Recaffeinated Mondays: The Summer Smiles

The Summer Knows…

I’ve used this intro before. Back in September of 2013, I wrote:

I never saw The Summer of ’42. When it came out in 1971 with an R rating, I was 13. More than likely it didn’t come to the theater in our little town, and if it did my parents would never have let me see it. After all, I was much older when they made me leave the room when The Godfather was on TV.

I’ve never taken the time to see it since. No real reason. Just haven’t wanted to. But I remember the theme song. Not so much because it was a great theme song, but because our high school choir director actually considered having us sing The Theme from the Summer of ’42 in our spring concert.

I think when he heard the giggles from the back of the room when we sang “The summer smiles, the summer knows, And unashamed she sheds her clothes…” that he could never get away with having a choir with 30 high school boys (and their soprano and alto counterparts) sing that song.

Summer isn’t over yet. In fact, it’s not over until early in the morning of September 23.

Of course, the traditional end of Summer is Labor Day weekend. Pools close. The water park closes. My summer pass to the amusement park closes. And, kids go back to school.

In our house, just like the houses of thousands of teachers across the country, the thoughts are of lesson plans and school supplies. Well, not my thoughts, but the thoughts are in our house.

My thoughts are currently on the first table read of The Mousetrap, tonight. I have one heckuva cast, and I can’t wait to get started working with them.

Like I mentioned last week, my marathon of back-to-back projects has begun. I’m not bragging. I’m not complaining. I made these choices.

If I’m complaining about anything it’s that, in my between show “break” I didn’t make enough trips to the amusement park or the beach.

There’s a sense of panic in knowing that I only have so many possible days left to make that happen. In fact, I have four days between now and Labor Day when beach trips, or amusement park trips are a possibility…unless I take off more time from work.

I may, but I’m also guarding those four days. Please be advised that I cannot accept any new projects at this time.

I am reminded. Okay, I’m reminding myself that my three words for 2019 were, or are “No, No, No.”

Not remembering that is exactly how I got to a calendar that indicates my next “free” day is February 23.

I swear I am not making that up.

I’m not saying all of this to complain. I’m saying it to let you know that, if I say no to your invitation, it’s not personal. I just need my time to stay home and work on stuff there…away from people.

So, if you asked me about your project before I wrote this post, you’re in luck, because I’ve probably already said yes.

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be clearing the decks before I say yes to anything else.

Look, I love doing the stuff I do. The theatre, and the writing, and the design.

All I’m saying is that my time is valuable and I need to start treating it that way.

Unless you’re paying, then we can talk. But, I’m pretty much out of commission for free work for the next few months.

Sorry, not sorry.

It’s not personal. Well, not to anyone else but me.

The marathon has begun. Let’s all remember that I don’t run.

But I will keep moving forward. It’s all I can do.

Speaking of all I can do I can’t let the events of the weekend go by without commenting. We come off of a weekend with news of horrible mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Before the shootings were even over, the Interwebz were lit up with the regular arguments. I found myself getting agitated. Then I just shut down the Twitter feed.

Look, believe what you must, but arguing on social media isn’t going to fix anything. Take that as sage advice from someone who used to make a side career out of arguing on the Internet.

I have my opinions on why this happened and what needs to be done. Posting them to Facebook or Twitter will only serve to make others angry. That’s just my take on it. But I have to stop and think of what I’m actually doing to help the situation.

I was pretty agitated Sunday morning when I sat down to the PC. I’d already been scrolling through Twitter on the phone.

The first song up on my Sunday morning Pandora station was “Be Still, My Soul.”

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heav’nly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Don’t get me wrong, that song is not about calming situations like El Paso and Dayton. It’s about calming me. And maybe you.

If we all start there, gathering our own peace in whatever belief system we ascribe to, then maybe, just maybe we’ll make some real progress.

Progress that won’t come from an angry Tweet or Facebook meme.

Consider it. Just find some time to be still for a while.


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While I still have time to write this…

So, remember that time last month when I talked about writing and blogging and how I should get back to it?

Well, it didn’t exactly happen that way.  Don’t get me wrong.  I never stopped writing.  I just didn’t do it here.

This is not an “If I get elected, I promise to blog here every day” post.

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First of all, I’m not running for office. Ever.

Second, I don’t run. Ever.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog lately.  Thinking mind you, not actually doing anything with it.  And when the bill came around for my other website I had to stop and think about what I’m paying for.  Bottom line is, the small expense I pay for this blog and my personal website, is worth it just to have my “home” on the web.

Don’t get me wrong, I have rooms on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t want to live there.

The President has names for countries like that.

I digress.

I’m still writing. In fact, I’m writing so much that I rarely have time to talk about it.

I think that means I’m a real boy now, even if my joints still feel wooden.

Speaking of which, yesterday was my first day at my new gym.  Long story, short, I needed a new venue.  I have one, and I think I’ll be happy there.

In the meantime, I’ve continued to write at least a thousand words a day.  Sometimes it’s even good writing.

And, I have the draft of a new script. No, you can’t read it yet.

I also made a novel decision this week, if you will.  I’d been working on two Nanowrimo projects that I was merging into one novel.  They were set aside while I worked on getting Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy ready for the first production and now for play writing competitions.  We have hopes.

But I spent some time…Maybe as much as 45 seconds…probably a little more, this week thinking about the novel.  I think I’ve been stuck because merging the two doesn’t work.  So, I’m back to working on two novels.

Very slowly.

In my free time.

No, in the time that I make for writing.

Why is all of this important today?

In addition to the returning to the gym, tonight is the second round of auditions for The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie, that I’m directing for River City Community Players.  You still have time to come out to audition.

That means that, assuming all goes as planned my calendar shows that when rehearsals start next Sunday night, I will be in rehearsals or performances on a continual basis until February 22 of next year.

I have commitments after that, just not consecutively.

No, that doesn’t mean every day.  I do get Thanksgiving and Christmas off.

Seriously it’s not back to back, but it means that the mindset has me in rehearsal or production mode continuously.

I’m not complaining. I made these choices.

I’m just telling you that I’m not going to be here every day.

If I have any summer regrets, it’s only that I haven’t been to the beach or to the amusement park enough times.  I’ll keep trying.

As for this blog, I’ll be here as often as I can, or when something inspires me enough that I think you need to know, and ascribe to, my opinion.

In the meantime, I’ll leave the light on, but you might need to find a secondary source for your daily dose of brilliance.

That’s right, I’m setting you free to see other bloggers.

If you find some good ones, feel free to introduce them in the comments.


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