Right now, it's -18 F. That in itself is cold, until you see that the wind chill factor makes it feel like -48 F. FRIGID!!! If I ever wanted to know what it feels like to be a polar bear near the North Pole or a penguin at the South Pole, today's the day for it. By this time tomorrow, we'll experience a relative heat wave with temperatures at -11 F and a windchill of only -32 F. Between the snow and the cold, I'm beginning to feel like a hermit. And I also feel blessed to have heat, warm clothes, and hot tea. I sincerely hope that everyone in the icebox otherwise known as the Midwest stays safe and warm for the next few days. Remember to keep your fingers and toes moving, stay hydrated, and don't be outside for extended periods of time.
I intend to hunker down indoors this week. Besides a few new consulting projects that start today, I hope to get some more writing done. I'm about halfway through the plot and, at 36K words, I'm happy with the progress. Let's just hope it keeps flowing. I also want to work on brainstorming the next idea. One of the best pieces of advice I've read about writing is to start a new project right after finishing one. It helps to keep you motivated when the rejections roll in (as they are bound to do), and you continue to grow. I figure, it can't hurt and I enjoy it, so why not?
I've also started reading Claude Izner's The Montmartre Investigation. It's been translated from the original French, and for the first few pages, I was having trouble figuring out what was off about it. Because something was off. The story was fine, and it definitely felt French (which I love), but I was distracted by something I couldn't quite put my finger on. And, then it hit me on page 6. Punctuation! Conversational quotes ("...", in American prints), are depicted as '...' in the translation. Also, the spacing after the period varies between one space and two. To round it out, there are footnotes included to indicate historical facts added to supplement the reader's enjoyment, but instead of being located on the page, there's a NOTES section at the back of the book, tucked between the novel and an excerpt from another book. Jumping back and forth breaks up the story and I find that as much as I'd love to read the historical facts, it distracts me from the story. Minor things, true, but they leave me slightly unsettled. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the mystery thus far (especially since I've visited many of the locations described in the novel).
So, armed with a warm beverage, I am prepared to tackle the day. Reading, writing, work, and comfort food for dinner are my plans - in addition to staying inside. Keep warm, stay safe, and remember...there are only 166 more days until Summer 2014!