Monday, December 17, 2007

Write in the Snow

If you grew up around snow you've undoubtedly written in it at some point. I always chose to do so with a stick or fallen branch, some used other means. But this post isn't about who can best write their name in the snow.

This is the world I've been living in for the past two days. (See pictures.) Despite the fact that 12" of snow fell on my house in under 48 hours the national weather guys (well, Good Morning America) don't really seem to think I'm worthy of mentioning. Instead they focused on parts of New England that received the exact same amount of snow. I console myself by the fact that considering who the guests were on GMA today I'm happy not to be mentioned among them.

Most cities around me received only 8". The south side of town only got 10". But me? I went big. But once you get 8" in 24 hours what's another four? Either way, you're better off staying inside and eating whatever lives in the back of your cabinet than going outside to make friends with two truck guy. Instead just sit tight and wait for your burly, but handsome and charming, neighbor to come shovel your sidewalk for you. (I'm still working on acquiring such a neighbor.) This picture is my path, foolishly shoveled at the 9" or 10" mark. As you can see there's already more snow fallen on what was cleared cement about a half hour before.

I look now for reasons to write in the snow. You might think they are obvious but procrastination is a fine art. One that many of us have mastered at a young age and have yet to overcome.

1. There's only so long you can play in the snow before you turn into the snowman in the Campbell's Soup commercial. Come inside, get your soup, and write something productive.

2. It's inferior snow. You can sled in this snow or ski. But you couldn't make a snowball or snowman if your life depended on it. Wait until February for the good packing stuff.

3. It's ethereal. Falling snow does strange things to the sunlight. It makes you feel like you should be somewhere else, floating outside along with it, not trapped in your own mind or body. Just watching it you're halfway to connecting with your subconscious.

4. There's a sense of lethargy, a lack of urgency that accompanies the kind of snow that traps you indoors. Curling up in an ancient sweatshirt and watching Christmas movies is just as lovely a feeling as writing another thousand words ... except if you write you have something to show for it at the end, if you watch White Christmas again for the umpteenth time you're just that much more capable of completing Danny Kaye's sentences.

5. If the Christmas season is magical then anything you write during it will have some magic of its own. It's kinda like that old silk hat they found. (Okay it's a stretch, but so are most movies on Lifetime and they're still in business.)

6. It's going to be a long, cold winter. I have no science to back this up. The weathermen haven't told me and no news company is willing to put their stamp on that fact -- they're all still reeling from calling Florida too early in 2000 to call anything before the final count. But I'm going out on an icy limb and saying it: long, cold, not over anytime soon. The past couple winters have been nice, mild treats. Now we dig in. Make sure to stock water, canned goods, and extra paper so you're not bored.

7. It's cheaper than snowboarding lessons. (Ouch.) And you're not as sore afterward. (Oof.)

8.If there was an alien race trying to take over the Earth and the snow was really just a part of their master plan of destruction and doom, wouldn't you want to have written your novel before Jeff Goldblum convinces the President that eminent danger is lurking? (Work with me here, I'm trying to get to number ten.)

9. Writing prevents you from kvetching about the snow. I know, I know, it's your favorite pastime. You and everyone else around here. And if you like snow you've learned to keep that to yourself, but you know that your complaining companions are too grumpy and caffeine deprived at the moment to wonder at the little smile on your face. The smile is more productive. What's even more productive? Writing! (Good guess on your part, by the way. You're catching on to the pattern.)

10. Lastly, certain other forms of writing in the snow that were cute when you were a kid might just get you arrested as an adult. Best to stick to pen and paper.

Highly Recommended