How To Work A Lazy Sunday

Kage Baker loved lazy Sundays. They have rules, though.

They have to be an unforced blossom in the garden of life. They can’t be made, or planned for in advance. They just happen. You wake up naturally – nothing wakes you from outside. You eat whatever occurs to you for breakfast, and it’s easy to acquire – Chinese food, cold pizza, birthday cake. Rice Krispies with a big scoop of strawberry ice cream in the middle.

You can take as long as you like with the Sunday paper, or your personal correspondence. (Kage always dealt with her mail first thing in the morning – email has returned us to the habits of Victorian ladies.) After that, Kage would slowly surf her way into the rest of the day, wandering with a carefully randomized curiosity until the vagaries of the Internet led her to a topic relevant to writing. If indeed it ever did …

I like this model. Sometimes I add a few hours of reading, if I am still working on an unfinished book; today, though, I reached the end of one last night and have not yet decided on what to read next. Sometimes I knit while watching movies, but again – nothing has so far presented itself. I nap, I research, I re-read something I’ve already written. I put away laundry washed two days ago, if by chance there is no longer a cat asleep in it. The orange kitten will coalesce from thin air to sleep on laundry.

The weather is clear and hot outside the windows, but not deathly so. The perfumes of barbecues I don’t have to tend drifts on the breeze; also the scents of roses, camphor trees, hot wet stone where some drought-defying gardener has spilled water on the sidewalk. Other people’s faint music is all the soundtrack I need; other people’s television choices a room away are all the entertainment I want.  I can be anywhere, anywhere at all, on a Sunday like this …

I’m floating in a coracle on a shallow river, in an out of the bars of coolth cast by oaks overhead. Reeds are flowering, and the motionless pools at the sides are covered with the jade green pearls of their seeds. Red-winged blackbirds and grackles sing from hiding, the sweetest voices of the icterids.

The Lady of Shallot was an idiot, to leave this delight for her deathbed.

Or, as Kage was often fond of quoting Ratty: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”*

Ultimately, I’ll ground on some gravelly bit. And I’ll climb out, and up, and into the dim cool sanctuary of my room. My desk and my writing hat  will be waiting, and I’ll resume my journey on the river of my mind, as naturally as a leaf on the water …

The best of day, Dear Reader. The best of days.





The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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