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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Fourth: Memories or Writing

By K. L. Bridgewater

As the traditional late night explosion of summer breathes down our neck, I was wondering if writing would have to take a break on this extended three day weekend. Since the Fourth falls on a Friday, most people will have the complete weekend off. Writing something every day, even if it has been only for an hour, has become a habit of mine. I wake up, read the Bible, have breakfast, or at least, prepare breakfast for three boys while shoveling bites of yogurt and fruit into my mouth, exercise for thirty minutes, then sit down to write, hopefully without any interruptions, for a total of an hour.

Since Friday this week includes the holiday, I don't know if writing will actually occur. My husband will be at Audiofeed with our middle son, and I will still have the youngest and oldest to watch. For dinner, I will go to my in-laws house for a cookout and then head to the Wabash River to watch the fireworks. With all the preparations and visiting with family, I wondered if I will have time to squeeze in any time for writing.

But I have decided that I may not move further along in my novel planning for Devin and Chloe's story, however, I plan to spend the time focusing on making memories with my children. Because my oldest is almost 13 and going to start 7th grade this fall, my moments with him are becoming limited. Gone are the nights of chasing fireflies after dark and counting the stars as they appear in God's dark blanket.  I plan to still do those traditions with him and the other two boys until they grow out of wanting to hang out with mom.

This year, I will observe my children's reaction and listen to their laughter as they run around the yard, looking for that familiar flickering yellow light, signaling a firefly. Paying attention to their movements and mannerisms may help me create more realistic characters for my story. I'll focus in on the discussions around the barbeque table, hunting for a sub-story I could use in one of my novels. Instead of talking, I enjoy people watching. Makes me appear to be shy but I think it makes me a better writer.

So for this Fourth of July, I won't have to put my writing on hold. I'll just observe the world around me and take mental notes of the laughter of children and the gossip floating around the food.

I hope you have a blessed Fourth of July and remember the reason America is such a great country.

Do you have ways of balancing celebrating the holiday and writing? Are you a people watcher or a talker at family gatherings?  Has an idea occurred to you when surrounded by people you love?

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