How Cold Is It?

I feel a little like I’m writing a letter in a bottle as I blog here, because my Internet connection is down and has been for the last 36 hours.

We’ve been hit with a deep, bone-aching cold, the kind of cold I knew all too well as a teenager. Skin freezing in five minutes, ice crystals in the air, that sort of thing. Folks in my neck of the woods (older than 25) have not forgotten what this kind of cold is like, but we’ve had it easy for many years now and its caused an almost schizophrenic response of, “OMG, it’s so cold!!1!” and “Dude, we’re northerners — BRING IT!”

It has been BROUGHT. And it is COLD.

(Right now? -43 C with the windchill. Cold!)

It is also the likely culprit of the outage that has taken down about a quarter of the city. Last night on the ride home, I passed two Eastlink trunks out in the road by one of their hubs. I was happy to see them out working to resolve the outage but felt bad for them, too. It is not nice weather to travel in, let alone work in.

Still, while having no Internet has not fundamentally changed my habits in the last two days (I don’t watch TV and the wifi network still keeps my Apple TV running, meaning music and movie are still available), it has made it inconvenient — hence the lack of updates. So I am writing this much earlier than it will be posted.

On the writing front, I have submitted PEARL twice now this year and a twice rejected. The first rejection was quick and a form rejection. The second was personalized and, like the story’s previous rejection, was told lovely writing but linear and light on the speculative element. Which it is. (The linear and fantasy part.)

Endings are something I struggle with. I am getting to an ending see days (yay!) but I’m worried that my endings are too simple and rather mundane. I hate when I can anticipate the ending too soon in something I’m reading and I am worried that I am just so pleased that I have an ending that I don’t explore anything else.

It’s put me in a rather funky, thoughtful mood, something I’m still working through. I think I have a lot of minimum strengths required to write something in a complete albeit crude way, but I am not sure about what it is I want to say. Like Robert Sawyer has said — is it just one damn thing after another or is it meaningful, is it challenging, and does it speak to the human condition? Neither am I at the point where I can look at story and try for a particular effect. When I get a story, I sublimate myself and just run with it. Edits I make usually just smooth out the prose, not re-evaluate and rebuild. I am only just now consciously deciding to try out a technique for a specific purpose. For example, there is a story that I am in the middle of where I want to try a stylistic effect to further illustrate my story theme. I have no idea of it will work, or if it will look clunky and obvious, but I’m going to try. I need to nail down the story first and then rework the style. (And as always I worry that it has been done before, and no matter how much I read I can’t possibly have read it all to know one way or the other.)

So that’s where I am right now. At the time of writing, it’s nearly noon and it’s time to get cooking. Of course, when it’s posted, I should be at work. Here’s hoping for a quiet night on the phones so I can get some writing done.

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