie all sold out).

The rest of my summer vacation will be a short stay-cation also in August, during which, since I’ll already be at home, I’ll have plenty of work to do….

How will you spend your summer?  Let me know in the comments.

A/N: There will be no new posts for the next two weeks while I’m in New Orleans.

(Image source #1, #2, and #3)

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4 thoughts on “How I’m Spending My Summer, 2015 Edition

  1. Have fun. Rest. Work hard (not mutually exclusive). Enjoy NO. I think we were there in August, too, a couple of years ago – you’ll survive.

    If you’re considering software for editing, I can recommend AutoCrit – it’s what I use. It flags all kinds of stuff it would be painful to find on your own, and does NOT judge. No suggestions on how to fix – but if you’ve used ‘pain’ three times in two sentences, not deliberately, you’ll be glad you found out.

    Otherwise – I’m doing the major pre-publication revision and minor (I hope) cleanup right this minute – I’ll tell you how it went when I’m done. Gulp.

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    • My mom arrived there today and said the temperature is bearable so I’m not too worried. I did spend four days in the Australian desert where it was 46 degrees C last year, so I’m sure I’ll manage (it was a much drier heat though, so we’ll see).

      Thanks for the software recommendation – I’ll check it out. And happy revision!

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  2. Like you, I also need to put aside some time to reformat my hard drive. I also need to put my folders in places where I can find them (particularly the photos). It’s winter here in Oz – I’m not looking forward to Summer because the weather here in the tropics is perfect at the moment 😀
    Have a wonderful time in new Orleans (try to stay cool please) 😉

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    • Ha, I was in Queensland last November and it was insanely humid, so I’m not surprised you’re happier without summer. I guess I should qualify my grand statement of summer being the best by adding “in a temperate climate”. 😀

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