Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anniversary Blog Fest: Debra St. John


Summer Vacation

It’s one of those things you dreamed about as a kid. Counting the days until school was out in June, and then you had nine long weeks stretching ahead of sleeping in, no homework, warm weather, and no place to be. Ah, paradise…

For many adults this concept of summer vacation no longer holds true. Work continues no matter what the calendar says. Being in the field of education, I’m one of those lucky ones who still get to experience the joy of an entire summer off. This is the time of year when I get really productive with my writing. Without the demands of a school day, I can approach my writing with a fresh attitude and the drive to get a lot done.

Most summer days you’ll find me outside with my laptop. I migrate, depending on where the sun is, so I might be on the patio, out by the pond, or on the front porch at any given time. Some days I’ll be on the couch, still in my jammies, at noon, clicking away. I have to say, this year was a productive one writing-wise. I finished up some requested revisions and edits on a full-length going to the Yellow Rose Line (Contemporary cowboys…YUM!) at The Wild Rose Press. I signed a contract for a Thanksgiving novella (An Unexpected Blessing) there and went through several rounds of edits and am now waiting for a cover and galleys to approve. I polished up a requested mss for Harlequin and got that mailed out. And I even made some headway on a WIP. All in all, the summer of 2012 was very productive in a writing sense.

But I did a lot of other things, too. There were some days here in the Midwest when it was simply too hot to go outside. With temperatures hovering in the high 90s and low 100s for days in a row, inside my air conditioned house was the place to be. I made a sizable dent in a mound of neglected scrapbooking.

The hot weather wasn’t enough to keep me away from making the best of summer. Last year I had some unexpected health issues which forced me to cancel vacations, concerts, and movie premieres. This year I was determined to make up for last year’s ‘lost’ summer.

And I did! I’m a huge country music fan and was able to take in three concerts: Eric Church at the Sears Centre, Brad Paisley at Wrigley Field, and Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw at Soldier Field. Great acts and great venues. (And might I add that I never realized how completely FINE Tim McGraw was until now?!) We also took three long weekend vacations. (It’s my relaxing time of year, but it’s the hubby’s busy time, so we try not to take too many days away. Someone’s got to bring home the bucks in the summer!) First we hit the Missouri Ozarks for an annual trip with friends, then we did Pontiac, Illinois (Just the coziest little town…we even had our picture taken with and by the mayor!), and finally we did Springfield, IL (A great way to expanded our knowledge of Abraham Lincoln).

I also participated in my library’s Adult Reading Program. This year’s theme was “Reading is So Delicious”. In the process of reading my 30 books, I won weekly prizes like popcorn, candy, and books, and ultimately wound up winning a gift certificate to a local pizza place for one of my entries.

Now, even though I’ve already gone back to work, summer still isn’t really over. There are still warm nights to enjoy out in the front porch rocking chairs, a round of parties for Labor Day weekend, and best of all, another fabulous season to look forward to: the beauty and wonder of fall. I couldn’t live in a place where the seasons didn’t change. I look forward to the new delights in each and every one.

I also love to hear from readers, so feel free to visit me at my website or one of my blogs.

About the Author:
Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel some day. Her dream came true when she started writing sultry contemporary romance with sexy heroes and spunky heroines for The Wild Rose Press. The upcoming An Unexpected Blessing, a Thanksgiving novella, will be her fifth title with TWRP. Although she’s a country girl at heart, she lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband, who is her real life hero.

Find Debra online at


katsrus said...

It sure has been hot here in the midwest. And pretty soon it's fall already. Sounds like you had a wonderful summer.
Sue B

Karen H said...

Sounds like you have had a fantabulous summer vacation this year. Hooray for you!

I'm retired, so summer is just 3 months on the calender since I can do what I want, whenever I want! Don't hate me...your day will come!

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Debra St. John said...

Hi Sue, It's definitely been hot this summer...but the past couple days have been beautiful!

Karen, Ah, day in the future...retirement...and then the whole year is like one big vacation! What will I do with myself?!

Toni said...

Having summers off would be great! Glad to hear you were able to enjoy it this year.

I also have to agree YUM on the cowboys front.

Enjoy the rest of your year.


LisaRayns said...

I could definitely live in a place where the seasons don't change but I say that because I hate the cold winters so badly.

Rita Wray said...

I'm also a big country music fan. I saw Tim and Faith, they were wonderful and also Dwight Yoakam, I love his music.


Sounds like a great summer, Debra! I love the idea of a productive summer, but when my kids are home, it doesn't work well. Luckily, they spend a month at sleepaway camp, and I was able to finish and submit my WIP. I've now started another one, but most likely won't get much done until they start school in 2.5 weeks.

Ana Morgan said...

Teaching is a demanding profession, and you deserve R&R (rest and relaxation), Debra!
I'm so glad you had a health-issue-free summer.
Summers are hard work time for me, a CSA gardener, but this summer was particularly hard, in part due to the insanely relentless heat and humidity. I live in northern Minnesota for a REASON, weather gods....

Debra St. John said...

Toni, Ah, yes...God love those cowboys.

Lisa, I agree about the cold winter weather, but I do so love the first snow.

Ingeborg, I've never seen Dwight, but he's about as country as they come!

Ana, You are one busy gal in the summer.

Jen, Yea for sleepover camp!

Debby said...

It has been hot here in the east and where did I go? San Antonio TX. Quite hot there
debby236 at gmail dot com

Paula Martin said...

Sounds like you've had a fun and action-packed summer, Debra. I'm amazed you managed to fit so much writing in between all your other activities. As an ex-teacher (in the UK) I'm envious of your 9 week break - our maximum was 6 weeks, often whittled down to 5 and a half, with meetings in the final week before school started again. I always used to think it took me 3 weeks to unwind, and the remaining 2/3 weeks to gear myself up for the new year and start preparing lesson materials etc!

Debra St. John said...

Debby, Yep...same for us. Missouri was even hotter than IL!

Paula...We had our first week of meetings this past week. Kiddos arrive on Wednesday.