Sitting on the beach with my notebook, writing the old-fashioned way is a lovely summer treat. The most amazing thing about this small, pristine body of water to which I have come every summer since I was four years old, is the way it awakens memories in all of my senses. The sun-colored water lillies so pretty but, close up, full of tiny black bugs. The splash-lap of the water against the boat dock. The squish of the sand beneath my feet--that icky part just before the sand bar. The ever-changing colors of the lake itself from hazel like my son's eyes to black before a storm to a rich blue on a sunny morning. Most of all this place has a particular smell--of heat and decay, of growing things and hope--a smell that, in all my years of writing, I've never been able to perfectly describe. It makes me aspire to write better and better in hopes of someday capturing that smell, in words, so that others can be here with me forever.