Spring Comes: Getting Through The Hard Days

Fuck, if these things got through the snow, I guess I have to. Smug purple bastards.

The end of February is the worst. The cold makes me grumpy and tired, I’m entirely over any sense of the beauty of a fresh snowfall, and everything seems to take so much effort that I might as well give up and stay under a blanket on the couch while binge-reading all the Harry Potter novels again.

The sight of a shovel can reduce a grown man to tears at this point.

But I get up, and I haul my carcass to the desk, and write. And then I haul it outside to shovel. And haul it further to go to yoga and the gym and to see people. Because, despite what popular depictions would tell us, locking yourself in your room with the Muse* is not the best way to prove yourself a writer.

No, as always, the best and only way to be a writer is to fucking write. Judges judge, loggers log, carpenters….carpent**. Writers write.

Even when The Half-Blood Prince and a stack of marshmallow cookies is calling their name.

The thing to remember is that these shitty periods, the ones that crop up for me at this time of year and at least one other (November), the ones that never seem to end? They fucking end. Always. And once they’re over, you’ll never think of them again. Like high school. Seems so important at the time, but once you’re out, you find yourself wondering what all the damn fuss was about.

Anyway, this is less of a pep talk and more of a reminder. Whatever thing, be it the weather or your mood or your tiredness, is keeping you from doing what you love…it will pass. In the meantime, keep doing what you love anyway, because fuck those things. Seriously, you’re going to let a bunch of weather determine if you’ll write? I can see it interfering with gardening, but even then, read a seed catalogue and dream of spring.

Some times are hard. Some days are hard. But there’s never been a day when I regretted shovelling out the car and going to the gym. There’s never been words I regretted putting down because they were hard.

Writers write. Now get to it. And remember: spring comes.

*Ie, a bottle of gin.

**Shut up.

7 Reasons Writing Is The Best Way to Spend the %$#@ing Winter

Sure, I’ll be right out. Let me just put on my yeti feet.

1. It keeps you the fuck inside. Have you looked out there? I’m no stranger to winter—I was raised in Labrador, which is French for “holy shit this place is cold why couldn’t we have gone to Haiti instead?”*—but even I know that this cold is really fucking uncomfortable. Keep it outside. And therefore keep yourself inside, away from the roving bands of ice weasels.

2. You can do it without power. I already hear you moaning: but my computer doesn’t work when the Great Darkness descends. And my laptop battery only lasts for five hours and I need most of that for looking at pictures of otters in hats! Suck it up, princess. Thousands of writers did it before you. And, you never know: breaking out the pen and paper might be good for you. I wrote a novel draft longhand and it kicked the crap out of a creative block I had.

3. You can do it while swathed in blankets. I, for one, am seriously considering building a blanket fort.

4. You can do it while drunk. In fact, some authors positively demand that it is done so. You can’t fucking drive anywhere anyway.

5. You can do it while in bed, swathed in blankets and drunk. If there’s someone else in there with you, all the better. Though you might find something better to do than write.

6. It can distract you from the bone-numbing cold. You know what’s a great thing to write in the winter? Desert scenes. All that hard-pan earth, baking under the sun. Give it some sand worms if you must, because those character bastards shouldn’t get off easy, but why not escape to your own private island in the middle of yet another Ice Demon Invasion?

7. It’s a more impressive excuse for not wanting to leave the house. “Sorry, I’m in the middle of this police robot marmoset war, I can’t stop now or Sergeant Fuzzygears will die” is a way better excuse than “Sorry, I’m not a fucking yeti”.

*It’s a beautiful language.

Monday Challenge: GTFO

Shellite flamethrower

I swear to fucking Christ I will use this thing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was reliably informed this morning that our municipality has officially run out of money in its budget for snow clearing. The most recent storm was the last one they had allotted money for. What the plan is if winter continues, I’m not sure. One more storm, though, and I’m going to be out clearing the drive with a flamethrower.

Winter has overstayed its welcome in these parts. If you’re one of the unbelievable bastards lucky folk who are not dealing with this, rest assured that I’m wishing you a thousand bee stings enjoy your lovely weather. Don’t worry about us. Really.

At this point, winter is like that friend of yours from college that came to stay for a few days when their apartment flooded. But six weeks later they were still lounging around in their underpants on your couch, eating your food and swearing they’re going to be gone real soon. Any day now. But not today, today’s not good. By the way, do you mind going to the store? You’re out of beer.

But unlike that ‘friend’, you cannot club winter with a shovel and bury its cold dead body in the backyard in the hopes that the flowers will grow again.* Instead, we just have to keep putting up with its shit. I keep trying to evict it like that bar patron that just doesn’t want to leave, but ringing the last call bell doesn’t seem to be working. I may have to resort to throwing it out by force.

So, Monday Challenge for this week? Write me someone who has overstayed their welcome, and what you need to do to get rid of them. “Get rid of them’ can run from dropping them off at the bus station to dissolving their body in acid. Player’s choice.

All right, winter. Closing time. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

*Except I did this in a short story I wrote once called “The Cruelest Month”. Bad winter that year, too.