Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The February Post

It's February again, the Unspeakable Month, and time for the annual Trash-on-February post.

January brown air
Because February, Month of Love, is also the season of toxic air, no sun, brown icicles hanging off cars, and cold that goes on and on and on.

January: no new snow, and dog
Tis the time of left-over, tired-out snow, and pollution-induced bronchitis; also pneumonia, sinus infections, flu, and any other lung disease you've ever heard of. There's nothing to sing about but inversion-magnified pollution, the tedium of cold ugliness everywhere, and did I mention the really bad air?

Fa la la, and so forth.

 I barely need mention the decking of halls with pukey-colored Valentines' decor, fuchsia underwear ads, Pepto-Bismol candy, trashy movie-trailers for films that think sex is romance...and yeah, of course, the really, really bad air.

We keep topping the charts for worst in the nation.

Me, trying not to breathe brown January air
And then the depression. Call it SAD if you want. Self-medicate with brownies and a Happy Light. As if I owned such a thing. Whatever. The big D is as inevitable as cold-air inversions along windless mountain valleys. I hear it's an artist thing. My personal feeling is it's a February thing.

Skip the season and move on to March. That's how I feel about it.

February: snow cloud, not smog, and dog

HOWEVER, um...Not this year. I hate to admit it.

I've tried to despise this February enough to write a really great trash-post, but...huh. I can't.

After a full month of zero snow and January impersonating February for thirty days straight, the Month of Love swept in with one lovely, fresh snowfall after another, white dusting all of the trees,  wind blowing out all of the sick air.

Green air quality, people! Joy!
February clean air

And since I barely leave my house (other than to walk the dog, obviously), because all I do anymore is write my novel, I am spared visions of models in heart-stamped undies. I'm too busy for depression. I even wrote a kissing scene. Not that I'm sending Valentines' Day any love. That holiday is still way too tacky to be romantic.

And then I just realized February is only eight days in.

Still plenty of time to get ugly.

More beautiful February snow

HOWEVER... I don't think I'm going there this year. Feb. has been good to me so far, so I'll just stake out with lots of Dove's Dark and my fantasy world and stay far away from the literal until March rolls by. With a quick trip to New York for SCBWI in the middle.

 So there, February! You don't terrify me.

Actually, that's a complete lie. February is terrifying. I think I need my Happy Light.

Oh, wait. I don't have one.

Maybe some brownies...and a long walk in the snow with the dog...

Playing High and Dry with Sourdough

Lately I've been playing with dough. It's become a sort of a compulsion. Maybe because I'm tired of driving all the way to som...