The white fluff

This is what my backyard looks like today, Friday, January 29, after the blizzard last Saturday.

This is what my backyard looks like today, Friday, January 29, after the blizzard last Saturday.

I have to go out on a limb here and say that for the record, I hate blizzards.

Not a single snow plow came down my street this week because A) it’s a private residence and B) the Homeowners Association said that they didn’t want to do the honor of plowing or shoveling our street anymore. So it wasn’t until Wednesday when one of our neighbors borrowed a bobsled/ plowing machine and did a quick fix of plowing the rest of our street. Everyone else got tired of waiting to have our street plowed and shoveled the street and sidewalks.

All this made me so incredibly angry that I almost want to start reporting again. I’m not sure if anyone will sue the Homeowners Association for what they did to my street, leaving it abandoned and completely buried in white frozen fluff, but it’s enough to make me scream because I’ve been trapped in this house for a solid week.

And this is what it looks like out in front of my house.

And this is what it looks like out in front of my house.

Baltimore City Schools have been closed all week long, so that means I haven’t been back at What The Crap since two Thursdays ago. That’s a grand total of two weeks being stuck at home.

Through all that time, I’ve been thinking negative thoughts. I’m never going to see my roommate graduate from the office tech program is one. I’m going straight into office tech with no warnings and no preparations and the monster that is the office tech instructor is going to push me around and treat me like a servant is another negative thought.

I recently sent a query letter for my short story to a mental health magazine based in Ireland and I still have heard absolutely nothing from them. Wait, let me check my email again… Nope, still nothing back from them. I only sent the query letter on Sunday after the snow storm was long over.

If I’m breathing by the time March comes around the corner, I’m going to be in shock. I don’t know how I’ll live through five days a week of typing and learning Microsoft Word straight through July. I’m going to miss going home on Thursdays and taking the day off on Friday to do the laundry. I already miss taking a week off for spring break and staying home to relax while everyone I knew went to Florida.

A mountain of snow on the curbside.

A mountain of snow on the curbside.

I haven’t been on a vacation in six years, not since I joined WordPress and writing feature articles for my college professors. Already, I’m getting angry and hostile every time the phone rings and no one leaves a single message on the phone and I’ve decided I need to get out of the house.

If there’s another blizzard in February, I might as well shoot something. I probably won’t.

I’ve already taken a trip down the road of “What ifs”: I don’t want to live in Maryland, I’d rather live in California/ Hawaii/ someplace warm where it never snows and rains only at night. But in California, it never rains; it’s just pure dry air and heat all day long. The islands of Hawaii are only 30 miles long or so, so their roads are very short, and living there is ridiculously expensive.

I even thought about living in Portland, Oregon for a while until I found out about the sinkhole that opened up. Thanks, MSN.com.

I’ve been sick with the sniffles all week long, constantly thinking when I would get out of the house alive. The principal of a Howard County elementary school got out of his house and partied like Tom Cruise in his viral video, dancing in his shirt and shorts to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock n Roll” in the school hallway. And that gets me thinking.

I want to dance like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction to the same song of the same name by my favorite band Fall Out Boy.

But it also reminds me of the time when I spent my first Farpoint convention at the hotel because a blizzard whipped through Maryland on Valentine’s Day weekend and no one was allowed to leave the hotel. Not even Erin Gray, one of the guest actresses at the con who was the leading lady star of Buck Rogers, could make it to the airport because her flight back to Hawaii was cancelled. My dad told me Gray, who was a Hawaiian native, kept saying, “Why can’t we leave? What’s all that white stuff on the ground? Why is my flight cancelled?”

Instead, Gray decided to give everyone in the hotel a lesson in Tai Chi, free of charge. That was the one time during a blizzard that I actually had a good time. It was my freshman year of high school, after all, and I enjoyed having an entire week of school off so I could avoid any confrontations from the boys that bullied me and caused me emotional and social hell.

Then again, it was high school, and I didn’t want to bother my friends with the fact that I went to science fiction conventions every year. The only other person who knew my secret was my first boyfriend. As a popular girl in school my junior and senior years, I did not want to tell my friends that I liked the new Doctor Who episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston, that I liked the movie Fifth Element, and that my dad once dressed as a Klingon for a parody play for a convention a long time ago.

I keep thinking that I’m trapped here with nowhere to go. I’m just like Ellie Benson, the character that I’m writing in the first book of my trilogy, Prisoner of Austen. In Nightmare in Northanger, Ellie wakes up one morning in the middle of the woods and finds herself in a Jane Austen era prison called The Country. All she has to do to escape is get married, or find a strong ally to trust in making electromagnetic pulse gloves and electric generator parasols.

The story is still in progress because the first draft, originally titled N is for Northanger, needs to be rewritten from page one. I’m throwing my first draft of that novel in the trash and starting over from scratch with the new Nightmare in Northanger. (That’s why I’ve removed my sample writing from the original draft from this site.) I’m keeping most of the original plot points, changing around a few things, and making it a little funnier, a la Gail Carriger, while giving it that extra steampunk thriller effect.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the first week of February, but it’s going to be a crash course in emotion binding and soul torturing when I return to What The Crap on Monday the 1st. I just hope it doesn’t take time away from writing or preparations for Farpoint, as I’m excited for it.

There better not be any more blizzards next month. That’s all I hope.

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2 thoughts on “The white fluff

  1. You’re going to be breathing in March. You’re made of sterner stuff! 🙂

    Be patient with the query letter. It’s not uncommon to wait a month or two to hear a response. Submission guidelines sometimes say how long it will take to receive a reply. If you haven’t heard anything by the end of March, send an e-mail asking about your submission. Otherwise, put it out of your mind until then. Let it be in your mental background. That way you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you do hear something.

    I was supposed to be at that Farpoint. I was living in North Carolina, I bought my membership, and I scheduled a week of vacation for what I intended to be my first Farpoint. I could watch a weather report from Raleigh, though, and I quickly realized that, while I would certainly get there, I most certainly wouldn’t get back. So it was, with great reluctance, that I called and cancelled my hotel reservation on Thursday. I ended up not attending Farpoint until 2006, and this will be my eleventh.

    I’m with you. No more blizzards. I’ll be especially pleased if there’s no more snow at all. I keep telling myself that we’re only six weeks away from St. Patrick’s Day. And that means spring. 🙂

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