Captain of my own craft and other late-summer musings…

Resting and waiting for the day to begin--the days of summer winding down!
Resting and waiting for the day to begin–the days of summer winding down!

Up early, the coffee is going, the morning is dawning, and the plan is to uncover the pontoon and start it up for the first time in over two weeks. The weather forecast is calling for warmer temperatures in the 70s—before next week’s string of HOT temperatures near 90!

I suppose I could devote the majority of this post to the weird weather patterns we’ve experienced around here lately, but suffice it to say that I credit the cooler, autumn-like weather these past few days and nights to a Canadian front that seems to have enjoyed hanging around. Would I rather have 90s? No, never! I’ll gladly don the sweatshirt and windbreaker during these lovely days and throw an extra blanket on the bed at night. So today, before the scheduled rain arrives overnight, I am going to be the captain of my own craft…play on the water!

After all, there won’t be too many more days to do so this summer, with our time here rapidly winding down. Although the official closing date is Sunday, September 13, the boat is scheduled to be picked up by the marina guys on the Thursday prior to that (two weeks from yesterday). And, aside from all of the relaxation that comes with plying the waters of this magical lake, there is the need to begin some basic cleaning and emptying of the boat of items that will not be needed any more—extra life jackets, tubing tow line, tools, etc.

100_5993
Notice those poles sticking up to which the boat is attached? Those are the infamous auger poles that provide so much fun on closing weekend!

And what happens after our boat is gone? Well, that’s when the real “fun” of closing up begins. There are four 7-foot steel auger poles with the mooring lines attached to each that must be taken out. The process seems awfully simple, yet they cannot just be pulled out. Instead, they must be screwed out of the lake bed, something that certainly provides one (me!) a good cardio and upper body workout for the time it takes to get the stubborn things removed. The mooring lines, after they’ve been removed, will hang in the cottage to dry completely over the winter. The poles will be stored under the pier parts that will be stacked on the landing beside the lake down below the cottage.

The dismantling of the pier will take place on Saturday, September 12, and it’s not a bad job at all, thanks to my son and his friend who will come up for the day to provide the critical labor, along with my crucial supervision and advisory position! After that is finished, we’ll spend the rest of the day watching college football and having a few “bracers” on the cottage porch. My small TV and its HD antenna will be accessible, despite the remainder of the cottage being pretty well closed up and ready for the winter.

By this time, the wife will be comfortably home and back to “civilian” life, and I’ll merely have to attend to the typical odds and ends that are a part of closing weekend. I never really look forward to closing the place, mainly, because to do it correctly, I need to get started a couple of weeks in advance. And who wants to get motivated to do that?

Well, that’s exactly what I did yesterday, pulling all of the outside solar lights, removing their batteries, cleaning them, and putting them in the boxes and bags where they’ll be easily located next spring. Not an arduous job, just time consuming. So today’s agenda calls for all things pontoon and time out on the lake.

Now, as I write these closing thoughts (pardon the pun!), the morning sun is lighting up our little corner of the lake, promising that fine day the weather folks have called for. At this glorious time of the year, let this Friday be a good one! See you on the water…

Rain on the roof & cottage life…

jollyYet
The “ancient one” Still standing after all these years!

Well, here we are. Once again, I’m going to break away from my summer hiatus and post this while I have a fairly decent Internet connection.

Mid-July is here, and the first really hot, sticky weather is scheduled to pay us a visit. Can’t complain, though, since I’ve been donning a sweatshirt most mornings and afternoons around here since Opening Weekend in late May. Plus, the nights have been those we consider “good sleeping” ones.

It rained all night, and there’s nothing as soothing as the steady rain on the cottage roof, knowing that all windows and porch blinds are secured and the futon is covered with Visqueen. The summer rain is another magical reason for spending time in this ancient structure. When there’s no driving wind coming across the lake from the southwest, the all-night rains are relaxing and comforting. Such was last night’s.

Novel Progress…

I have been very busy up here in my self-imposed “exile” doing much thinking about how I’m going to rescue my novel but haven’t made the strides I’d hoped to by this point. Perhaps it’s not meant to be, but I won’t give up on it. It stays on my mind, even when I sit down to attempt to write something else in the meantime. Must be a subliminal message in there trying to tell me something. We shall see.

Summer Reading…

Even if the writing isn’t moving swimmingly along, my summer reading is! Within the past weeks I’ve read Fierce Patriot, the story of the many-sided life of William Tecumseh Sherman; The Boys in the Boat, a wonderful true story of determination and victory against all odds; Dr. Sleep, Stephen King’s sequel to his classic The Shining; David McCullough’s newest, The Wright Brothers. Next up in the reading department is a revisit to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, a book I read a million years ago and forgot just how terrific it is. I’ll follow that with her “latest” offering, Go Set a Watchman.

President George W. Bush awards the Presidenti...
President George W. Bush awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to author Harper Lee during a ceremony Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, in the East Room. “To Kill a Mockingbird has influenced the character of our country for the better. It’s been a gift to the entire world. As a model of good writing and humane sensibility, this book will be read and studied forever,” said the President about Harper Lee’s work. White House photo by Eric Draper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s nice to know that when the writing–or the inspiration for writing–is lacking or going nowhere, I have those friends waiting on my shelf here in the cottage and I can lose myself within their pages.

By my next post, perhaps I’ll have some good things to say about my efforts to accomplish some writing and make some inroads into baling my novel out of the tarn in which it currently languishes! I’m thinking that the only way to do so will be to take the premise that is there and start over with a fresh re-write and finally put my mind at ease. Glad my income isn’t dependent upon producing a book on any sort of schedule!

Now, back to practical things around here. My son’s family arrives this evening for the weekend, so I need to do some basic cottage tidying-up and make the bed in the back bedroom upstairs. With the warm weather predicted, it’s sure to be a couple of days of playing in the lake.

I’ll go home Sunday afternoon for a dentist appointment on Monday morning, take care of yard work, and then make a two-day trip to Ohio to see my mom. By week’s end, I’ll be back up here in “exile,” back to the task of making my novel something decent.

National Register of Historic Places listings ...
National Register of Historic Places listings in Ottawa County, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s hoping your weekend and days ahead are all good. Until next time…

Out of “exile”–for the moment…

jollyYetI know I’ve said that I’m taking the summer months “off” from tending to my blog, but over the course of the past several weeks I have had a few “life moments” that I simply feel inclined to write about.

At the top of that list is I “officially” was inducted into the Medicare Club one week ago on my birthday, and as I write this from my self-imposed “exile” up here at our summer cottage in Michigan, I’m happy to report that they haven’t come to haul me out to the funny farm due to elderly ramblings or other strange carryings-on. (They could have done that so many times previously!) Instead, all of the company that was here over the weekend for our annual NASCAR Race Weekend had to leave and return to their own lives and niches in the world.

And though I enjoy spending time alone, where I can read and write unfettered by interruptions and other such distractions, I must admit that right now I’m feeling rather lonely and wish I had some of the folks who were here this past weekend to prop me up and make me feel as though it’s OK to be this age. Turning 65 sort of does that I’m finding out.

After all, my birthdays used to be spent playing baseball for most of the day, running and chasing fly balls and batting and running the bases and all that was good about being a young kid who had a birthday in June. I could no more run like that again, even in my dreams, and so I just smile at the memories of all those summers past when the future was out there waiting for me to figure out how to get there.

And, even though I can no longer race around the bases on sweaty, sun-drenched afternoons of pickup games on homemade fields in Indiana, or run down that long drive off the bat of a power hitter, I’d like to believe that I’m still the same person I was way back then.

And now that I’m a year older (and wiser?), I’m beginning to give some thought to that thing called mortality. How many years do I have left has never been a question I100_6021 dwelled too much upon, because it always seemed so “out there” and something I’d never have to deal with for a long, long time—until now!

It’s the little things that really come into play, too. Walking the garbage down to the dumpster each day becomes an excursion of appreciation of all the beauty surrounding my life up here. Filling the bird feeder and watching the various avian species swoop and dive in for their feedings and then take off for places unknown is a daily delight. Chatting with the hummingbirds as they hum and buzz around the feeders I religiously keep cleaned and filled is another ritual of cottage life that I’ve truly grown to appreciate.

Perhaps I’m not quite ready for the pipe and slippers realm just yet, but I’m finding myself becoming more and more tuned in to those things I’d never paid attention to in the past. I suppose none of this is a bad thing. At least, I’d like to think not. Whatever, life in the Medicare Club can’t be all bad!

Well, for now, I’d best go check out those hummingbirds and make sure the lake’s still out there

Purple-throated Carib hummingbird (Eulampis ju...
Purple-throated Carib hummingbird (Eulampis jugularis) perched and feeding from a bird feeder. Batalie Beach, Dominica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

behaving as it should…

My summer exile…

100_5993As we begin to edge our way into late May, that means that things have cycled back around to another cottage “lake season” up in Michigan. Thus, I have spent the past two weeks completely ignoring any regular writing, blogging, or commenting on Facebook, instead, rounding up “stuff” to be hauled up to the cottage on Friday, May 22. (As I write this, that is just two days from now!)

Our intrepid crew put our pier in last Sunday, and the old structure looks as though it will make it through another summer. Our pontoon will be delivered on Saturday, and I can’t wait to get it moored in its spot alongside the pier and then take it out for its out-of-hibernation cruise around the lake. The weather is supposed to be “iffy” (which is usually par for the course) so we shall keep our fingers crossed for some decent “move-in” temperatures without any rain.

I have my folders and my writing box of notes, rough drafts, and other miscellaneous notes to take along for the summer, and the MacBook Pro will be packed up Thursday night.

Which brings me to my main point of this post. I have given much thought to what I hope to accomplish this summer in terms of a regular writing routine, and I have come to the conclusion that the only way I’m going to accomplish that is to step away from social media and my blogs, Down Many Roads and All Things White Sox.

I have become stale and less-than-enthusiastic on most days when trying to come up with blog topics and to write how I feel about things in general. Quite frankly, I really have nothing much to say these days—at least what anyone out there really is interested in reading.

As a result of this epiphany, I am going on a self-imposed hiatus, an exile of sorts, from my blog posting. I know that when I do resume sometime down the road, I will be refreshed, re-charged, and re-invigorated to write some things that are fun and interesting. When that might be, I have no idea. All that I know right now is that my focus will be on knocking the cobwebs from my long-overdue novel-in-progress and re-awakening my friend Scrivener in doing so!

Now, as the daunting task of packing everything for another lake season opening in just two days from now beckons me to get back to work, I leave you kind readers with these words: Blessed are they, who have nothing to say, and can’t be persuaded to say it!jollyYet

Have a wonderful summer…

The end of the season, battery recharged!

jollyYetIt’s over!

That sounds kind of like an old Roy Orbison song from long ago, but our summer at Gregory Beach on beautiful Magician Lake “up there” in Michigan has come to an end. Funny how time just keeps moving right along—and much faster the older we get, it seems.

And though I was very busy this past week attending to all of the tasks that go into the “closing” procedure of this old place, I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect on just what a wonderful summer it has been, a summer basically “away” from lots of writing. For a long time this summer, I’ve questioned my lack of desire to write (my current WIP or my blog posts), and I’ve finally come to terms with that as a time needed to “recharge” the attitude.

So if nothing else came out of this summer besides many wonderful hours spent in the sunshine, on the water, on the porch, or reading peacefully in the wonderful summer breeze, I have gained a fresh perspective on what kind of writer I want to be and, perhaps, not be so hard on myself when things aren’t turning out the way I hope they would.

At any rate, I’m rejuvenated and looking forward to jumping back into the writing fray now that I’m Time to Write!home and in the wonderful environs of my writing room. My spacious writing desk, not yet cluttered with notes, folders, scraps of doodles, and other pieces of mind droppings, sits in front of the two large windows, my “windows to the world” of bean fields and the water tower out there alongside the Union Pacific tracks.

Being home is certainly good. I’ll miss those summer months at the lake, but it’s time to turn the corner and get things back in order around here. Today will involve finishing unloading the cars and getting all the things inside and unpacked and put away. And through my two large windows I can see—in dawn’s early light—that the grass needs attention once again, so I’m mentally putting that on the calendar for tomorrow morning. Ah, routine once more!

Up early this morning, the coffee going, the house opened up, and the MacBook at the ready, I have that “writerly” feeling once again. Yes, there are stories to write and blog posts to create and to share with anyone interested enough to drop by for a few minutes each week. Here’s to a good week for everyone….CortlandWriter

Air Conditioning, Back-to-School Time & Other Random Thoughts…

The Simple Joys of Air Conditioning…

I was back home in Illinois for the better part of this past week, and the air conditioning nearly spoiled

A Fedders air conditioning unit.
A Fedders air conditioning unit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

me. Our air conditioning here at the ancient cottages consists of open windows, window fans, and the breezes that mercifully waft our way most days. So, not having been home for several weeks this summer, I was overjoyed to have the house always in a constant state of comfort for the hot and humid conditions lurking outside.

Now, back at the lake in Michigan,I’m writing once again from the cottage porch this morning, and the forecast is calling for warm and humid conditions for the next several days, and I have the cottage “air conditioning” turned up full right now. The windows fans are whirring right along, and I must say, it’s rather pleasant at the moment, and a pontoon cruise and immersion in the lake will hit the spot a bit later this afternoon. Ah, summer!

That time of year…

Driving back home the other day, I passed many schools whose signs welcomed everyone back for a new school year and that Open House or Curriculum Night was scheduled for the very near future. Oh, boy!

Retiring from my teaching career in 2007, I immediately told everyone who cared to listen (or not!) that I would certainly not miss those Open Houses or Curriculum Nights or whatever glowing name they have been given. Early on, they were exciting and fun and positive, but as the years wore on and attitudes shifted in so many ways, those special evenings became tedious and more negative than positive. And the fact that teachers had little say as to how these evenings should be run—dictated to what should be covered, etc.—drove my lack of enthusiasm for such events.

So whenever I pass by a school in these first weeks of a new school year and read that Open House and/or Curriculum Night is fast approaching, I wonder if the teachers inside that building are experiencing feelings of dread or worse: helplessness. Of course, I’m speaking only from my point of view, as I know many teachers whose favorite part of the year were those special nights. For what it’s worth, it’s all necessary, and we teachers always found a way to get through it, for better or worse.

The Writing Life…

It seems as though I’ve done more reading than writing this summer, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Of course, I’d love nothing better than to have finished my current draft of my WIP (Sandbar’s Secret), but for one reason or another I have been quite unmotivated and/or uninspired to get myself in front of my MacBook and work on the story. I know it’s there, but I just have come up short when it’s time to get going and pull the laptop out of its case and do it.

So to rationalize my lack of output, I’m using the excuse that I have important books to read for a couple of book clubs I’m in, and I’ll be closing out the cottage and lake season in a matter of weeks, so once I’m back in my home environment, and have my computer always out and atop my desk in my writing room, Sandbar’s Secret will get finished!

There, I’ve said it! Now, whether or not it makes any realistic sense I’m not sure. Everyone experiences that period when words don’t come or the story doesn’t go the way we want it or we lose faith in what it is we’re writing. Yes, I am eager to finish the story, but it just doesn’t seem right to attack it now. Am I lazy or just too into the peace and quiet of life here at the lake? Suggestions, anyone?

Cover of "The Warmth of Other Suns: The E...
Cover via Amazon

All that said, it’s time to give it some more thought and close out this post. Besides, I have to get back to reading a terrific book about the Great Migration in America titled The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s a huge book, but an enjoyable and easy read.

Have a wonderful week ahead, all…CortlandWriter

“Brutus” Comes Calling…

A week or so ago, we were sitting on the front porch watching the traffic out on the lake, when a fellow “beacher” from down the way came by, rather excited, with his small terrier on its leash. He told us that a very large snapping turtle was lying in the middle of the lane in back of the cottages, apparently having crawled from the green, slimy swamp on the other side of the lane.

Brutus1
Brutus the first time!

Sure enough, as we went around to the back, the big turtle, covered with lime green swamp slime, was sprawled right in the center of the dirt lane, causing my wife to go get a long-handled rake from the storeroom to move the prehistoric critter back off the lane and into the weeds in front of the swamp to prevent it from being hit by a car or truck.

With a good amount of prodding and nudging with the handle of the rake, Carolyn was able to turn the snapper (it wasn’t very happy about all this attention!) and it slowly plodded into the weeds, disappearing from our sight.

This turtle “journey” seems to be a once-a-summer occurrence as  turtles of various sizes make their appearance right about this time, and are either making their way from the lake to the swamp, or from the swamp to the lake.

Obviously, this old relic, whom our neighbor dubbed “Brutus,” had its destination set for the lake, a good fifty yards from where he’d been resting in the middle of the lane. Although its quest to make it to the open waters of the lake had been thwarted by my wife’s dextrous rake handling skills, at least the turtle was safe and back in familiar environs.

Our good humanitarian deed complete, we went back about the business of chatting on the porch and figured that was the last of our cumbersome friend from the swamp.

Fast forward a week or so and imagine the feeling of déjà vu that hit me front and center when I happened to glance out onto the dirt lane late one afternoon and see our determined, algae-covered snapping turtle once more at rest, obviously intent on finishing what it wasn’t allowed to do the first time.

And thinking the same thoughts about assisting it out of harm’s way with our trusty rake once again, I got up to do just that. I don’t know if turtles can read minds, but at this precise moment, it raised up on large, stocky legs and actually lumbered onto the grass and traveled a good distance—at a pretty good clip—to where I watched from the screened porch of the cottage, near the edge of the slope that leads down to the lake.

After a while, the old turtle stopped and lowered itself once more, probably to rest and check its GPS for the best route to pursue to the water ahead. I went on about my important business of reading and thinking about the need to get my writing routine jump-started once again, and every now and then would look out the side screen to check on my intrepid, plodding friend.

I could see that it was nearly halfway up the grassy yard between the cottages, and about this time it rose again and moved along some more, nearly reaching my Weber grill and plastic lawn chairs a short distance from the edge of the slope. Tired out, it dropped down again and lay there for nearly an hour.

It’s amazing how certain events trigger thoughts of all kinds. It was just me this time, the wife having returned to our home in Illinois, and next-door cottage neighbor, John, was out on an afternoon pontoon run, so there was no one immediately to share any thoughts with. Just me!

What came to mind was a short story my 8th grade literature students read years ago about a grandfather and two young grandsons, who are driving along, and come upon a turtle in the center of the highway. Though I can’t recall all of the details very well, I do remember that the boys, in all of their youthful exuberance, want to kill the turtle and eagerly look for sticks or rocks to carry out that deed. But it’s Grandpa’s wisdom that prevents any of that from happening.

He tells them something to the effect that it would be easy to defeat the large, helpless creature, lying there out of its natural environment, but they should consider turning things around and realize what it would be like if they were in the water—the turtle’s domain—and see who would have the advantage then.

I think the boys learned a wonderful life lesson, and they actually helped the turtle from the highway and gained a greater appreciation for life and all of God’s creatures—great and small—that populate the world we pass through. I wish I could remember the author of the story, or even the title. I tend to think it was titled “The Turtle,” but that was a long time ago. But it was obviously a very good short story.

As late-afternoon became dusky twilight, and I was in the midst of eating my leftover meatloaf on the porch, the ancient turtle decided it was time to move on and leave Weber grills and plastic lawn chairs  and curious humans behind. And so, with a concerted effort and a few more creaky exertions, “Brutus” made it over the slope and into the thick brush and down to the water’s edge in a relatively short time.

Brutus2
Nearing the edge of the slope, Brutus knows the open water is near!

Soon, there was a splash, and I hurried out to see the determined turtle easily and smoothly swimming out alongside our pier and then under the deck fifty feet from shore, disappearing
into the safety of its own world.

Best wishes out there, Brutus! ….CortlandWriter

 

Tales of the Coffee Mugs…

English: Since somebody objected to the image ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who knows me or has read any of my posts here, understands that one of my most favorite things each morning is that first mug of good hot coffee. My day doesn’t really come alive until I can enjoy that first sip of the stuff—almost too hot to actually drink—with a splash of half-and-half, and then, and only then, the day is permitted to begin and all things are possible.

And over the course of the years, our coffee mug collection at home has grown to the point of being ridiculous, almost to the point of qualifying for some Discovery Channel series, I’m thinking. We’ve almost run out of space in our kitchen cabinets that are reserved for the things. Be that as it may, I have two or three favorites I go to regularly, and, conversely, there are those I never use.

My criteria for my favorites consists of the following: size, shape, design or logo or other witty saying on the mug, and memories it conjures up. For example, one of my “regulars” is from the

2328-2448-homeHockey Hall of Fame, a place we visited in Toronto last summer about this time. Another one I enjoy came from the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield. It’s a perfect size and fits my hand ideally each morning (the mug, not the museum!)

A few that I don’t care for are usually those my wife has “collected” from various places she or I have visited. For instance, there’s a squatty, round thing that would barely hold enough coffee to sustain a gnat, but it has some design from Cherokee, North Carolina, that she liked, so it takes up space in the cabinet.

For obvious reasons, we don’t have the same number of mugs at our summer cottage. My two

10810494000D--ronjon_i_dont_do_mornings_mugfavorites were the wonderful mug from Ron-Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It’s a perfect size and has the typical Ron-Jon art work with the shark telling everyone: “I Don’t Do Mornings!”

My other “cottage” mug was the perfect mug, in that it was solid, had the name of the restaurant from whence it was “borrowed” years ago, and made me smile every time I thought of the person who did the “borrowing” and the laughs we always shared.

I write about that mug now in the past tense because while I was washing the dishes one morning last week, it slipped from my hand and met its end in the porcelain kitchen sink. I briefly gave some thought to trying to put it back together, but that would have been a fruitless venture, so it found its way into the trash instead.

I don’t think I’ll ever have another exactly like that one. The restaurant is out of business and our dear friend passed away in late March. I really don’t need some coffee mug to help me remember all of the good times with our friend, but it was a constant, silly symbol of friendship through the years that couldn’t be broken—unlike the mug itself.

I’m sure our collection of mugs will continue to grow, and there will be those I’ll love, and those that will sit and take up space in the cabinet. Either way, they will be little reminders of the good times we share together traveling and seeing new places….CortlandWriter

Update from the hinterlands…

jollyYetHello, friends and fellow writers! Just a quick post this morning from my self-imposed exile here in the southwest Michigan hinterlands. It’s a very unique morning, in that the sun is shining, the lake down below is calm and inviting, and the overhead skies are not one massive gray ceiling, promising rain.

Most days and nights during this past week (since my last post) have been chock full of rain, punctuated with thunder and lightning. Thankfully, there has been little wind to contend with.storm However, yesterday’s early morning “monsoon” not only created little ponds and lakes out on the back lane behind the cottages, it also caused some damage to one of our neighboring cottages just down the way a bit.

Situated under these old and tired oaks and maples and ashes, the cottages–and everything else–is in constant peril when storms decide to do their thing. And it’s those  stately ancient trees that get the brunt of the storm’s fury. It’s truly amazing how fortunate these 101-year-old cottages are to have withstood the ravages of nature.

I have been busily at work on my next book–Sandbar’s Secret–and I have taken advantage of the stormy weather to make wonderful progress, particularly since it’s the perfect kind of “indoor” weather for doing so.

I hope that your week is moving along well and there are no storms with which to contend….CortlandWriter

Back to a summer writing routine…

Settling in for the summer once again…

Sunset at Sister Lakes, Michigan
Sunset at Sister Lakes, Michigan (Photo credit: Fox Valley Voice)

It’s wonderfully peaceful and a bit on the dreary side this morning here on the banks of beautiful Magician Lake in southwest Michigan. And it’s good to be able to enjoy it all without having to travel anywhere, no company to “entertain,” and no major tasks that need doing. It’s simply time to get writing. To knock the dust off my Scrivener projects, in other words!

I have been reading more than writing so far this summer, and this past weekend the place was “headquarters” for our annual NASCAR “Race Weekend.” And as much as I look forward to it each year and all of the fun we have from beginning to end, I’m relieved that it’s over with.

What now? For the next week, I will be here all by myself and will have no excuses not to attack my writing projects: a couple of short stories (sort of sequels to the other two I published last year—“Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm.” And, of course, there is the next novel that has been hibernating and “cooling off” as it awaits my attention.

Image 6In short, there’s plenty of work to be done, and I suppose I’m finally in the proper frame of mind to re-establish my daily writing routine: up early each morning and at the MacBook by 7:00 to pound out the words and then wrap things up by 9:00. Of course, those times aren’t chiseled in stone by any means, but the earlier in the day I write, the more productive I seem to be. That way, I have the remainder of the day to take care of anything that needs tending to around here and/or to spend some quality time out on the water on the pontoon.

I plan my weekly visits to the laundromat and the grocery store either for Wednesday or Thursday mornings. On those mornings, I have to re-adjust my writing time—often in the evening—but I’m very flexible once I re-discover the discipline it takes to immerse myself into the writing routine. Of course, when it’s a rainy or otherwise crappy “lake day,” employing the writing discipline and tuning out all of the surrounding distractions is not an issue.

Even now as I type this post, rumblings of thunder sound off to the west, and I know that I’ll manage to accomplish much on this first day of getting back to writing. And there’ll also be time to catch up on reading other blog post from my many blogger friends.

And so it is. Time to get the mellow jazz on iTunes Internet Radio for my background inspiration, and get to gettin’!….CortlandWriter