Turning Winter Into Summer by Linda Hales


It Takes Team Work to Make the Dream Work -a quote by Sue Wilde

If you despair of the severe winter weather and dream of escape to warmer climes but a real life break is out of the question, you are not alone. After all, kids must attend school, many stay back to mind the store and there are any number of reasons why we are forced to remain at home and brave the elements. Still, tempers run short and sore backs prevail from shoveling that sidewalk one too many times.

But hey, who among us doesn’t have a vivid imagination, sufficient to take us wherever we wish to go? I know that I do and dedicate this space to the fantasies of a few talented writers who will paint their vacation masterpieces to share with you, each in his or her unique style and fervency. The authors who have contributed their short stories each have a fresh take on their own ideal vacation escapade. I’ll lead in with mine:


My Southern Italian Getaway

It seems I have known forever that my grandest escape would take me to the spectacular southern coastlines of Italy, but none more romantic than the Amalfi coast that stretches along the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula where dazzling views reign supreme.

Sparkling vistas stop me in my tracks as I approach the artsy city of Positano, which I lovingly refer to as the “Jewel of the Mediterranean.” As I lay back to soak up the sights…craggy cliffs and shimmering bays live up to their promise of more, so much more. Spectacular nightlife and delectable Mediterranean cuisine rival the best of the best. Before I leave here, I must take in at least one starlight fashion show, comparable to anything that Paris or Milan has to offer.

TURNING WINTER INTO SUMMER 2The town of Ravello presents a visual feast second to none. We stop to soak up the stunning landscapes and gardens of the Villa Cimbrone and the Point of Infiniti. As we undertake the lengthy and steep walk up to the Hotel our stomachs remind us that it is time for a magical dinner at Villa Cimbrone, a culinary delight that will not soon be forgotten. We complete our meal with exquisite pastries and a shot of Limoncello, a liqueur, lovingly flavored with the lemons that are unique to the Amalfi coast. Before leaving this little slice of Heaven, we stop at the gift shop to hand pick the perfect mementoes to take home.

Oh dear, my dream clock is beckoning me back to reality. That is so unfair. After all, I just got started! Never mind. My next grand escape will pick up where I left off. After all, Capri is only a hydrofoil ride away and will be a story unto itself.


Linda Hales is retired and devotes her time to writing in various genres for both freelance and pleasure. Her greatest passion is writing motivational stories for young children. Linda has two Sunshine books, an Activity Story Book and Andy-Roo which was recently awarded the 2013 Kart Kids Book List award for Creative Storytelling. Learn more about Linda and her books at:

Website: http://www.linnieslittlebooks.com
All books are available on Amazon
And Clayton Bye’s Online Store
© Linda Hales 2014




Countdown to Summer By Sharla Lee Shults


The ultimate vacation could have been anywhere, as close as only a few miles from home to distances measuring hundreds of miles. While the destination created enthusiasm with anticipation of new adventure that was not the only reason to be excited. Even escaping the bleakness of winter was farther down the list.

Planning summer vacation brought visions where life tossed many curve balls sometimes with the stress factor being exhilarating. Unplanned expenses, unforeseen happenings kept Dad and Mom in a tizzy. My schedule was rigid with school at the top of the list. Hours outside of school centered upon after school activities, which could only be enjoyed once chores were completed. Then, of course, the day didn’t end until all homework was done! Like there wasn’t enough work to be done at home. Some of my teachers simply piled on pages upon pages thinking it would help us ‘kids’ stay busy, thus, out of trouble.

Daydreams to escape the winter blahs encapsulated thoughts of relaxing by a pool reading a good book for Mom, sunup to sundown on the golf course for Dad, cruising the strip at the beach for brother and sleepovers with girlfriends for me (that definitely was not part of the picture during the school year). Of course, for brother to be able to cruise the beach, our vacation would have to be somewhere along the coast, could be the Caribbean or Hawaii, possible but not very likely.
Hey, I’ll give up the sleepovers for the beach! Let the countdown to summer begin!

Countdown to Summer

Nothing like counting the days

For the school year to come to an end

It began in September

Continuing ’til summer began

Those were considered good ol’ days

When school started after Labor Day

Cold winters passed, spring erupted

Memorial Day ended the stay

Looking ahead to the weekend of weekends

Meant no more bells would ring Books,

lessons and practice would be set aside

School choirs would cease to sing

Logs and tallies were fussily kept

With each entry inching closer to summer

When unforeseen events extended the year

That became the ultimate bummer

Holidays, of course, were thoroughly enjoyed

Intermittently throughout the year

It was during those momentous times

Visions of summer vacation would appear

Countdown to summer

Ended with exclamations no doubt

Every kid in school bolted then shouted

“School’s finally out!”


Sharla Lee Shults

Excerpted from catnipoflife, a work in progress. Sharla’s passion for writing is poetry: Historical and inspirational. Become acquainted with her writing by visiting http://sharlashults.com/ where links are accessible to her books and blogs.

Sharla previously shared A Woodsy Morning here at The Write Room:  and A Day That Will Live in Infamy, December 7, 1941 http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=1538.




My Great Escape
By Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins

It’s not the sun that I crave, rather it is the
romance that I wish to escape to!

Variety in romance must first appeal to the eye of the beholder, and can even be found right at home if we are lucky. But what of whisking the love of your life away to the world’s most romantic locales and experiencing new flavors and dimensions with a touch of drama in every one? I can imagine all manner of scenarios but here is the one that tempts me the most.


Vienna…our City of Dreams

Travel with my lover and I to Vienna, capital city of Austria, known as the City of Music and most especially, the City of Dreams. Now I haven’t left home without my Guardian Angel who most assuredly steered us in the directions we needed to go to make the memories that will last a lifetime.

He guided us to sites where Johann Strauss lived, the patio where music filled the air with the Vienna Waltz and by day, to the largest Ferris Wheel in the world but what I enjoyed the most were the ski slopes with clean, crisp air biting at my cheeks and those momentary pauses when my love’s sweet kiss gently touched my lips as he held my hand to warm me. He was and is my dream man of course— my lover, my friend for life, my husband—yes, he is even the ‘Don Juan’ of my dreams.

We frolicked as we made angels in the snow, kissed passionately under a corner street lamp with twinkling stars above. As though our wish were his command, our angel beckoned us to the perfect candle lit bistro to dine, be serenaded and end the evening with a warming nightcap… the close to our perfect, blissful day!

Now I awake from my dream wondering MY GREAT ESCAPE ringif it was all real or only imagined. After all, how was I to explain this stunning, champagne diamond ring…the one that my heart had always yearned for that managed to find a new home on my finger? So what if I didn’t escape the winter climes at home, they were surely the perfect dream half a world away. Only my Guardian Angel knows for sure. I do trust him implicitly and never leave home without him!



Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins, is my name but I am known as “Mamie” to my friends. I was born in Houston, Texas, where I spent most of my childhood. Later, our family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where I graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in 1965. From there, we moved to Redding, California and upon turning eighteen, I fled the state and moved around restlessly until I found a happy place to land in Eugene, Oregon. Years later, I settled in Bremerton, Washington where I met my husband and together, raised our beautiful daughter, Kecia. Writing had always been a dream but not a reality until 2012 when I published my first book, Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler. In June 2013, I published my new book, Reflections of Mamie: A Story of Survival. Please visit my websites for more information and where to find my books.



Thank You for visiting The Write Room Blog
Reflections of Mamie A Story of Survival

August Day in Maine

by Kenneth Weene


Stories fill the fluffy sky while he,

Sucking on a stalk of timothy,

left arm bent beneath his brown-curled head,

dreams of dragons, battles, knights-errant.

Too soon the adults will call him in

from imagined conflicts he must win,

from heroic feats on bounding main,

from his daring death and daring pain.

The damsel in distress he must leave

behind, for her kiss he’ll surely grieve

until another maiden he will meet,

who, with turned up nose, will take her seat,

next to him, first day, in seventh grade.

All those summer memories will fade



Ken Weene is editor of The Write Room Blog,

co-host of It Matters Radio,

and writer of poetry, short stories, and novels.

Visit http://www.kennethweene.com to learn more.




Paradise Found

by D. M. Pirrone


Dazzling white sand stretches out before us, down to the clear blue ocean. Sea and shore merge where they meet, their edges soft-smudged like a pastel drawing. David, four years old, slips his hands from ours and rockets toward the shoreline. We watch him go, me shading my eyes, my husband hefting the child-sized boogie board we dug out of the closet in our rented condo. This is Maui, the place my Aunt Judy calls paradise.

A warm breeze caresses my face. It smells like hibiscus and tanning oil, carries the sounds of crackly pop music from someone’s radio and the call of a vendor selling shave ice. I imagine that sweet coldness melting on my tongue. Raspberry, lemon, cherry? How can I choose? David dashes between sand and shallows: “Hurry! Hurry!” Full of energy, impatient to try the boogie board, he’s a tiny human firework in his bright orange trunks.

At water’s edge, the waves lap the sand. There’s music in their ebb and flow, a rhythm that grabs hold. I step into the water, ankle-deep. My footprints melt as I dance in a slow circle. Near me, the boogie board slaps down in the surf. I turn to see David throw himself on it, his dad gripping the flat end so it won’t float out to sea. “Hold your breath,” Steve says, just in time. A wave surges, lifts the board, breaks over David. His small body is drenched, his eyes tight shut. He opens them, blows air out with a birthday-candles puff, and laughs. We laugh too as we dance and play in the sparkling water.

I am drunk on shimmering sunlight, azure sky and the song of the surf. On love for my family and this place. In a moment of absolute joy, I know this time will never end. Even when it’s over, it lives on in memory.


About D. M. Pirrone

A regular contributor to The Write Room, D. M. Pirrone writes mystery/suspense, horror, historical and general fiction.

You can find more of her work at her personal blog, Word Nerd Notes (http://www.wordnrd.wordpress.com) and her website (http://www.dmpirrone.net).

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21 thoughts on “Turning Winter Into Summer by Linda Hales

  1. Kenneth Weene

    One of the great things about this blog group is the way topics can vary and keep it interesting. For me, the thought of great summer vacations is a wonderful topic even though I live in Arizona with its warm weather.

  2. Anne Sweazy-Kulju

    This was a great Saturday read with my steaming cup of Gevalia!

    Every one of you took me away with you for awhile, and it was lovely. Linda, you got me thinking… I have a whole bottle of Limoncello in my liquor cabinet! We came home from Italy, stowed it away and never gave it another thought. How are you fixed for Happy Hour? We have it everyday at my place, 4:30 pm. Next Sunday, we will again have live music (The Reluctant Brothers band will be recording a CD in my living room–great acoustics, apparently; probably the Mexican paver tiles throughout). I would love to have all of you come. I’ll break out the Limoncello! (The least I can do for all of you who made my Saturday.)

  3. Diane Piron-Gelman

    What a marvelous collection. So many dream places, so many styles. Ken, I especially loved the way your poem ended. It has a lovely touch of bittersweet to it.

    I got lucky enough to spend last week in St. Augustine, FL on a trip with my mother, but now I’m back in cold and snowy Chicago… reading these pieces was a much-needed reminder of the glory of summer.

  4. Martha Love

    Linda, thank you for putting this truly delightful reading experience together. I loved every adventure! By the time one gets even half way into reading these wondrous visualization journeys, up pops in our own minds a synthesized dream vacation of our own. Living in Hawaii, I do not long for a warm weather vacation. But thanks to the excellent authorship in this post, I was inspired to create some exotic travel in my own mind deep in the heart of Singapore, a city I have only had a lay over in flight and never had the opportunity to complete that visit. Thank you, Linda, Ken, Rosemary, Dianne, and Sharla for sharing your dreams with us!

  5. Micki Peluso

    NYC has been buried under snow and ice for what seems like the whole winter. What a delightful group of imaginary getaways to take my mind off the factt hat I’m freezing to death!!

  6. Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins

    Thank you Linda for these great story collections. Many different vacations, dreams and imaginations are here for everyones taste in writing. Your style shines through with thought and words.

    I look forward to another fine collection. Here we have vacations in a deep freeze and sun-But where we live, we have the rain so an escape was the only way for me.


  7. Yves Johnson

    I loved this post. It brought so many memories to mind. Linda, I’m ready to go back to Italy. I’ve been trying to encourage my wife but she’s not interested. Thanks for helping me remember a great 6 years.

    Sharla…ah, planning of a Summer vacation. I remember those days. ” Planning summer vacation brought visions where life tossed many curve balls sometimes” sums up my wife and four girls. I miss those days.

    Rosemary – Austria is beautiful and the food was wonderful. We toured castles and my oldest daughter thought she was the queen.

    Thank you all for such a wonderful post.

  8. Sharla

    Summer and vacations go together like apple pie and ice cream! Spring time begins, school ends with autumn not far ahead, but it is summer that lies in between!

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