Breath Clouds and Block Heaters

Sunday, January 3, 2010
Yesterday the temperature didn’t get much above -15. The day before it didn’t get much above -8. Temperatures this far below zero seem a little early in the season (I usually think of the deep cold setting in during the last week of January and continuing into February) and I’m sure business owners around here would much rather have snow than cold. Luckily for me, the new block heater works like a charm and it’s been no trouble getting the car started and myself to work the last few days.

This past week I’ve been feeling more like a waitress than a writer. That’s okay. I like the take home pay of it and it can be a good time especially if you deal with each individual table as a challenge. I just don’t want it to be a distraction or hindrance from eventually making my money with my pen.

The day job seems the ultimate mixed bag among the writing community. Some think it’s unorthodox, even a little lazy, to hang onto the crutch of a day job. Others feel it’s foolish to not have the steady income of a day job until a freelance business has been firmly established. I see the reasoning behind both schools of thought and since one relies on the idea that gravity doesn’t exist and the other perhaps overstresses the existence of gravity, I hope to walk the line and make an educated leap one of these days.

That said, I’m still muddling about a bit trying to determine what exactly I want to accomplish in this brand new year laid out before me. Last month I brainstormed some writing goals for 2010. Some are big, like finishing the rewrite of the current novel and outlining the next one. Others have more to do with quantity: so many queries, so many contests, et al. Of course the real issue is getting a schedule set up so I actually accomplish all the goals. Life’s feeling a little out of control at the current moment and I should probably try to spend the afternoon getting my hands wrapped around the reigns again.

We’re actually expecting a bit of company up at the Shack. Tonight the brother and girlfriend will be up for dinner and outdoor activities. Since I haven’t gone grocery shopping in weeks (on tomorrow’s to-do list), the Shack is basically devoid of edibles so they’ll be providing the dinner; we’ll be providing the outdoor activities. Later in the week a good friend from Andy’s and my canoe outfitting days will be up for a winter camping trip with Andy.

The company’s good motivation for cleaning up the Shack. I spent the majority of this morning scrubbing, sweeping, and doing dishes and laundry. The word count goals are suffering because of it but at least things are clean . . . for the time being.

I took down the extraneous Christmas decorations this morning, but the ornaments and tinsel around the windows still remain. I’ll take them down sometime this week; I need to retrieve their boxes from my parents’ house. The goal is to get everything down by Twelfth Night (Epiphany) but since that’s on Wednesday I’m not any too sure I’ll succeed.

Yesterday afternoon it was still light out at ten to five. I excitedly declared that to Andy loudly and I’m not sure he shared in my excitement quite as completely as me. When I drove home from work at four, the sun was setting in rosy hues on the horizon and there was a sense of more light in the world. It gives me hope, knowing that this winter is already displaying its fleeting ways.

The thoughts of sunshine and summer, along with the Thai cookbook I got from Andy for Christmas has me also thinking of an herb garden. It’d be lovely to have our own big pot of fresh basil this summer. Especially since the ground chicken with fresh basil turned out so well the other night.

The pine grosbeaks are flitting about, all puffed out against the cold. Time to check the laundry and actually figure out how I’m going to get things accomplished this year.

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