Frozen Breath

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
“It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "So it is." "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.” -- A.A. Milne

We’re not going to get anywhere close to 0 today. The electric heater downstairs is doing its best to keep up and doing admirably well, although the electricians will be up sometime in the near future to reprogram it so it charges for a few extra hours in the afternoon and stay more consistently warm throughout the day. During my midday walk today, my breath droplets froze on the top of my gaiter, on the brim of my hat, in my eyelashes, and in the bits of hair sticking out from my hat. It’s beautiful out though: shy blue sky broken with grey stanzas of cloud.

This afternoon I finally got around to doing the last interview for the last article this month. It feels good to be nearly finished with the current batch of articles, but it also means I need to put some effort into lining up a new batch. As the adage goes, if you’re a writer you’re either writing or thinking about writing.

After happy hours spent rewriting the beginning of the novel last month, I have officially hit the muddling middle of the novel. Now is the time in the project when questions start to buzz and squawk in my head. Questions like: What is this shit and who wrote it? I did? Was I on crack? As someone pointed out, it was hard to write the first time; of course it’s going to be tough to rewrite the second time. The draft of a novel I wrote in high school never got past this rather angsty stage in the rewrite process. When it comes to this current endeavor, it’s time to spend some serious thought on restructuring its midsection. This morning I realized a plot device that needs to be integral to the story’s climax is hiding out in Chapter 13. (There are 26 chapters in the draft.) I’ll be hunkering down with a cup of cocoa and the book From First Draft to Finished Novel this evening.

Working from home is agreeing with me. A lot. Sure the pay’s not much at the current moment and I really can’t commit to freelancing full time until I have several more steady writing gigs lined up. But after being homeschooled for nine years (4th grade – high school graduation) it only feels natural to work from home. I received my high school diploma through independent correspondence study, which was kind of like a freelancing test run. The experience gave me a strong understanding of how to effectively manage my time as well as an awareness of the real-life consequences of slacking off. Did I really get my college degree just so I could go back to living a life similar to the one I had in high school? Looking back on things: probably.

I finished a short story I started over the summer yesterday and polished it up a bit this morning which gives me another checkmark for the December goals list. There’s not much left on that list except for some querying projects left over from November. It’s been a productive couple weeks. Cold weather’s good for keeping butts duct-taped in their computer chairs.

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