"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Five (ways to stay warm while writing) on a Friday

Happy Friday! The weather is cold as a...well, I'm not really sure any of my similes are appropriate. Any clean suggestions? I realize it's only supposed to get into the teens, but in Austin, Texas, that is major. As in bundle up and hope you don't have to leave the house major.

So how to get writing done when your teeth are chattering? Here are five suggestions for this cold and windy Friday:

1) Hot tea
Have lunch with fellow Texas Sweethearts Jessica Lee Anderson and Jo Whittemore at The Steeping Room. Hot Tea with other writers will help any sort of commiseration needed. Guaranteed.

2) Computer only
When writing, don't try to write by hand. The extra heat generated from the computer will help keep your fingers warm while typing. Writing by hand with cold fingers is not happy-making in the least. And the older the computer, the better. The older ones put off way more heat. This is the perfect opportunity to pull out that old 8086 and see if it still boots up. MS-DOS Editor is all you need. The best part: no Internet distractions.

3) Pets
If you have a pet that sticks by you when writing, convince them to sit on your lap (it would take me all of half a second to convince my dog of this). Sure, the balancing act might be difficult, but the extra effort will also help keep you focused. For larger animals, you may want to relocate to the floor and let the animal lie next to you.

4) Location
Relocate your writing space to the highest level in your house not counting your attic (unless your attic for some reason has complete insulation and heating vents). Heat rises, you know. Or if this is not possible, relocate to a small area with a heating vent such as a half-bathroom. Sure, it might be a bit cramped and awkward in there, but the hot air will be concentrated giving delicious warmth.
(And don't forget to bring your pet and 8086 computer in there with you.)
If this is still not warm, you can relocate somewhere friendly like Rudy's BBQ. Sit as close to the smoker as possible but still within reach of a power outlet for your 8086.

5) Burn
If all else fails, burn* paper. You can start with any old printouts of your manuscript and move to random rejection letters you may have acquired over the years. If necessary, print out multiple copies of email rejections and burn those. Setting copies on 100 should do the trick. Plus the printer will be toasty warm while printing.
*Note: I don't suggest doing this in the confined bathroom with your pet. An outdoor grill may be the best bet. And please take a picture and send it along.
If you broke down and relocated to Rudy's, simply throw all rejection letters in the smoker and then order up some tasty brisket with sausage on the side. And don't forget to mention you are an author when you order. Marketing can be done anywhere, anytime, in any sort of weather.

* For the Friday Roundup from the Texas Sweethearts, check out our blog complete with this darling fan art:

Have a great weekend!


Karen said...

Do try to stay warm. Right now the teens sound downright balmy from my neck of the woods (and I live in "the south"!)

I'm ready for spring!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm imagining the paper bonfire. Oy!

Think warm happy thoughts :)

Jason said...

Yeah, it's definitely freezing down here in the south. It got down to single digits tonight. I can't believe it, last year it was practically just a really long autumn, so I'm kinda cheered by the weather.

I dig hot teas. My favorite flavor so far is Cranberry/Pomegranate green tea. I do like lemon green tea as well. Hot chocolates and hot cider also warm you up pretty well.

Stay warm!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

The Steeping Room sounds heavenly. What a great name.
You know those gloves with the fingertips cut off are very handy for typing when cold. And such a fashion statement!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Be glad you're not in Michigan and you have warm weather to look forward to soon. It's cold here and there's snow to shovel. I'm just grateful there's only about two more months of total winter.

Feywriter said...

My computer blows cold air... Lol. I've got a portable heater about five feet from me though, and definitely resort to a steaming cup of hot cocoa.

Cheers to keeping warm!

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Karen! I do realize how lucky I am to live somewhere so balmy in general. And after this weekend, I'm pretty sure I'll be ready for spring, too. Thanks for visiting!

The paper bonfire makes me smile, Sherrie! Burn, burn, burn.

Single digits is way cold, Jason, but also refreshing, isn't it. And I am looking forward to picking a wonderful tea out today!

PJ Hoover said...

I love the name, too, Tricia! That alone sold me. I've seen those gloves and may have to get some!

The thought of Michigan makes me shiver, Natalie. Oy that has got to be cold. Time for a blanket :)

Those portable heaters are the best, aren't they, Mary. I LOVE them. In fact, maybe I should invest in a couple based on my last gas bill for heating. Hmmm...

Jim Danielson said...

I think that old PC-XT would run if I could just find the 5 1/4" Floppy disk!

PJ Hoover said...

And it would probably be more reliable than your current computer, Jim. Let us know!

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Ooo, burning rejection letters could keep me warm for a long time!! :)

Anna said...

It's in the teens?? Wow, the weather in New England is downright toasty compared to that! But I'm still tempted to throw some rejection letters in the fireplace for good measure. Thanks for the idea. :-)

lotusgirl said...

It's cold here in NC too. Brrr. I know it's not North Dakota or anything, but that's part of the reason I don't live in ND. I like the mild winters. We still have a snowman in our yard from the before-Christmas-snow. That's totally unheard of around here. I've taken to wearing a scarf around all the time. What happened to my not having to wear a coat?

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

lotusgirl, I grew up in NC and that IS cold for there!! We rarely had snow that stuck around for weekd! :(

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Amy! I'm sure not too long. But you could print out as many copies as needed!

Funny, Anna! Yes, you may as well throw some in. It can't hurt after all. It's hard to believe it's warmer up there than here!

How awesome you still have the snowman, Lois! He's got to make you smile at least a bit when you pass by. And ND would be bitter.
Now to find my scarf :)

Robyn Campbell said...

It's freezing in NC. Brrrrrr

And I forgot how to write by hand. It's always the computer for me.

You have me cracking up today. Love your suggestions. Especially the warm furry animal.

The paper kinda scares me. YIKES!! :0)

Thanks for your comments about my cat's death. It made me feel better. Thanks Tricia.

PJ Hoover said...

You are so welcome, Robyn! And thank you for all your comments. You could snuggle up with a horse, right?
And ditto on the writing by hand :)

Miriam S. Forster said...

I HATE cold! Makes me think nostalgically of curling up over the floor vent with a blanket when I was younger. And if I had am accessible floor vent now, I'd probably live there...

(I do love the hot tea and sit-in-the-bathrooms suggestions.0

Kelly H-Y said...

Love it! Great post! Wonderful fan art too. Stay warm this weekend! :-)

Jen Robinson said...

The teens in Austin sound pretty darned cold to me. Good luck staying warm!

PJ Hoover said...

So did you sit in a bathroom then today, Miriam? Oooh, toasty warm :)

Thanks, Kelly! You, too!

Thanks, Jen! It's bitter out there. Time to curl under the covers with a good book.

Angela said...

Slippers and a reading blanket!

Anonymous said...

I don't even think that old 8086 would work with my electrical sockets! :) I just called my sister in Illinois to inform her it's warmer in Antartica than her house--poor thing.

C.R. Evers said...

Here's to thoughts of warm, spring days! Keep those fingers moving so they don't freeze and fall off! :0)

Vivian said...

Hope you had a great weekend with lots of warmth and writing!

Christina Farley said...

Wrap yourself in cuddly blankets! That's what I'm doing right now. Stay warm.

PJ Hoover said...

Thankfully it's warmed up a bit here in Austin. I hope everyone is doing their best to stay warm!