by Maggie Sefton
It's mid-August, which means Summertime---My Favorite Season---is almost over!!
Oh, no!! Where did it go? I don't know about you folks, but I feel like this Summer has raced by, and I haven't gotten nearly enough relaxation time. You know----the kind of relaxation where you can lie on the chaise lounge in the shade of your backyard trees and stare at the sky and think. Just think. About whatever.
Frankly, that's precious time as far as I'm concerned. That's the time when new ideas can pop into your mind. Not just ideas about writing novels----believe it or not, folks, writing novels isn't the only thing I enjoy spending my time on, no matter how fun or engaging or challenging I find the characters. Something else I really, really, really enjoy spending time on is travel. Especially to new places. Places I haven't seen before.
This year started out much busier than most years. Starting in February with the Wedding Shower I planned for Daughter Serena back in Northern Virginia where most family and friends were. Of course that meant travel from Colorado to Dulles airport in NoVA. I was busily writing Kelly #14 and planning the Shower and the Shower Luncheon in consultation with the wonderful chef at my fave cafe in Vienna, VA. March brought another trip, this time to Houston, Texas for the final fitting of Serena's wedding gown. Lots of family fun there. And, of course, I posted photos of both those occasions on the Cozy Chicks Blog.
April brought two lengthy travel dates---the most important was earlier in the month for Serena's wedding in the Hill Country of Texas, with the bluebonnets. Boy, was that fun! As well as beautiful and meaningful. Later in April was the mystery conference Malice Domestic in Washington, DC. And I stayed later down at the river house near the Potomac for springtime in Virginia---where I kept on writing.
Back in Colorado in early May at last, and my dear 95 year old mother started her downward slide. It was if she waited for me to return before she could leave. And leave, she did, as I shared with the Cozy Chicks Blog audience. On her own terms, and in no pain. No diseases. She simply chose to stop eating. And eventually that frail but still sturdy little body wasted away. Bless her heart. :) She did it her way. We should all be so fortunate as to choose our own time of departure. She passed a little after midnight on May 27th while I was with her in her room at Columbine West Healthcare here in Fort Collins. My daughter Melissa was with me. Daughters Serena, Melissa, & Christine got to see Mom before her passing or just as she was. Daughter Maria arrived right afterwards and provided much needed support.
Needless to say, my writing schedule for Kelly #14 took a big hit during all those events. So for the first time in all those years of writing Kelly, I had to tell my editor I would turn in Kelly #14 a little later than usual. :) I'm in the revision process now. However, I'm going to take a slight break of my own this time. I'm going to take a trip I've always wanted----to see the Alaska Glaciers. I've booked a cruise for the last full week of August. Starting in Anchorage, actually Seward for the port, and docking a week later in Vancouver, B.C, Canada. I'm really, really looking forward to this vacation. And. . .this year, I really, really need it. :) I'll tell you all about it in a couple of weeks when I return.