Christmas in July
Since March , I’ve written a Christmas novella , a Thanksgiving novella and I’m now working on a Christmas mystery (Dec 2013). The days grew longer, the plants sent out new shoots, the snow melted, and I was still enjoying the holidays in my office. School let out, graduation came and went, the pool was cleaned and opened. And I was deep in bleak midwinter.
Well not so bleak. I was having a ball following my characters through the snow, tackling their problems as they prepared turkeys, decorated trees and learned the true meaning of the holidays. I was totally engaged.
Then one day I caught myself going to the closet to get my coat to go to the gym. It was 80 degrees outside.
Talk about being lost in a book.
So last week I took a break and went down the shore with friends. We went mid week so the beach wouldn’t be so crowded, the traffic wouldn’t be so gnarled.
At least not so crowded and gnarled as the weekend would be. It was still pretty busy. And hot, oh boy was it hot. And muggy.
Never fear, what time we didn’t spend on the beach, we spent in air conditioning, playing dominos and drinking some excellent wine made by friends. They have over two hundred bottles in their basement. They get as involved in wine making as I do in my characters and their stories.
One thing that I did notice. It’s hard to relax, even when you’re relaxing. Even the folks lying out in the sun, seemed to be tanning with a vengeance. All loaded down with coolers and chairs, and books, and e-readers and boom boxes, and ipods. Phones are constantly in use though the glare of the sun really cuts down on efficient texting.
Still, a good time was had by all. We came home on Friday. I was still in ninety degree beach mode. In domino victory mode. Still thinking about drinks with little umbrellas in them.
But it was time to get back to work. So I booted up the computer, back to my Christmas mystery.
And stuck. I noodled around. Tried to pick up where I left off. Couldn’t get a rhythm going. So I took a break. Made some dinner. Turned on the television, promised to get an early start the next day.
Channel surfed for a bit and landed on the Hallmark Channel. And guess what they were showing. Hallmark Christmas Movie Weekend. In July. Several hours later I was back in the snowy, festive days of December.
Evidently I’m not the only one who needs a little good cheer in July.
And as far as inspiration goes , I’m back in the swing of all things mystery and holiday. And I realize that it helps sometimes to have a little distance on what you’re writing about. Christmas seen from the summer.
What do you think? Do you write or read “in season” or does it matter? Do you find yourself listening to the Beach Boys in December or the Vienna Boys choir on the Fourth of July?