I think we have it all wrong. We should all be taking off the month of August. There is absolutely no reason we should be sitting at our desks, pretending to work when we could be out by the water "chillaxing" (that is, chilling and relaxing). So I thought I'd highlight the next best thing: a few short stories to transport ourselves to other lands and various creative challenges to keep our minds off work. So cheers, to chillaxing! -Susan
Here are some short stories and tails (well, OK, tales) for some light summer reading: -Margaret Atwood's White Horse (meeting her was one of the high points of the year; what an amazing woman!) -Jhumpa Lahiri's Hell-Heaven (one of my favorite authors) -Classic Shorts (featuring stories by Fitzgerald, Chekhov, and Poe; selected by editors of Poets & Writers literary magazine) -Grimm's Fairy Tales (I still can't remember the difference between Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin; can you?) -Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (I've been meaning to re-read this novella -- or do I just think I've read it?) -E.M. Forster's A Room with a View (always transports me to Florence!)
At least look as though you're getting serious work done by tackling one of these past creative challenges (or just check out other readers' contributions): - 50 Word Challenge (write an extremely short story with a beginning, middle and end) -10 Word Summer Memories (quick, before you forget!) -Summer Love in One Sentence (who can resist?) -What's Your Favorite Word? (Mine is "chillax" -- introduced to me by my 11 year old son as in, "You need to chillax, Mom.") -And then for a couple of aspirational, thought-provoking challenges: What's Your Sentence? (need to think of a sentence that describes your life) and Before I die… (enough said). -Your Perfect Day (our latest challenge: "What does your perfect day look like?" Mine would start in a cafe in Paris reading The International Herald Tribune, eating a freshly-baked croissant and sipping cafe au lait; I'd then hang out at Shakespeare & Company bookshop followed by a stroll through the gardens of the Picasso Museum.) And yours? What's your perfect day?