Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's in Columbus, Mississippi

Bitter Cold in the Deep South...

I know...I've said it before. I did not expect the Deep South to have cold, really cold, weather, even in the winter. But on this New Year's Day, 2018, the temperature outside is only 14 degrees with a low tonight of 12 degrees. My furnace in my 112 year-old house is losing ground, even with the thermostat set to 67 degrees, it lost degrees, and it's down to 59 degrees in the house.

Ellie (left) and Mae (right) eating. They're well over
a year old in this picture.
Really, I'm not complaining, especially when compared to places in the US that are -40 degrees  below zero. Not only that, despite the cold, the sun will shine today, and if the girls are smart, they'll be able to sun themselves in the south-facing windows. I brought them from New Mexico when they were barely weaned and I think they probably have little memory of their lives in the warmer desert. They love the greenery, the wet days, and Mae likes to play in water and they both think nothing of standing in a puddle outside if it means studying something nearby. So cold or not, they'll adapt to the few days of very cold weather.

Cliff and I have been invited to a New Year's Day lunch at a friend's house. Rebecca has invited other people we know and we're taking cole slaw. I'm looking forward to the visit over lunch.

Anyway, Happy New Year to my readers. I trust that 2018 will be better politically for those of us who are not part of the extreme right wing in politics. I'll not go any further than that, except to say that I'll be glad to see the back of Governor Bryant, here in Mississippi. The people I've met here belie the extreme right wing GOP that currently runs the state, and despite that Mississippi is known for the religiosity of its people (everyone goes to church, it seems) I don't feel the pressure to declare either my religion (none) or attend church (ever).  And on this first day of the new year? I'm only looking forward to a "warmer than usual" winter that we've been promised. I can't think much beyond that.

This is from our only snow storm of a couple of weeks ago, before winter came round. I hope we don't have a repeat, not that the tiny bit of snow we got proved  to be unpleasant (it was gone by the afternoon), I just prefer the rain, which is supposed to be heavier in the winter than the summer. I've made no resolutions, but I do plan to get the fall and winter exfoliation removed from my yard and driveway and get the whole place looking tidy before spring.

If anything, a new year inspires me to look forward to doing things, committing myself to continue my writing, meeting more people, and just maybe kick-starting my editing a bit more than it has been lately. I currently have a nice editorial evaluation job from a long-time friend; but beyond that I need more prospects.

If you've been putting off readying that manuscript of the great American novel or have a suspenseful mystery story tucked away in a drawer, now is the time to bring it out. Take a look at my editing web site: Two Brothers Press or my writing/editing blog. Contact me directly at my email address.

Writers who are reluctant to have your work "criticized" or "edited" might find my article on The Pitfalls of Freelance Writing of interest. In this article I talk about how editors should handle "disturbed" writers and how writers should handle editors with a god complex—all to the good, however, and not quite as bleak as you might think. Writing is a solitary business, unless you're like nineteenth-century writers who liked to sit for hours in a Parisian coffee shop and declare to anyone who would listen on your novel that you've been working on for ten years. Ten years is far too long, unless your novel is massive and nearing perfection!

Wow I got off on a tear on writing, but I'm inspired as I indicated because it's a new year.

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