Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Merry HallowThankMas Or Cripes, October Is Over Already!

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By J.C. Lynne

Think back to the days summer was too long. Okay, in my defense when I was in school riding my T-Rex, we started the Tuesday post-Labor Day and ended for summer break the first week of June. Summer passed in a deliciously lazy haze until you just couldn't stand it any longer and clamored for school to start. 

I'm not talking parents here.

Yes, I've grown older, and my schedule is full year round. As a full-time writer, I'm guilty of feeling irritated when clerks and salespeople ask me if I have any big weekend plans. "Aren't you so glad it's Friday?" To be fair, I experienced the same thing as an air traffic controller...shift work. In my case, Thursday at 6:00 a.m. was my Friday.

Teachers Are Tired September to July.
Now, teaching is a whole different animal. You stop measuring weeks and start doling out the year by breaks. Come the last day of grading in May, I basically slept until the second week of June and began to feel a little human the first week of August only to be faced with another school year sometime in the second or third week. BLEH!

On a side note: Never ask a teacher if they're going to get a job for the summer. Some do just to make ends meet, but most of us load up on bargain foods so we can make a partial recovery before mid-August.

I don't know if it's just this year, but my summer has been a bit crazy, all right, crazier than usual. I've never really found my rhythm and yesterday someone said it was October 1st. I look at the calendar daily. Somehow my eyes sort of slid over the shift from August to October. 

To be fair to myself, I'm not responsible for school supplies any longer. Both the homebound offspring buy their own. I don't have to do Back To School night either as a teacher or as a parent, not that I ever really did school stuff as a parent. I'm definitely one of THOSE parents, even before I became a teacher.

Sure, I saw the Halloween arrivals at the end of August. I admit I crumbled and purchased that ONE bag of Halloween candy. I hid it cunningly only to have the offspring come into my office one day munching on a few bars. 

"I hid that!"

I'm as Enthusiastic as This Guy.
"I have magic candy sniffing powers."

My temporal displacement is not helped by the commercial squishing of the upcoming holiday months. The Beard has a picture somewhere of a decorative skeleton leaning against a Xmas tree display, hand resting contemplatively on an inflatable turkey. Old phone days means it's archived in a melange of dated files. 

Autumn is also a strange, melancholy season for me. I love the shifting light, the crisp scent of the air, and the cool nights. I hate the idea of oncoming winter. I loathe cold weather. Even though I accomplish a lot of writing, I miss being outdoors without layering like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. 

This year October is over. Yep, right now October is kaput, finis, completo. A trip next week, yikes, puts me into the eighteenth. The NCW Writing Retreat puts me at Halloween. Yes, both of those things are fabulous, but DAMN! I need those days. I need this month. I'm trying to crank out the second half of the third book of The Esau Continuum. 

The Writing Retreat is a much needed pause in the implacable march of the next several weeks. I've heard the gamut of reasons people aren't going. No time. The middle of the week. No money. I've definitely made those same arguments in the past. The fundamental truth is this year I couldn't rationalize forgoing the dip into my budget. 

I Don't Know about You, But I Struggle with The Self-Doubt Every Day.
Thing is, the only battle to write happens within ourselves. The long list of distractions, to do's, and should do's will never go away. The determination to push those things aside and get to the act of writing is hampered by the fear of writing. 

You know what's going to happen? Native American Decimation Day will plow over me like a truck and there's no escaping the Yule season time warp. 

I'm making a stand. I'm sharpening my pikes and anchoring my foot against the base. Netflix be damned. To Hell with the Dust bunnies. Offspring can use a microwave. You know they're just sniffing the pile for clean clothes anyway.

I'm taking four days to do nothing but write. 

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