Solstice Calendar

Yesterday was Summer Solstice.

The longest day of the year, somehow both Midsummer and First Day of Summer. Thus do science and tradition collide.

For the last couple of days, the setting sun has come squarely in our western bedroom window and cast long rays right on the fireplace screen on the living room kiva. Our own Solstice calendar it seems.

Our builder was Norwegian and I wonder if he aligned it that way on purpose.

The new novel, Sterling, has been hurtling towards a Midsummer Solstice festival since the beginning. Maybe hurtling is the wrong word. Creeping slowly towards. Reluctantly, but with fascination. Now my own reality has gone past the moment in the book. Which should mean nothing, except I can’t quite shake the feeling that I’m having to catch up now.

I worried about not writing while I was at my mom’s. I knew I wouldn’t get to and I thought the hiatus might knock me out of my rhythm. Instead, it turned out to be a good break. I wrote yesterday with a sense of the well being full and cool. It helped that I had hours of driving while David studied, to mull over the plot. I know now the sequence of remaining events. Though I woke up this morning realizing I hadn’t accounted for one plot thread.

It’s in my head now, though.

I passed 70K yesterday, which means I’m between about 60% and 80% done. By my feel of the story left to write, I think it’s closer to the 60% end, but we’ll see, won’t we? I’ll know the end when I get there.

It’s always tempting to see Summer Solstice and 4th of July weekend as the Summer being half over. Which is funny because most of us in the US anyway think of Summer as June, July and August – partly due to growing season, partly due to school calendars. By that measure, Solstice is neither the beginning of Summer, nor the middle, but somewhere just shy of the first third.

Demarcations and divisions to measure the progress of the year.

6 Replies to “Solstice Calendar”

  1. It is always nice to get a break from writing. You're that much fresher when you come back to it. At least that's what I've been telling myself these past few, uh, months. 🙂

  2. That's a beautiful picture. As for Sterling, there are probably a few characters who could tell you a lot about the festival. Could, with a 60% chance of Not Going To.

  3. But you're going to actually do the Festival, right? As opposed to promising it for book after book and then blowing it off in the end? Not that I have a specific example in mind or anything…

  4. Ha, Elana! That's always the fear, that the break will turn into too long away. Good luck getting back to it!

    Kev, I think that's KAK's fear, too. But we're definitely going. Your specific example, actually, is what keeps spurring me on to make sure we get there. Unless KAK sees something I don't???

  5. The birth of summer is my absolute favorite time of year. We are already into warmer weather and enjoying time on the boat. We meet with friends we haven't seen since last season and we celebrate my birthday. Which of course is cause for celebration alone. To me this time of year is even better than Christmas.

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