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.