I’d been lamenting lately (to an unlucky listener or two, and with less alliteration than I might be leading you to expect) that I was burned out on my research-intensive Big Projects. I moped about how I missed the good ol’ (unagented, pre-contract, labor-of-love-and-not-much-else) days when I would just take a notepad to the park near my office and spend my lunch hour writing.

Today, I thought of a clever solution.

Get this: I took a notepad to the park near my office and spent my lunch hour writing.

Not writing much, mind you. I’m dabbling with a new biographical picture book, and today I took about a dozen different stabs at an opening sentence. My efforts may not have totaled even 200 words, but I loved it. It’s the best I’ve felt come 1 p.m. in weeks.

The best part is that we’ve still got, oh, three-and-a-half weeks before it gets so blazing hot here that even sitting in the shade becomes miserable. And I intend to be clever many times between now and then.