Coldwater Morning

This morning, I got up around three-thirty in the morning, because my hair was dirty. Reluctantly, I should add, because it was a long-awaited cool night, and Real Life Romance Hero and I had one of Housemate’s awesome afghans on the bed, a far cry (and a welcome one) from drowning in our own sweat on top of the bare sheets, but there is no fighting the moment dirty hair becomes too much. Not even if it means dunking my head under cold water, which is exactly what happened, and I knew it was coming.

Let me explain. This Friday, while I was getting the apartment in shape for our guests, (visit went awesome, but more on that later) Housemate came home and asked if I had seen the notice from National Grid on the door. I told her I had not. She gave me the basics: in preparing to turn on utilities for the new tenant downstairs (Hi, S! :waves:) they found something that needed attention, and so shut off the gas for the entire  house. Shutting off gas when there is a gas problem is a good thing, because we don’t want any explosions, and, if the gas has to be shut off, August is the time to do it. I would hate to think what would happen if this were to happen in January. No, actually, I do know, as Real Life Romance Hero and I lived through the huge Halloween blizzard of some years back, and it was, in a word, COLD. Not merely uncomfortable cold, but dangerous cold. In comparison, heat being off in August, during the year of the heat dome, eh, not that big.

It does, however, make personal hygiene, shall we say, brisk. There is an impact, as well, on the grocery shopping, because it’s either no-cook, microwave, or takeout/prepared food. Again, August, so not having to cook is a good thing, and the gas people will have to light the pilots on the stove and long-dormant oven, once the gas is back on, so this may give us our oven back. Hopefully, we will see that soon, but in the meantime, we’re doing okay as we are. Minor inconvenience, not a catastrophe, so I’ll take it.

Which brings me back to this morning. This post is up today instead of yesterday, because yesterday was a flop day. We had a wonderful time with our friends, Mary and Brian (Skye will bring everyone up to speed on that on Friday) but all the excitement and preparation left me in need of a good flop. So, I took one. I regret nothing. Sometimes, one needs to put the laptop down, look at the clock, see it’s eleven AM, and go back to bed. Or recliner, in my case, but that’s beside the point. Back to where we started.

This morning, I got up between three and four, stuck my head under cold water, and then went directly to my morning pages, because that’s what I do, first thing, whenever possible. Computer was not on yet; that will come later, so assume that at least Abbie and Ichabod were still snoozing, as was the rest of the house. Except for Skye. Skye was waiting on the other side of my office door, because she knows that, when Anty comes out, Anty will feed her. Skye is smart.

I would love to say I know where I am going with this, but I don’t. It bothers me that I took a photo of a blank computer screen, though that is exactly what the desk looked like when I sat down to write my morning pages. Today, at breakfast with N, we got each other up to speed on our current projects. She’s moving toward her goals, and I am on track to having both Her Last First Kiss and the Beach Ball in at least first draft and ready to pitch at NECRWA for 2017. Today is for transcribing my handwritten scene for the Beach Ball, and sending that on to Melva. Last week, we plotted the second half of the book and discussed possible future projects. I ran my amended outline for the rest of HLFK by N, who gave a thumbs up, and, once this blog entry is posted, am diving into Guy and Girl’s world, with a Hero and Heroine chaser. I’m good with that.

Kind of like being good with cold water for a few days. If cold water for a few days is what it’s going to take for the house not to blow up, I am fine with that. If re-learning how I tell a story is what it takes to write the best books I possibly can, I am fine with that, too. Sometimes, we have to break away from the “everybody knows” and the “shoulds” and muck around for a while in the land of try-and-fail-and-try-again to see what it actually takes to get the job done. Seems to be working pretty well for my characters, so I may be on to something here.

Ever since I started increasing my morning pages to seven times a week, I’ve noticed that I write more during the day. When I write longhand, the story comes quicker. When I write longhand, on pretty paper, even faster. When I make time for reading books that call to me while I’m doing other things, plan when I can sneak in a few minutes, a few pages, to see what the characters are up to, especially in  historical romance, I want to write that sort of book, the one that will whisper to readers (or come after them and drag them back, I’m fine with that, too.)  When I can talk writing with writer friends, and reading with reader friends, wander through a museum and let the past speak to me, that’s when writing feels the most natural. I like that place. I want to stay in that place. If it means dunking my head under cold water at four in the morning, well, okay, though I hope that’s not a requirement for staying in the groove. For now though? For now, it’s fine.

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