The Summer That Wasn’t

I realize I’m spoiled. I transitioned from stay at home mother to stay at home writer without having to scan the help wanted pages once.  My daily commute is X steps from my kitchen to my office. Traffic and weather a concern of the past. The other perk was having my summers off.  With the kids home, there are too many other fun distractions like going to the pool, Hersheypark, movies and get aways. First draft writing is put on hold and I catch up on my sleep, my massive magazine pile, revisions, website updates, and general office cleaning.

Not this summer.  Oh no – I blew it.  Last school year, I had two books to write – one due early January and one in early June (last day of school is usually my deadline).  The book due in January was delivered on time – six months to write another seemed doable.   So what happened?  !Warning – excuse alert!  I scheduled an insane amount of events to promote Fire Study’s release in March and I had workers in my basement renovating.  These highly skilled craftsmen had many questions and didn’t hesitate to pop up and ask me at any time because I was home, playing on the computer, and I failed to impress upon them I was actually working.

It’s still my fault for not finishing in time, but at least I have something to show for those six months (our basement is beautiful – by the way).  My very sweet editor allowed me to push back my deadline to September and I no longer had my summer off.  Bummer.

I made a few interesting discoveries this summer.  One – my kids have no qualms interrupting me while I write, but are very reluctant to bother me when I’m sleeping – obviously their mother is to blame.  However, I used this to my advantage and wrote from 11 pm to 4 am and slept in until noon!  Two – we didn’t go to Hersheypark or to the pool as much.  That one is kind of obvious – I was a bit surprised the kids didn’t beg to go more in which case I would have caved (see note about overly indulgent mothers in item one). Three – although we did go on vacation, I still felt like I missed out on my summer.  My kids are at great ages –  13 & 10 (yes – the 13 yr old is still fun – teenage hormones have yet to take over) and I enjoy spending time with them (that’s why I was a stay at home mom).  School, soccer and karate have started and I now see the kids for a few minutes during taxi…er…car rides.

One good thing (well two, actually – see below) about this summer is I won’t do it again.  I’m highly motivated to get my book written on time this year, to ease up on my promotional schedule (I’ve actually said No and wasn’t struck by lightning – amazing!), and to not plan any renovations.

The other good thing to come from this summer… Zombies Playset!  I found it in Ocean City, Maryland – I’ll include a picture below if I can – Not only is it a 9 piece set, including a zombie dog – but they’re GLOW IN THE DARK and FLESH EATING – Bonus!  I was so excited I bought it right away (much to my husband’s chagrin).  I even share the fun with my kids – they arrange the zombies in different configurations almost daily, reminding me that possibilities are endless.

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Are there any other people out there with toys on their desks?  I bet I’m not the only one ;>

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  1. 1. Maria V. Snyder

    I hit publish before seeing if the image came up – It didn’t – if you want to see the playset – go to my Myspace blog:

    Also – It’s 21 steps from my kitchen to my desk – I wanted to double check and forgot to fix the post before.

  2. 2. John - Grasping for the Wind

    Ocean City is awesome. My grandparents have a beach house there, and we have been going nigh on every summer since the tender age of 2. Zombie playsets make it even better!

  3. 3. Barry Holmes

    Stuff on my desk? Where to start…
    A three statue jade wise man set. (Luck, long life and good fortune)
    A small Shaggy & Scooby figure.
    A Techpriest from the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
    A Big Daddy figurine
    one of The Cubes which I picked up at a technical conference.

    Past items have included Bionical and Star Wars Lego sets.

    There is nothing too intersting on my home desk. Too many cats.


  1. Finishing our basement «

Author Information

Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder has been writing fiction and nonfiction since 1995. She has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers. Her first published novel, Poison Study appeared on the shelves in 2005, and chronicles Yelena’s challenges in surviving her dangerous job as a food taster. Magic Study follows with Yelena’s efforts to learn about her magic while searching for a rogue magician turned serial killer. Fire Study chronicles Yelena's adventures with a Fire Warper and was released in March 2008. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology at Penn State University. Much to Maria’s chagrin, forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. Writing, however, proved to be more enjoyable and Maria earned a Master of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. As part of her research for her Study novels, Maria signed up for a glass blowing class to learn how to shape molten glass. The first thing she learned is it is considerably harder to sculpt glass than it looks. Maria now has an extensive collection of misshapened paperweights, tumblers, and bowls. When she’s not traveling, Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, daughter and yellow Lab. She is working on her next MIRA novel, Storm Glass, due out Spring 2009. Readers are welcome to contact Maria by e-mail at, or they can find more information on her Web site at Visit site.



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