Friday, July 29, 2011

Susan J. Bigelow's summers of doing nothing


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Hi everyone! Ready to move on along?

Just a reminder, July ends after this weekend! *gasp* I know! Don't forget to get those last minute reviews in. I'll close the linky at 12 pm PST on Sunday evening.

Now on to the goodness!

Susan J. Bigelow, author of Broken has offered up a guest post about her lazy summers. I loved this post! I think it's just what summer means to a lot of us. Time for us. I'll let Susan tell you though.

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Doing Nothing in the Summer

I did nothing during that summer vacation, and I did it well. This was the summer after middle school and before I went off to high school in another town, so I was in-between. I stayed up late at night, playing Tetris until I could see the shapes falling whenever I closed my eyes and listening to the local hard rock station. The cats draped themselves over the chairs nearby, Siamese curls on brown-and-yellow 1970s slipcovers.

I slept in until the sun was slipping down towards the industrial park to the west, then hiked out into the swampy land between my neighborhood and the train tracks. If you're from suburbia, you know these kinds of places. They're the leftover woods, the random squares of wild country wedged into the imperfect spaces between houses, strip malls, schools and highways. I love those places. I've always sought them out.

The swampland behind the house was a place my friends and I liked to hike around in, but it was also a place for me to go and indulge my constantly overworked imagination. And, so, a stinking creek full of industrial runoff became a mighty river, dirt mounds became tall mountains, and little copses of trees where the bigger kids met to smoke pot became magnificent palaces. I gave the land a name and a history. I walked through it, playing out the lives of its people, fighting its battles and melding myself to its hopes, loves and tragedies. This, for me, was fun on an epic scale.

I wasn't entirely lost in the fantasy; I still knew how to dodge the trains and the Amtrak Police, and how to hide out when the bigger kids or, worse, adults were around. People are almost always up to no good in places like that. I learned how to protect myself. I found a buzz-saw blade as big as my head one day, and learned to toss it like a ninja throwing star. I practiced by sticking it in trees, and I started carrying it around with me. I have to imagine it was unusual and alarming for the people on the passing trains to see a random kid carrying a huge buzz-saw blade around in the swamp.

When my friends were with me, we hung around and played games or passed the time insulting one another in new and creative ways. When I was alone, I lived in my own world. When I left that land, I went back downstairs and played Tetris until my eyeballs fell out. I told myself stories, I sat reading on my bed with our three aging cats, I watched Star Trek with my sister and I rode my bike up hills and down again. In every way I could manage, I did nothing.

It was a pause, that summer. I played and imagined, waiting for fall to come and uproot my life. Every day I could sense the change coming on, and I looked forward to it. Still, I willed that summer to last and last. I wanted to keep doing that incredibly fulfilling and glorious nothing for as long as I could, before getting back to the overwhelmingly boring and excruciating something of the rest of my life.


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Thank you Susan!

Now if you haven't read Broken yet, it's one to add to your wishlists! Superhero story at it's core, but also so much more. I really enjoyed this one, and if you're curious you can see my review here.

Don't forget to stop back tomorrow for Susan's giveaway!





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