Thanks to Writerspace for inviting me to blog today! Here in Tennessee we’re in the midst of a busy spring… on the superfast roller coaster to summer. During the weekends I love seeing high school kids headed to prom…especially all the beautiful dresses. You feel excitement in the air, because school is almost out. I taught for fifteen years before turning to writing fulltime. I vividly remember both the stress of testing weeks, but also the delicious anticipation of the summer that beckoned.
Soon my husband will hang up the hammock. Lightning bugs will begin to appear in our backyard. Hamburgers will sizzle on the grill. Fireworks. Lazy summer evenings. I love all of it, except the humidity. (Insert frizzy hair picture here. Ha!)
In some ways, this time of year makes me think a little bit of starting over and New Year’s resolutions. I want to believe I’ll have more leisure in the summer; more time to read wonderful books; healthier eating with fresh foods from the farmer’s market; less television, because we all want to be outside until dark.
When we approach the solstice in June (in my hemisphere at least)—that special day with more hours of sunlight than any other 24-hour period in the entire year—we feel the earth giving us the best if has to offer. Unlike the long winter months with snow and cold winds and lots of darkness, now we look for chances to be outside. Lunch hour on a park bench eating a sandwich that tastes better than usual. Letting the kids stay up late for a meteor shower. Retro family nights at a drive-in movie theater. Summer is a time to be one with the outdoors.
Two years ago, my husband and I had the wonderful experience of vacationing at the end of a Scottish summer in the Highlands. Though wetter and cooler than Tennessee, the time was magical. Boat rides on Loch Ness. Sober visits to the battlefield at Culloden. Awe-inspiring walks in great stone circles. It was the trip of a lifetime. While there, I indulged my love for all things Outlander, and I came up with an idea for a cycle of books. Imagine three friends (one of them a schoolteacher) who spend the last precious weeks of summer chasing their dreams of adventure and romance.
You don’t have to have read the Outlander books or seen the TV show to enjoy my Kilted Heroes series. But if you’ve ever wanted to visit Scotland and immerse yourself in the beauty and mystery of the Highlands, I invite you to pack your bags and come along for the ride.
I’ll be attending the RWA conference in San Diego in July. Hope to see many of you there. In the meantime, remind yourself to slow down and enjoy the summer of 2016. It won’t come around again…
Happy reading…happy summer,