When I was trying to think of a topic for this month’s blog I felt like the little kid who showed his teacher the picture he drew of a polar bear in a snowstorm. Completely blank.
I blame my blankness on the weather—blizzards followed by subzero temperatures followed by wind chill warnings followed by more blizzards plus subzero temperatures. Every weather report includes a mention of our relentless winter nemesis, Bitter Lee Cold. Snow piles higher than my head line our driveway (The pictures were taken two snowstorms ago.). The piles of snow along the streets are twice my height. And when I choose to risk my life by running outdoors, which is more often than you’d think, icicles form on my eyelashes, my nose hairs freeze, and my toes go numb.
How do I retain my sanity? Here’s the short list:
1. Friends—Snowed in or not, we still connect. We forward lame e-mail jokes, chat on the phone to hear another human voice, and keep up to date with Facebook and Twitter. Once in a while, I even get to see them face-to-face!
2. Pets—My dogs and cats are ready and more than willing to snuggle up and comfort me when cabin fever makes me crazy. And Sassy and Gizmo are eager to take a walk in any kind of weather. Fresh air—even if it’s subzero—is energizing. And I get to congratulate myself on surviving another excursion into the frozen tundra!
3. Great books—My idea of heaven is being propped in bed in my flannel pajamas, buried under a mountain of covers, and transported to a different world by a magical book.
4. Writing—The YA fantasy I’m writing takes place during April and May, which requires me to conjure warm sunshine, springy green grass, shorts, and flip-flops. If I concentrate really, really hard and turn my space heater on high, I can almost feel my toes!