As I get older, summer’s return makes me pine for simpler things. I spent many warm days in my youth cooped up indoors. Well, not exactly cooped up, I had the Oregon City Library at my disposal.
Maybe that meant I was a strange kid. Well, that alone wasn’t exactly the tipping point in that direction, but the library stacks were always more inviting than actual vistas because at least there was the possibility of a railroad heist or a dragon lurking inside.
Summer is different now. The world doesn’t pause for imagination anymore. This is OK though. Everything in its time, right? I had my time for summer memories. Now my son will have his.
I get to a different summer simple now. When I can, I like to read outside. If I’m lucky, whenever possible, I like to write outside, too.
My mother volunteers at the Friends Of Oregon City Library Book Store. This is what she does now that she doesn’t really need to do anything.
The book store is a good gig for her. She has her regular group to hang out with and she also spends her whole day around books.
The upside for me is that I have an inside connection.
It’s not uncommon for my Mom to show up at my house with a stack of paperback books. Usually when I’m working on assembling a series, all it takes is one phone call. After a few years my exploitation of this connection has gotten a little ridiculous, but so far there is enough room.
The Return of Ellery Queen Mystery
The other day my mom showed up with a stack of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines. Ten issues in total, scattered over a few years.
Can you use these? She asked. As though there was a usefulness sunset on a hard boiled short story delivered on newsprint.
The whole exchange brought me back in time to summer days of old. Nothing to do but read and daydream. Perhaps some of these issues were ones I read already, cross legged in the Oregon City Library when it felt naive not to believe in the power of crazy stories.
The idea of time travel has always held an appeal for me. There should be no surprise that I have incorporated a weird element of time travel into my supernatural mystery fiction.
Maybe it’s not so far fetched. School isn’t out for another hour. This means I have got a little sliver of time. The weather is delightful.
There is also an Ellery Queen rolled comfortably into my pocket.
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