I’m watching the rain out the window right now, trying to motivate myself to be productive. So far it’s not working. Watching rain is nicely hypnotic, but it makes me feel more like sleeping than writing. And unfortunately, I did a really, really stupid thing this week — I read A Lonely Magic.

I try not to be mean to myself, but every time I stare at my Grace file now, the mean words start running through my head. I need Noah to get to work. He’s got things to do. Instead, my imagination wants to play in Sia Mara. Worse, I want to go back and fix things in ALM, instead of writing the next book! Sigh.

When I wasn’t trying to write, I had a really nice week. It included video game time with my nephew — I’m a little obsessed with a game called SkyForge right now; camping and kayaking with my niece; and much berry picking with my brother. We’ve hit the stage of the summer where the berries are getting ripe faster than they can be eaten. If I had a bigger freezer, I’d be filling it with an easy summer’s worth of berries. As it is, I did look at the blueberries on my counter last night and think, “nope, no more berries.” Not sure that’s ever happened to me with blueberries before. Fortunately, my blueberry ennui wore off by morning.

Camping with my niece was lovely. We spent two nights up at Frances Slocum State Park, which is a park I visited last summer, including a stop at the cemetery where a few dozen of our ancestors, including some of her great-great-great-grandparents, are buried. There’s something inherently romantic, I think, in the idea of great-great-great-grandparents, but I had a weird little moment of shock when I realized that my niece is entirely a child of the 21st century. The 20th century is just as much history to her as the 19th. So obvious, I know, but still…

Frances Slocum State Park

Most of our “camping” time was really more like cozy, hanging-out-in-a-tiny-house time. We read our books, we played on our iPads, and we watched movies* — not exactly the campfire – tent – backpack scenario. But we did go for a nice walk, and we kayaked, and she came home with eleven or possibly twelve bug bites, so it was close enough to camping.

But this is not really close enough to writing, so time for me to get back to the real words. If I stare at my file for long enough, Noah is bound to do something, right?

*I must add a teeny-tiny vent about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Spoilers Ahead.

WTF? Obviously, it’s not the first time JK Rowling has written about abused children, but the ending left me… horrified. And then creeped out. Yay, happy bakery, but what the hell happens to the little girl left traumatized and cowering under a desk? I think my niece was disappointed by my response — she likes the movie — but I told her that sometimes being a mom gets in the way of appreciating movies where children are treated badly. And that one — just ugh. Despite my spoiler warning, I’m reluctant to say exactly what happens, but suffice to say I disapproved. Vehemently.