The Sunday Salon: Soporific Summer Days

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Hot summer days have been working their soporific effect, and I curl up in my deck chair with the best intentions to read or write and find myself drifting in that amorphous territory between sleep and wakefulness, the sensations of warm breeze, birdsong, and rustling leaves mingling in my semi-consciousness with the characters in my book.

Reading Life: Despite this lassitude, I’ve managed to finish two books this week, both of them effectively breaking the reading slump I’ve was in for the past month. The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, was an absolute treasure of a novel, with beautiful writing and a heartbreaking main character I just wanted to wrap my arms around and love. Early Warning, the second of Jane Smiley’s trilogy of novels tracing the life of an American farm family from the 1920’s to the current day, completely captivated me by exalting the everyday life and events of a “normal” family into the realm of literary achievement. Bravo to both these books. 

Home Life: It is mid-summer status quo here in Michigan. The flowers are growing and blooming nicely thanks to abundant rain and moderate temperatures. I spend a lot of time on my deck, reading into the evening as the fireflies flicker around me. We rode our bikes last week and visited the Secret Garden in our neighborhood, a hidden area that one very industrious couple have developed over the past 25 years into a treasure trove of plants and sculptures. It is a labor of love for them, and a hidden oasis for the rest of us. 

Life In General: I am desperate for some good TV. Even though I don’t watch a lot of television, the success of my bedtime routine depends on relaxing with an hour of two of good tv before bed. And I’m fairly particular about what I consider “good” television. We have exhausted every series - old and new -  that fits my standards (House of Cards, Bloodline, Masterpiece Mysteries, West Wing, Grace and Frankie, Parenthood, Six Feet Under...) and everything we’ve tried this past week put me to sleep as effectively as a double dose of Ambien. Speaking of sleep, I’ve been enjoying an inordinately good quality of slumber these past few months. Many evenings I succumb to the lure of my cool sheets, soft pillow, and a good book, and just go to bed even though it’s barely dark.

Writing Life: This recent penchant for sleep may well be related to my writing life and a new book project that’s taking shape in my mind.  It’s working title is "Perchance to Dream," and it’s  about the important role sleep plays in each of our lives. In addition to researching (which includes reading as well as sleeping!), I’ve been making some changes in my social media platforms. After learning this week about some strictly enforced Facebook regulations regarding advertising your books on personal FB pages, I’ve created a specific Author Page. If you feel so inclined, please give it a “like”. It will include updates about my own books, but also links to articles of interest about reading, writing, and books. You’ll find it here.

Here’s to lazy summer Sundays..may you all enjoy yours in the best possible ways.