Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Books and Hammocks by Andy Scheer


Sunday afternoon, I enjoyed one more book and hammock session.

Writers often complain about the distractions that keep people from reading: television, the internet, and life's demands. The novel I took to the backyard faced far stiffer competition.

I was bushed. The previous week a last-minute editing assignment pushed me to put in two twelve-hour days over the weekend. I met my Monday deadline, the author responded in time to my revisions, and I returned the manuscript to the publisher with hours to spare. But the rest of the week came hard.

Fortunately, I'd planned ahead—and not yet taken down my hammock. And thankfully, this weekend brought the gift of weather and fall colors typically witnessed only on the pages of calendars. Knowing it would have been rude to reject such a gift, Sunday afternoon I carried a book out to the backyard. My dog, a ninety-five-pound lab mix the color of hardwood floors, lay under the hammock.

Sunshine. Colorado-blue sky. Autumnal aspens and maples. A companionable dog. A hammock. And a body and mind recently pushed near their limits. That's real competition for time in a novel.

I did what Solomon might have done in his wiser moments. For paragraphs and chapters at a time I let the novelist carry me away, before returning to the glory of the moment.

Later this week the forecast calls for up to six inches of snow with a high temperature barely above freezing. Perhaps before the front arrives I can squeeze in one more afternoon hammock session. If not, I'll still have a warm association with that worn, mass paperback. And until next spring, when the hammock comes out of hibernation, I'll just have to settle for my recliner next to the fireplace.

9 comments:

Linda Glaz said...

Hmmm, recliner next to the fireplace sounds like a really good second best. Enjoy the reads...

Terry Burns said...

When I broke my heel and was trapped in my recliner for 7 mo I got used to it and it's still my favorite place to work. Saundra and I both have 'airdesks' that swing our laptops over in front of us or out of the way. My computer is always on and always at hand.

Rick Barry said...

Sounds like a profitable way to let the brain rest and recharge. In the publishing industry, I'd say it's mandatory to engage in this kind of rest from time to time.

Patty Wysong said...

I did something similar yesterday, with Bonnie Calhoun's book, Cooking the Books. I finally quit trying to get work done and just settled in for the read. Sure did need that time to unwind, rest and laugh at Bonnie's wonderful humor! Loved it! =]

Diana said...

Beautifully worded, you expressed here so many of the pleasures we are experiencing this fall season. A good book is def. icing on top. I managed to escape last week with a great read myself, squeezed it in between the final minutes of my days and the weekend. And now I am refreshed and back to work. A stack waits near by and winter promises me many like moments of pleasure albeit minus the fireplace.

Timothy Fish said...

All this talk of hammocks and fireplaces makes me want to take a long nap.

Davalyn Spencer said...

You are so right, Andy. You cannot walk away from or neglect to bask in the "Colorado-blue" and blazing aspen of a fall day on the Front Range. It is indeed a gift. And tomorrow? Who knows? It may be the snowy crystallization of what we see today.

Millie Samuelson said...

OKAY! So I get your idyllic setting! But what's the "worn" novel? It must be one of your favs, and I'm curious. . . :-)

Andy Scheer said...

The mass paperback was worn because I bought it at a thrift store. My first time through this particular story, but it's perhaps the fifth I've read in this series by an attorney turned thriller writer.