February 29th, 2012


Leap Day

I have now reached the most miserable phase of the cold, the stuffy phase. Yes, the sniffly/drippy/sneezy phase is annoying, but the phase when my head feels like someone poured cement into it and it has now hardened -- expanding in the process -- has to be the worst because I can't breathe and it's so uncomfortable I can't concentrate.

Fortunately, I finished the latest draft of the book last night, and now it's in the resting/sanity check phase, so I don't have anything urgent I have to do right now. I was going to declare this a "get my life together" day, but I don't really feel up to organizing, cleaning or doing my taxes. I did take advantage of the stuffiness and have sprayed mildew remover on the shower tile. In the state I'm in, I can't smell the nasty chemical odor that leaves. So, that's one cleaning task I've accomplished. This may be a day for drinking tea and reading mystery novels, which also counts as work. I might even be able to stretch and call a Grimm marathon "research" on paranormal mysteries.

I was kind of bummed to find that none of the HBO channels are showing Leap Year today (unless it's on tonight, but I didn't check the night schedule because I have choir). It would have been fitting. They dragged out Valentine's Day for Valentine's Day.

I follow the blogs of a few of my writer friends, and I've noticed that they all seem to go on exciting writing retreats, and now I wonder what I'm missing out on. What would one do at a writing retreat? To me, a retreat doesn't involve other people. I'd never get any writing done in an interesting new place around people I like. I can barely handle any sound. Yesterday, it was really windy and the shrubs in front of my living room windows were blowing against the window, making a weird scratchy sound. Groundskeeping is handled by the homeowners' association, and we're not really supposed to touch the outside plants, but I couldn't take it anymore and went out with a pair of gardening shears to snip off the offending branches. If I can't write with the sound of leaves rubbing against the window, I can't imagine being in a castle/villa/beach house with other people. Plus, although I need my solitude, when I'm around people I like, I want to talk to them. I'd probably drive everyone else crazy popping by their rooms and going, "Whatchya doin'?" What might be useful would be a brainstorming or critique retreat, where we hang out and talk through our current ideas or read each others' latest drafts and then give feedback. Not that I could afford to jet off to a castle or beach house right now, even if I were invited (I guess it's like being a bridesmaid -- I'm friends, but apparently not close enough to make the cut). Or maybe I need to form my own clique.

Speaking of writing, does anyone have any writing-related questions for me to address? I'm running out of ideas for my every-other-Wednesday writing posts.