Many many years ago, when I was fifteen, I participated in a program called Encounters with Canada, that gathered something like 100+ students from across Canada and sent them to Ottawa for a week. One of our early activities to get to know one another involved breaking off into groups with those from our provinces or territories and composing a little…skit, I guess? Presentation? I think we did it on the first day.
There were usually several people from each province, and then only one or two from the territories. And I remember this tall, cute boy with blue hair from the Northwest Territories get up there with his guitar, where he sang a song about NWT.
“It’s cold,” he began. “It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s….COLD.”
Twenty-five years later, I still sing that song when it’s particularly cold, as it was last week. Friday night/Saturday morning, it hit -42C with the windchill (Americans, I’m told that’s also minus forty-something Fahrenheit). We don’t normally get those kinds of temperatures where I’m from, and I not only put on socks but skipped the cotton ankle ones I grudgingly wear sometimes and opted for slipper socks and warm loungewear. But being in an apartment with south-facing windows, it doesn’t get that bad. I’m considering it practice for when I one day retire to the Yukon.
After temperatures plummeted on Christmas Eve, I opted to buy a door blanket, because I could feel the draft coming around the entire door from the hallway, which is probably why this weekend when the temp dropped again, I was mostly pretty toasty in here. I dread my upcoming hydro bill (I’ve got electric heaters) but the blanket should help with that. At least we stayed warm, and I’ve gone on another prepper spree of making detailed plans and window shopping for emergency supplies. It’s about the only thing that calms my anxiety sometimes.
The morning treadmill walk is now a daily thing five days a week, along with full-body stretching and simple strength training. I could happily do a bit more time in the morning with it but it’s a cheaper treadmill and I worry about killing the motor, so I stick to half-hour sessions 2-3 times a day. When the weather improves, I’m looking forward to long walks again (the cold doesn’t bother me, but the potential ice does, considering I walk at night).
I’m doing a final read-through of The Killing Beach before formatting and proofing, and I’m glad I’ve written so many books ahead so I can ensure I’ve woven enough in. Waverly’s POV is more limiting than most others and no matter the angles I look at it from, there are always things that I miss until I’m writing something later. She thinks of things I haven’t, which is great, but she’s so focused that there are things I often need that she hasn’t thought of. If that makes sense; it might not, and I also might sound like a crazy person. (And patrons, tomorrow morning you get another glimpse at her past from before TKB starts!)
I’ve poked a bit at Waverly 5–I’m supposed to be writing Hell Fire but I need to do something a little fun right now, I’m tired–and while I’m fuzzy on working out the main mystery, I know the character beats and where it ends, and I’m looking forward to that.
A week from today Watcher of the Woods is out.
It’s an interesting experience, moving to some standalones, because there seems to be no predicting book to book what kind of readership there’ll be. At least with series, I can expect X retention rate if people are happy and even X retention rate if I piss some off, but standalones is a whole other ballgame. I did some with Pen Name Romance, but as a genre, I found the core readership jumped from book to book even if they weren’t connected, probably because even within a series it was usually one-couple-per-book? I don’t know. I thrive on being able to predict things and prepare–again, it’s how I manage tremendous anxiety–but it’s even harder to do with publishing than it is other areas of life. It’s daunting, and stressful, to be doing so many new things this year with really, really poor preorder numbers, but it’s also been about ten times better for my sanity.
And ultimately sanity is what will keep me going. I guess I’d rather be poor and marginally happier than marginally less poor and much more miserable, although the goal remains of “not poor and moderately content”.
Also six days until Shawn’s birthday! There’ll be a post for the little monster early next week.