Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time when "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." The last word is also written as it sounds: frenzies.
Sound familiar? I believe we truly are in the Dog Days of Summer.
I was born during this time, a Virgo, an August baby, and my mother told me many times how hot it was the day I was born, decades ago, in a house with no air conditioning (what was that, anyway?), no running water, and one light bulb in each room. You might say we were poor, but really we weren't. We just lived as everyone else did in the small North Texas farming community back then.
And so, I can identify with the Dog Days of Summer on a first-hand basis.
I have learned I can make this time work for me. The summer months have become a time of respite, a time to shift gears and work on a different level, a different playing field--or do nothing. During these hot days, my usual responsibilities have been dismissed for the summer, just as they were when I taught high schools students.
Since I'm happily retired now, I have no job or anything professional I must do. All groups I belong to are suspended for the summer. In each one, I do hold a position, a post, or a volunteer spot of various sorts. My book club even suspends meetings once a month, giving us time to read some of the selected books for the coming year.
While you might think I'd be languishing like those people centuries ago when this quote was written, I have instead found a burst of energy that I am directing to writing--more than usual.
A. I pulled a manuscript from Archives titled Whisper on the Wind, dusted it off, re-read and re-edited it, and sent it to a publisher.
B. I wrote a short story for Prairie Rose Publications to add to one of their summer anthologies: Cowboy Cravings. My story? Titled: Starr Bright. This was fun, a little different from my usual fare. Still a Western Romance, it's a complete story in 13,000 words.
C. I wrote out short synopses for three short stories that will be a series titled TRINITY HILL BRIDES, about Mail Order Brides in the 1880 small town in the Central Texas Hill Country.
Book I: Kathleen--The Make-Believe Bride, is 26,000 words complete.
Book II: Lorelei--The Left-Over Bride, has around 6,000 words so far. I know the plot, so the writing goes faster.
Book III: Vague plot is outlined, names not chosen. The bride will abandon her intended husband for a mysterious man.
D. I have a re-release this summer titled TEXAS BLUE, the first of the "Texas Books" back in 2007 which is available once more with a beautiful new cover.
E. I have promoted my summer release titled TEXAS DREAMER, my tenth novel length story, and the last...yes, the last "Texas" book. Time to begin something new. I love Texas Dreamer, though, and I'm happy it turned out so well.
The heat, the long days, the sameness of the weeks do not bother me during July and August. I'm happy to remain at home in my air conditioning, only going out when I wish, going only where I want. How much better could this be?
I can't say I like the name put to these long summer days, but I only pay attention to my own business. Oh, I'm not a hermit. I love to have coffee, and talk with friends, and hang around the library, and shop a little here, a little there.
September will arrive soon enough, and...Bang!...it all starts up once again.
This, too, I love. Newness, beginnings, reconnections.
Can't wait for September.