I've been reading an enjoyable book about writing. It's a different perspective on writing than I remember from school. And...pictures.

From the reading spot.

My favorite spot to read books is on the big couch in our living room, flat on my back. In the middle of the afternoon sharp, clean light flows in through three large sets of double French doors. There are two Hunter ceiling fans moving cool air around. And a small stereo on a cabinet at one end of the room; today it was playing an old Enya album; but not too loud.

I get antsy if I'm there on the couch for too long. I'm not yet used to the quiet "schedule" and I feel vaguely guilty for not being out somewhere sweet-talking a client and trying to figure out how I'm going to light an un-light-able space before some important person in a suit shows up, ready to get on with it.

I gather up my modern necessities and head the little white car to the local Starbucks. My favorite afternoon drink is a small cappuccino made with whole milk. Please add an extra shot...

There's a place in the central park that's never crowded on the weekdays. It's in a circle of live oak trees where there's an old picnic table made from cement. Even though the table sits in speckled shade the heat and humidity of a sunny afternoon, after a hard bout of morning rain, is uncomfortable enough to present a nice contrast to the homey luxury of my living room. Sometimes a bit of friction helps concentrate my mind on what I'm reading. The bright and public location pretty much ensures that I won't take an unscheduled nap...

My friend, Patty is a good swimmer and an even better literary editor. When she discovered that Ben (my son) wanted pursue a career as a writer she started finding him more -- interesting. From time to time she'll send me over a text, which I'm supposed to forward to Ben, with suggestions for books and articles that she finds helpful in her own writing and editing practices. As a doting father I'm always appreciative of people trying to guide my kid closer to his goals. 

Last week she made a few new book suggestions, one of which was called, "Several short sentences about writing." by Verlyn Klinkenborg. I took a look at the book on Amazon and read the few pages they allow as a preview. I ordered two copies of the book. One for me and one for the boy. He'll get his copy this evening when he comes for dinner but I cracked my copy open on Sunday afternoon and I've been picking at it ever since. Or maybe it's been picking at me...

After I understood the rhythm of Klinkenborg's writing I found that I couldn't put the book down. I took it up this morning, sitting in the stuffed, white chair in our bedroom and read for several hours. After a lunch of Greek Yogurt, muesli and fresh blueberries I moved to the seductive, gray couch. When Enya finished her performance of "Paint the Sky with Stars" on the little stereo I felt like a change of venue. The park was perfect. Right on the edge of too hot and too humid but with just enough breeze to tease me into sticking around and finishing the book.

This book, along with a copy of the ever useful Elements of Style, seem like a wonderful, basic set of manuals for any writer. At any stage in their career. The last book about writing I enjoyed this much was "Bird by Bird" by Ann Lamott. If you are a writer you might enjoy it too. It's a nice way to gambol through an afternoon in the Summer. 

It's been an unusual day. At 6:00am this morning, as the early masters swimmers were arriving on the pool deck for our workout it started to rain. Hard. The swimmers hopped in and started the warm-up while the coach went to find an umbrella. 

The rain came and went and came back again. Sometimes gently and sometimes in torrents. The swimmers, already wet, ignored the rain and spent the hour following the black lines up and down the lanes. We were lucky. As everyone was exiting to make room for the next, larger group the coaches started looking nervously at weather apps on their phones. Nature made the decision for them with several bright flashes of lightning and some impressive thunder. And just like that the 7 a.m. workout was cancelled. 

The rain was constant at our house until mid-morning and then the skies slowly started getting lighter. By lunchtime it was a bright and sunny day, complete with steam coming of the rapidly warming streets. 

Since I'm not working much I've been paying closer attention to the stock market. My favorite stock went nuts and shot up by nearly $10 a share. I felt rich until Belinda reminded me that even in finance there is such a thing as gravity. 

Now I'm back in the studio and I have the urge to buy something. Anything. Maybe I'll order one more extra battery for the Sigma fp. It came out of hiding today and prodded me to include it on the trip to the park...

Ben is coming over this evening to celebrate father's day. One of his friend's fathers tested positive for Covid-19 virus two Sundays ago so he and his roommates have been quarantining themselves. He missed Father's Day. We're celebrating tonight with BBQ and a great looking bottle of wine our neighbors sent over. It's good to celebrate together. I'm looking forward to it. 

But I can't go overboard because we've got swim practice tomorrow morning at 6, and there's the next book in the stack to read. Such a busy time...