Today I’m Making Snowman-Ade!

MEH and I made this snowman.
Yes, this morning

I’m not going to lie. When I looked outside this morning and saw snow—more than a dusting but certainly not a blizzard—my heart sank.

It’s March 28, people, “you” didn’t warn us. And by “you” I think I mean the weather people, although I’m not sure why… for one thing, I don’t watch the weather….I do look at the NOAA forecasts, the iPhone forecasts, and occasionally listen to the radio. So, yes, THOSE PEOPLE. They said there would be sleet today. A 50 percent chance.

Which does not translate to measurable snow. Not in my book.

And speaking of books, that’s why I’m annoyed. Because I’m a hair’s breadth (whatever THAT expression means) from being done. I don’t like unexpected things, like snow apparently, to happen when I want things to be predictable.

I want my ducks in a row, smooth sailing, no surprises, so I can sit and write and finish and not worry about anything new or unexpected.

Like snow.

Or a potential power outage.

Or undependable weather forecasters.

Or the fact that maybe the real reason I’m upset is that this business of writing? It’s kind of like the snow: unpredictable. Just when I think I’m close, a hair’s breadth, I realize that Chapter 4? It really is too much backstory. And in Chapter 22? My MC would never do that.

And then? Then all of a sudden it’s snowing in my novel and it takes place at the end of summer. What will my MC do? Maybe build a snowman.

So this morning? When it’s snowing? This morning, instead of being upset anymore?

This morning, I’m making snowman-ade!

How about you? What do you do when the unexpected strikes? Are you like me, first thrown for a loop but then figure out Plan B and go with it? Writers: do you make snowman-ade when your writing doesn’t go as planned?

Cheers,

Julia

p.s. and if you (like me) are curious what hair’s breadth means (by the way, I did think it was hair’s breath ’til I read this!)… check out this link!

Comments

  1. Missy Olive says:

    It is beautiful. I will be honest, however, and say that I’m glad it’s you and not us. I’m sad that I missed every snowfall here this season. But, it is now spring. Out with the snow, in with the flowers and sun and warmth.

    Hope you get it all done.

  2. Barb Riley says:

    Oh boy, I’m a total ducks-in-a-row/no surprises person, too.. SO not spontaneous. That said, I am always up for snow. Especially if it hits late in the season… I know odds are pretty good that it won’t stick around for long so it makes the experience more tolerable. Perhaps by tomorrow your cutie snowman will be a puddle. :(

    Hang in there. And keep writing. :)

  3. Lisa says:

    I feel like I am constantly juggling snowballs while wading through mud, and never getting anywhere.

  4. Missy, Exactly my thought… beautiful as long as it’s somewhere else!! At least we didn’t need to shovel! Spring it is, and I couldn’t have said it better: flowers, sun and warmth!

    Barb, I wish I could send you some snow, my friend! You would enjoy it… incredibly there’s more predicted for tonight! (Not measurable, I don’t think, but that’s what they said about today!) No question the cutie will be a puddle tomorrow… another blog idea :)

    Lisa, That’s a terrible feeling — I know what you mean. There are definitely days like that for me, too. Here’s to juggling while wading and the snow turning to sun! :)

  5. Erika Marks says:

    Oh my dear…You know how I feel about this change in the weather for you all. Ugh doesn’t even begin to cover it. (Drat–I didn’t intend that pun, I promise.)

    I know that place you’re in with your MS–talk about a snowball effect (Okay, again–NOT intentional!) but truly, this happens to me every time I’m nearly at the end of a draft. The doubt sets in and suddenly it’s like I’m TRYING to find dropped stitches. I have lost perspective and that’s when I know I have to step back before I pull that thread and lost the whole sweater. It is SO maddening–and certainly sometimes our concerns are valid and it really does take getting to the end to see those inconsistencies, but still it’s hard to know what is a valid issue and what is just our nerves talking, isn’t it?

  6. WOW.. I can’t believe you got that much snow! I’m just like you: I grouse about things when my writing goes south, but then I buck up and do what I have to do.

    I have never heard the term hair’s breadth. Is that a Maine thing?

    And don’t get me started on weather forecasters :-)… they are rarely right (and it’s not too tough to figure out the forecast in the desert!)

  7. Erika, So happy to hear I’m not the only one about the dropped stitches… and it’s exactly how I feel — that I’m so afraid I’ll start to pull and unravel the whole thing. Glad I’m not alone… (p.s. the skiers must be more powerful than we thought…)

    Melissa, I’m exactly the same: grouse and do. (what a great expression, so much better than do or die…) No hair’s breadth is I think an old English thing… weird expression, huh? Especially because I always though hair’s breath… not so! Here’s to no more snow but lots of bucking up and writing!

  8. Nina Badzin says:

    The fact that you’re so close to being done with another draft is all I see here! (Because I’m jealous) It’s all about perspective!!!

  9. Nina, As you say, it is all about perspective… that is so true and such a great reminder. Thank you! Rain, snow, sleet or sun — I’m at the dining room table finishing and that’s what’s important — even if it does sound like a post office commercial! 😉

  10. I’m not big on surprises, either. But if you know you need to fix a few things in chapters four and twenty-two, it seems like you’ve got a good handle on the big picture. You’re almost done! (And spring has to be almost here.) :)

  11. I’m not one for the unexpected but that is life, isn’t it. You’d think by my age I’d be used to it. I’m trying any. Trying to realize that surprises are inevitable so might as well role with them. Enjoy the snow — hopefully for the last time this year.

  12. Ann says:

    I don’t mind the unexpected…as long as snow isn’t involved. That’s not entirely true. I am SUCH a creature of habit – I really like to see my life work according to the calendar!

  13. CMSmith says:

    I love your snowman. But I think I’d prefer a nice cool lemonade on a warm spring day. But I guess if you get thrown snow you just have to make do.

    Your book is going to be so much better for your new insights.

  14. More snow! That’s not on is it? I love your analogy – writing really does feel as unpredictable as the weather at times doesn’t it? Can sympathise with your predicament. We are such hard taskmasters and our own worst (best?) critics… will our writing ever be perfect? For me, I have various reactions to this. Sometimes head in hands and feeling very sorry for myself. Sometimes I pull the thing apart. I ask questions of my characters too – that helps. Sometimes I just get away from the whole thing, walk and think! In future, I may try making snow lemonade too! Good Luck with it Julia x

  15. Shary, Thank you for helping me look at the bright side! And even though it’s snowing again this morning (unbelievable, right?), it’s lighter and the snow from yesterday is all but melted! Thank you again :)

    Jamie, You nailed it: you’d think by my age I’d be used to it! Rolling with surprises is the important part — my husband is very good at that, which is perhaps my saving grace. Here’s to the roller coasters…. :)

    Ann, Another calendar worshipper — me too! That’s one of the things about snow…. no matter what it won’t stick to the calendar. It’s spring, okay Mother Nature??? 😀

    Christine, Glad you love the snowman — now just a small heap of snow :) Agreed, lemonade (especially after a day of gardening) sounds marvelous — and I envy you your spring flowers so much!! (Thanks for the vote of confidence about the book)

    Abi, Agreed, I am definitely my best and worst critic — as for my plan, you nailed it. Today I’m pulling those parts of the novel apart and really figuring out what they need scene by scene. But first I’m going on a good walk with the dog! :) Thanks for your support, Abi!

  16. This was hilarious fun to read, Julia! I loved your rant and I totally agree about the unfairness of it all. I’ve been having the same rant about my weather updates. Unbelievably misleading! There should be a law against it!

    And, yeah, making snowman-ade (love that term!) out of life’s writing lemons always feels great! Like, bloopers and the unexpected should happen more often, so I can find the workarounds that turn out to be better than what I’d planned.

    Hmm. I have always known it was hair’s breadth. It never occurred to me to say or write hair’s breath . . . but how proper and boring. I think I need to write about hair’s breath to liberate myself from Editor with a capital E stuffiness!!

    (Where are those fun people who write it as hare’s breath? I want to meet them ;~)

  17. In writing, I’m a start at the beginning go until the end person. I’ve sometimes had a plot line fizzle out in chapter three, then I just plow on until the end and go back and cut it all out months later…so please don’t ask to read my WIP!! xo

  18. Milli, Glad you enjoyed my rant :) Why ISN’T there a law against it, you’re so right??? As for hair’s/hare’s breath/breadth — what was I thinking, right? 😉 Here’s to lot’s of snowman-ade in the future… for both of us!

    Stephanie, Your description of writing is exactly where I am right now! Cutting out/reorganizing a couple of chapters, the last two (well 1.5) that aren’t going with the flow… then it will be perfect 😉

  19. Oh my, snowing in all sorts of ways huh? It’s getting warm here and it’s kind of gross. I’m in denial about one day having to take my down comforter off the bed.

  20. Suzie Ivy says:

    I’m glad I never used the term Hair’s Breadth in my writing because I would have spelled it wrong and never checked. It’s cooling down here today after sunshine and I’m ready for the real spring. Novel writing has exhausted me so I’m taking a one month break but I adapt and can write under any circumstances.

  21. Oh, Julia. I’m right there with you. Just when I think I’m ready to type THE END, I find something else that *must* be fixed or swapped or deleted. Right now I’m writing another chapter! How will we ever know when it’s really done?

  22. Sara, I know what you mean about getting warm (now that it is here, too…. snow’s gone!!) We still have flannel sheets on our bed, and it’s wasy too hot now… what will I find to complain about *next*? Stay tuned! :)

    Suzie, I came within a hair’s breadth of misusing hair’s brea(d)th myself…. A month break sounds lovely, but not happening until I finish this one! Enjoy the month off from the novel!

    Jackie, Yeah, someone understands and is in the same boat… I am so aggravated by first Chapter 3 and now Chapter 4 seeming like they don’t fit…. so I know what you mean. THEN I’ll be done???? Sometimes it truly feels like the neverending story! :-/

  23. Leah says:

    Of course being in San Diego, I’d love to get snow one morning. But I guess I felt that way this week when the weather was cold. It was nice and sunny and really felt like spring a few weeks ago. Now it’s cold and yesterday rained quite a bit. But I’m trying to appreciate it knowing that once summer hits, I’ll be longing for the days of the heater and rain. Plus you know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers.”

  24. Bless your heart, Julia. I am in shorts and had the windows open all day. When the unexpected happens, though, I find that it is difficult to make lemonade out of lemons, too. I have learned that if I take a walk, when I return, somehow the “lemons” aren’t as bitter as they were before. Sending warm thoughts (and weather!) your way!

  25. Leah, Now that there’s no more snow on the ground, I’m trying to appreciate the cool days too… knowing I’ll be unhappy in the heat and humidity…. and I guess I should add that even though it didn’t “stick,” we still had snow showers THIS MORNING: April 2!!

    Jolina, Open windows…. that sounds amazing!! Walking in the weather (or lemons) really does help, I agree. And so does having a little someone to go along with you :) I can imagine you’re having lovely walks these days!!

  26. Julia, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve hit a road block in your novel (and that you have snow!). But I know you’ll work through it. When the unexpected strikes for me, I usually need some decompression time to clear my head. I’ll go for a walk to try to sort out what to do next or even take a nap sometimes so that I can wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the task. The walk works best though, I think. Good luck!

  27. Jen, Luckily the snow is now long gone…. as is the road block in the novel!! I’m on the final line edits now (the story is all complete) and I think I’ll be done by the beginning of next week!! Interestingly, today when I was at the end of the day, and I was sick and tired of editing, I did take a walk and I felt SO much better! You’re right, I love it. Thanks for the tip! :)