I used to hate summer.
What good is summer for a kid who has no one to play with, no woods to play in, no trees to climb, no local library to raid, no piano to practice, and nothing but the beach (every chubby little girl loves the beach, right) for diversion?
Southern California can be as much fun as any other place, I suppose, but as a kid, summer loomed for me as the great ramble, the endless picnic, the reading orgy, the imaginative flight that lasted for weeks. Those summers away from home (yes, we went for the ENTIRE summer), were an abomination against summer. Except for the year my brother Tom took up surfing, I'm pretty sure my siblings would agree with me.
Fortunately, I'm grown up now (most days). Summer is as productive as winter for me as a writer. In winter, the productivity results from all the bad weather, holidays and long weekends between Veteran's Day and President's Day. I fill up the wood stove, wrap up on my tartan blanket, brew a pot of tea, park myself before the computer, and let 'er rip. The words pile up thick and fast, and that creates even more forward momentum.
In summer, there are also holidays, but the primary advantage is the sheer length of the daylight. By 5 am, the birds are singing, and light is creeping over the mountain. If I go down to the computer that early, I don't have to wrassle the woodstove, find my fingerless gloves, or compete with the dogs for the use of my foot rug.
The alpha brain waves are still wafting about when I've first arisen, and all is new and wonderful. I can write anything I want to write, and nobody can make me go to California if I don't want to.
In many ways, I'm the same person I was fifty years ago. I want to be the boss of me, and now that I can be to a greater extent, summers are more wonderful than ever.
Were your childhood summers wonderful? A mix? A boring slog? Are they better now, the same or not as much fun? To two commenters, I'll send signed copies of The Captive, my July release.