Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rehearsal for Retirement

When I woke, I had every intention of cycling with friends in the afternoon. Instead I found myself drawn to Schmitz Park. How could I refuse?
Summer is that way. I set a plan only to find myself altering course throughout the day. Whatever it is that I end up doing tends to be different, but usually equally rewarding.

I am a college instructor, my annual schedule dictated by an academic calendar. As the years pass each summer becomes a rehearsal for retirement.

Most of us spend our working days waking to an alarm, trudging off to work, coming home. A routine set in stone. Weekends are filled with household chores and family obligations. Before we know it the kids are grown, the house is empty, and we find ourselves at retirement age wondering how to manage the shift from days controlled by structure to the absence of all routine.
I wonder how I will construct my own retirement when the time arrives, how tight I will plan in order to convince myself I've accomplished something each day. I hear retired friends complain of being terribly busy but never getting anything done, and I can relate having experienced a touch of this phenomenon during past summer breaks. But still I resist a tightly structured To Do list - for summer break or retirement.

I prefer a daily, weekly, year-round consistent To Do list, a list that includes only four items: write, read, exercise, spend time with loved ones. If I manage to include each of these activities every day, life is rich and full.
When a plan goes sideways, when I take my daughter's dog to Schmitz Park and leave my bike at home, I'm okay. More than okay. I rejoice the flexibility that allows me the joy of being alone in the woods with a happy dog.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail ...

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail 
shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.

Unlike the Pony Express, the West Seattle authors at the Morgan Street Festival did not read through snow, sleet, or hail last Saturday. But the gusts of wind and rain sure made the day interesting. Not what you'd expect at an annual event just two days before the summer solstice. My husband was scheduled to pick me up at 5:30 pm. At 3:37 he texted: "Geez you want me to come now?"

Fifteen local authors came together to share their works and talk about writing. There were hourly free book drawings as well as a grand prize basket with enough reading for the entire summer! Merryweather Books was on hand through sunshine and rain. 
Thank you, West Seattle for a wonderful day, and Alice Kuder for organizing the annual Meet the Authors event.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Coming Soon!

Are you in the Seattle area? Do you want some community fun? Do you enjoy meeting local authors? Don't miss the Morgan Junction Community Festival in beautiful West Seattle next Saturday.
Here's a news release from organizer extraordinaire, Alice Kuder: 

Morgan Junction Community Festival Welcomes Local Authors 

Where can you find Greek Gods, homicide detectives, and wanton boys all sharing one tent? This summer, they will be gathering under an awning at the Morgan Junction Community Festival.

These are just a few of the dynamic characters that West Seattle authors bring to life in their novels and memoirs for your reading pleasure in genres as diverse as fantasy, young adult fiction, poetry, and memoir.

At the one-day Festival on Saturday, June 18, a group of fifteen West Seattle authors will present their work under a banner inviting you to “Meet the Authors.”

This will be the second year for the authors’ booth located in the vendor area behind Zeek’s Pizza. Two tents will be for author presentations and a third will offer their books for sale through local bookseller, Merryweather Books. Merryweather’s also carries the books year round, with a special section of the store dedicated to local authors.

The Morgan Junction Community Festival is ‘the little festival that could.’ It is the quintessential hometown festival that would make Norman Rockwell proud. It’s so intimate they don’t even block off the streets!

Want to support a local artist? Read a book!

Participating authors listed alphabetically by first name:

Alice Ann Kuder, Allan Batchelder, Arleen Williams, Cherie Tucker, Christine Brant, Christopher Anderson, David Kannas, Gail Engebretson, Jeanette Chaplin, Lisa Richesson, Michael G. Hickey, Molly Ringle, Sonya Elliott, Theresa McCormick, Victoria Randall. See attached spreadsheet for titles and genres. 

This year we will also be having an hourly free book drawing as well as the grand prize basket at the end of the day. So stop by to hear some great stories and stock your summer reading pile.

Saturday, June 18, 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Morgan Junction, West Seattle
Northwest Corner of California Ave. SW and SW Beveridge Pl.
  Meet the Authors booths located in Zeek’s Pizza parking lot
P.S. I'll be reading at 1:30 and 3:00. Come by and say hi!