I used to have all these romantic ideas about cold weather. I realize now, however, that they came from periods in my life when my parents and I lived in cold climates and I had no real responsibilities. I had these vivid associations of winter weather = relaxing next to the fireplace while holding cups of steaming hot chocolate. But now that winter means doing all the stuff I normally have to do, only freezing while doing it, it’s much less romantic.
I know, I know — we’re talking Texas cold, with lows still in the teens. Yesterday my dad sent me a link to an almanac page that showed temperatures for one December when we lived in Bismarck, North Dakota. The high one day was -20 degrees F (-28 C). Because I’m a boring person who enjoys weather chat, I ask: What’s the coldest temperature you’ve seen lately?
I’m amazed at what a difference it’s made to downgrade from our oversized dinner plates to smaller “lunch” plates. Here’s the same scrambled eggs and veggie portion, put on the old plate and then the new plate:
Our refrigerator broke earlier this week. We’re trying to fix it ourselves to save money, so it will be at least a couple more days before we can use it again. I am amazed at how much I’ve learned about myself in this situation. For one thing, I’ve learned that when sloth and gluttony are in competition, sloth always wins. I’ve probably lost five pounds this week because I’d rather just be hungry than go into the cold garage to get something out of the little fridge out there where we’re keeping our fresh food. Honestly, if we could just move our kitchen upstairs, where I’d have to work to get to food, I think I’d be a size 8.
As I get into the second draft of the book, one of the things I recall about my earlier years is that my friends and I could scarcely utter a breath without using profanity. I mean, chatting about the weather would require at least three f-bombs. As I recount conversations from that phase of life, it’s hard to avoid using four-letter words; it would be like writing about New York City construction workers and keeping it clean.
When I first started writing those sections I thought long and hard about whether I should use profanity when recounting dialogue that happened during that time. On the one hand it would be more authentic; on the other hand it would offend some people, and it’s not exactly ideal to throw around four-letter words. As a book nerd, I found the whole “authenticity vs. etiquette” subject fascinating to think about. What are your thoughts on profanity in books? Never? Only if quoting someone who used it? If it fits the book’s style?
Speaking of the book, I’ve been trying to think of a new title. I used used this title generator and plugged in words from a word cloud generated from my 70-page outline. It came up with: A Church Above Biggest Years; Loving for Books; and A Happy God. Back to the drawing board.
I was so touched to the emails I got in response to my mention of our friend in San Antonio in take #6 last week! A few kind souls offered to strike up a correspondence with her since it obviously brightens her days to receive letters. I love this idea! The only problem is that I need to work out the logistics: how to introduce the idea to her, seeing as how she doesn’t even know me very well (“Dear Mrs. X: do you know what a ‘blog’ is?…”), and how to arrange it so that I’m not giving out her home address? Any ideas?
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