Christmas in June? No (although the excellent but generally forgotten band The Young Adults had a great song called Christmas in Japan in July). And not summer vacation, either, although I guess it's that time of the year.
No, it's the annual Rancho Mirage Writing Workshop, in the blasting heat of the California desert. A baker's dozen of writers working together and critiquing, under the sharp-tongued guidance of Raymond Obstfeld.
This had become an annual event for me...except for last year, when my health problems kept me from attending. Not so this year. I'm annoyingly hale and hearty, and have my nose and consciousness buried deeply in my latest novel.
We've all received 20-35 pages of each other's manuscripts, and we'll start off with a round-robin critique at 5 this evening. There's some good stuff here, and some very odd stuff, and some familiar stuff that is farther along (pages 540-560 of one manuscript that I last saw many pages back). Some of the writers are veterans of this little workshop, others are fresh meat. This loooks like fun.
So I'm looking forward to a week of nothing but writing and critiquing. Well, along with a few drinks in the evening. And heaving myself into swimming pools to try to dump some of the heat.
"But it's a dry heat," the apologists all say. Yeah, well it's still 110 frigging Farenheit. And with all the golf courses in the area (this is right next to Palm Springs), it ain't really that dry anymore, either.
But it's a dry heat. Yeah, Satan probably says that about Hell, too.