Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

Welcome to the Dog Days of summer! Having been a fan of canines my whole life and generally living with several at a time, I've seen how their activity levels go down this time of year in the heat of the day. These hot, sultry days of August can be energy-draining and they're pretty smart about conserving energy! They'd rather hang out in front of a fan or over a vent in the air-conditioned house…and who can blame them? When you break into a sweat walking across the yard, it's too hot for any kind of exertion. Lots of cold drinks, barbecues, salads and dips in the pool or lake seem to be the way to go during this part of the summer.


Plus it's the time to store of lots of warm memories for when the chill of February seems to be the order of business, right? When you (and the dogs, of course) want to curl up next to the fireplace, with a good movie and a cup of hot chocolate close at hand, it will be nice to think of these hot days, the wearing of shorts, capris and tank tops!  Of course, that's before your next sojourn out to shovel the driveway or scrape the snow and ice off the car.

 I'd always thought the Dog Days of summer were named for it being too hot for dogs to even want to be active, but it turns out they actually get their name from the period when Sirius (the dog star in the Canis Major constellation) rises at or close to the same time as the sun. It is generally from early July until mid-August. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky and was known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

So, when the heat and humidity feel like a wall, don't worry -- it's just the dog days of summer!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Time to Write

In these days of ever-increasing demands on our time, where do we find time to write? By the time I check email, answer the ones that need answering and check the day’s headlines, follow my favorite blogs and scroll thru social media….it’s time to do some promo. Need to post on Twitter and Facebook, GoodReads and Linked In, and must avoid looking at other’s pages, if I can! 

In between are household responsibilities, family, friends, volunteer work and bill-paying. And don’t forget the day job – in my case, editing. You may have a longer commute than I do – from kitchen to office – but I often work outside of “regular” 9 to 5 hours, finding myself at the computer late at night.

Right now, with the warmer weather luring us out of our homes, we must include get-togethers with friends and family, shopping and travel and build them into our schedules, too. And those things are important to include so we have balance in our lives! 

Okay…don’t even think about the downtime of getting a cold or being slowed down by allergies!!

So, when does my writing Muse strike in the midst of a hectic life? What if yours prods at you when you can’t always indulge the urge, like during the workday? For me, the best time to write is at night. Everyone else is settled down and it’s “my” time. Add to the fact I’m a night owl and it makes sense. The wee, small hours are often very creative – but sure makes morning come early!

Libby McKinmer
Romance with an edge
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