Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
Summer-time in the garden hammock chair - what a blissful idea! Summer school vacation is often the only time busy writers and moms get for reading their short stories - the kids are home celebrating their happy release into the garden – but they need watching! What better excuse for bringing out all those stories that are still waiting to be read!
And now for....the perfect warm, shady place for summertime chilling out and the ultimate lazy, comfy reading chair: a rope hammock! I’ve always dreamed of swinging gently under the trees, pretending to write or read, but actually dozing off in my dream hammock chair.
In reality of course, writer-moms need to stay alert for the kids, the ices, the water pistols and the sand box so the snoozing option doesn’t happen. Still, always the writing is with us, and so are the books, so I would make sure to have my handy writer-kit nearby: a small notebook that wouldn’t slide off my knees as I sway to and fro in the warm scented haze, erasers and pencils not pens because I don’t care for crossings-out, and, on my wish list, an iphone or netbook for sending the finished articles or stories or poems.
The Garden Hammock Chair - My Dream Swing
As Spanish and South American countries are so hot, I think I would be tempted by a siesta-inducing garden hammock chair, such a Brazilian-style one. Most people’s first fear with hammocks is that they would fall out of it though, so mine would need to have an impressive stabilizing spreader bar, complete with safety belts that weren’t obtrusive but complemented the overall stylish pattern and colorway, such as leather. I would also want the wood to be a hardwood type, and to be protected from the threat of the odd shower by an attractive varnish.
I don’t want to pay a gang of workmen to spend a week hanging my garden hammock chair either, and would probably end up fixing it up myself, so easy one-point suspension would be a must.
Summertime Reading - Stories for A Vacation With Kids In The Garden
Find These Books At Lower Prices At B & N - And Kids Can Win One Free
Now is the time for all those nostalgic stories and short books we usually think will take too long to read! And there's now also the time to get kids reading - there are summer reading programs where they can win a book for completing a six book challenge! Here is a selection of stories (some for Moms,some for kids) which I always associate with summertime reading:
1. Pemberley (Pride and Prejudice 'Revisited') by Emma Tennant
2. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jane Eyre - the 'back-story')
3. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
4. Collected Short Stories – Doris Lessing
5. And, more recently.... The Guernsey Potato Pie Company - bestselling stories (1946 a bored writer writes her publishers to tell them she no longer wants to write cheery stories about the bright side of battle and war-zone conflict. An islander farmer encourages some locals to send in their story gems and letters to her. Unfortunately, while some are sparklingly talented -vividly portraying quaint traditional island life, heroism and characters...others are dire reminders that wartime ordeals under German occupation is not so easily escaped .....)
And of course, some stories for Mom to share with the kids in the hammock chair, preferably one child at a time!
1. Just-so Stories Rudyard Kipling
2. The Little Prince Stories by Oscar Wilde (The Swallow)
3. The Just William Stories by Richmal Crompton (typically English nostalgic stories about a scrape-kneed gang of boys getting up to vacation mischief and annoying ‘Violet Elizabeth’ and making her ‘scweam and scweam and scweam’ with their practical jokes.)
And of course...
1. For a celebration of American heritage:
2. The Stories Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Little House on The Prairie (Each chapter is conveniently packaged into a ‘stand-alone’ story.) Laura Ingalls Wilder