Now, with the huge list of Things To Do Before Christmas starting to whittle down, I'm beginning to turn my mind to long, sunny, days stretched out on the beach.
I can feel the hot sand between my toes and the hear the shouts and laughter of my kids as they swim and sail and sunbathe, and fish for shrimp. And I can feel the warmth of the sun, and the shadows reflecting through my straw hat onto the pages of my book.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about what to read while we are on holiday.
With my plan of writing full time in 2014, my mind is abuzz of ideas and stories and I want to do some of this while on holiday, but it's not the best idea to take the laptop onto the beach - in fact, I wouldn't do it!
So, for the times where I'm on 'duty' to watch the kids around the water, I'm taking some reading with me.
I enjoy three different types of reading.
Good old traditional - paper and ink. Audible - have a brilliant actor or actress read the book to me through my earplugs from my phone/ipad or MP3, and Kindle - the app I have on my iPad.
I have different loves about all three. Of course, the paper and ink is my favourite, but with life so busy these days, it is a rare chance when I can sit down with a book in hand, which is why Audio books are my number one way of reading these days. I strap my device to my arm, ear plugs in, and away I go, whether that's ironing, cooking, walking around the block, or just driving across town.
Kindle is my least-favourite way of reading, but the books are so cheap to buy and it's instant (I'm an instant kiwi and I hate waiting for stuff to arrive in the mail).
But this summer I'll be using all three methods.
Traditional Books I'll be reading:
Beyond the Microphone by Leighton Smith. I have been listening to Leighton (a New Zealand radio talkshow host) since I was about 20 years old when I discovered he loved radio (I was working at a radio station at the time), Willie Nelson and Texas - just like me! He kindly conspired with Rob this year to send one of his books, hot off the press, to me on my birthday, arriving on the doormat on the day, signed by himself. I've been saving this for the first book I'm going to read on the beach.
My Audio book choices this Christmas are:
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - as a recommendation from my brother-in-law and a personal challenge to myself because this is not my genre of choice! At all! I have zero interest in science fiction of this type, but there is so much hype around it, I'm really curious to find out if I like it.
And Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith. I started listening to this on a solo car journey up to Auckland, and found myself laughing out loud. Can't wait to finish this witty book. I love his writings.
As for Kindle, I have so many books on there to read, but there are two that are my top priority.
Smart but Scattered - a revolutionary "executive skills' approach to helping kids reach their potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare. This is for help with one of my kids who really struggles to focus and follow instructions. Hoping I can incorporate some of these strategies to help them succeed and reach their potential at school and home, and also help out Mum and Dad in managing them!
And I wouldn't be a self-employed writer if I didn't try and expand my knowledge on my craft. I have read rave reviews of this book, so I am looking forward to reading it.
The Naked Truth About Self Publishing - apparently very practical, according to some writing groups I belong to, and practical is just what I need!
I wonder what I'll do more of this summer - writing or reading? Or maybe neither. Maybe the lure of sand and sea and summer warmth and watermelon might be the only temptations I succumb to.
What is on your reading list this summer?