In the Bleak Midwinter

Christmas is in six days.  My general rule of thumb is that I like the cold and the gray and the winter weather (or at least pretend to) until Midnight on December 26.  Once Christmas is over, I can go back to openly hating the winter chill as much as I darn well please.

Okay, so there are a few things I like about winter.  I like hot chocolate.  I like snuggling with blankets.  I love Christmas.  And I actually do like snow as long as I don’t have to drive in it.  It’s pretty.


Ice can even be pretty.


The only problem with pretty scenes like this is that they come with temperatures like this…


That is too cold.  When it’s that cold outside, my face often looks like this…


Or more accurately, like this…


Every year I start off thinking that I really do like the cold.  I was born in the dead of winter, in the middle of a snow storm.  I feel like I should like I owe it to winter to try to like it.  But once the initial Yay-It’s-Cold-Outside-I-Can-Wear-Boots-And-Scarves excitement wears off, winter gets really old really fast.  The worst part is IT’S NOT EVEN TECHNICALLY WINTER YET AND I’M ALREADY SICK OF IT.  As far as boots and scarves go, guess what?!  I wear boots and scarves all year round!  I’m a writer who lives in Texas!  Boots are a given and scarves are kind of a thing for some of us.

I’m beginning to feel, in a weird kind of way, that by professing my “love” for winter and denying my love for all things summer, I’m in a way denying a part of myself.  I’m supposed to be listening to Christmas music, but I’ve been sneaking listens to my summer iTunes playlist for the past two weeks.  Even as I write this, I’m singing along to Summertime Guys from the movie Aquamarine.

But when you think about it, all of this is really to be expected.  I’m from the South.  Southern girls love summer. We thrive on sunlight and open-toed-shoes and the smell of coconut sunscreen.  Summertime is also the time for colors and being outside and swimming and flowers.  Honestly, how could it not be my favorite season?

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In my mind, summer equals freedom, and as a writer, as a creative mind in general, freedom is all that I want.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted.  Winter is fine, but I so often feel confined and limited in the cold and the gray.  And come on, shoes?  Who actually likes having to wear shoes?  My feet, like the rest of me, like to be free.  One of my favorite memories is of my first Fourth of July working as a summer camp counselor.  My co-workers and I spent the evening at our friend’s lake house and as the sun set, we ran around playing Ultimate Frisbee in our summer clothes and bare feet.  It was the best Fourth ever.

Winter, I guess, reminds me too much of the real world.  Summer is a fantasy.  It’s a time for adventure.  It reminds me of what I want out of life: mountains and oceans and gardens and hiking and swimming and running and forests and open fields of tall grass and flowers.  I realize I must sound like the biggest hippie right now, but that is what my soul craves.  That’s what it needs to survive.  If I can’t have that during the winter months, I at least need my summer music and pictures to keep me going.  Of course, I have my writing also, which definitely frees me, but I also like to experience these freedoms and moments for myself.  It’s not enough to just write them.  You’ve got to live them too.

So for the next six days, I will love and savor what’s left of Christmas, but in the back of my mind, I’m still anticipating the summer sun.


The Curse of Creativity

Last night, I was all alone in the house that I am watching while its owners are away.  This house is big and ritzy and, to be honest, a little creepy.  The other night, I was getting ready for bed and I noticed this doll sitting on the shelf across the room.  I’d never actually seen this doll before, and I have no idea how long it’s been there, but it might actually be the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.


Anyway, as previously stated, last night, I was all alone in this big empty house and the power started surging and flickering.  It went off for a few seconds and then came back on again.  This morning, I noticed that the streetlights close by were flickering, so I’m guessing there was some sort of neighborhood power outage, but last night, I was freaked out.  That house is spooky enough without flickering lights, but being of the creative mind, flickering lights are not necessarily just faulty power lines.  They could indicate anything from ghosts to aliens to a serial killer lurking in the attic and messing with the wires.

Creative minds are fortunate in the sense that possibilities are limitless.  We do see the things that other people overlook.  But because we are not burdened by logic, we are no protected by it either.  At least, I’m not.  I know logically that a power outage is nothing to worry about, but the creative mind immediately assumes the worst, even if the worst is impossible.

I remember once, I was driving and I accidentally made eye contact with a guy waiting for a bus.  It would have been logical to think, “Oops… hope he doesn’t think I’m a creeper.”  Or maybe not think anything of it at all.  My first thought, however, was, “Oh no… What if that guy isn’t a guy at all?  What if he’s actually a demon and he latches on to the first person to make eye contact with him?  What if he follows me home and starts haunting me and torturing my family?”

Sometimes, being a creative mind is exhausting.  Most of the time, though, it’s pretty awesome.

In other news, here are a few fun and interesting things I have found around the internet and around town.

1) Gollum Sings “Let It Go”

No, seriously.  It’s on iTunes.  And this guy actually sounds like Gollum.

2) “The Fault in Our Stars” soundtrack to pre-order

I need dis.

Oh!  And if you’re interested, there’s a meteor shower tonight!  I wish I lived further away from city lights.  Maybe next time, I’ll be able to drive out to the country to watch.

Have a great evening, everyone!