Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)
It’s in the air. Can’t you feel it? The pervasive grumpiness, the short tempers, the unkind thoughts, words and deeds. It’s everywhere, this unsettled, speculative funk. It creeps under doors in the middle of the night, infusing its victims with an overwhelming urge to scream, to lash out at their friends and foes alike. And it breeds. Yes, it’s that time of year again. One imagines Ceaser might have heeded the warning had he been a scribe rather than a king.
Winter lasts a few weeks too long when you’re a writer.
I know what happens to me when I’m not getting my proper allotment of daylight. I get cranky. And snappish. And when I’m under stress, which I have been quite a bit lately (go figure) I turn into the wild woman of Borneo, replete in my frustration, tearing my hair out at the slightest provocation. This is not me. It isn’t my personality. And from what I know of the rest of the crime fiction microcosm I call home, it isn’t a normal state for any of you, either.
Now someone on high decided it would be a good idea to move the clocks around early, which means I’m doubly frustrated because my body tells me it’s a different time than the clock, and I’m all kinds of screwed up on my schedule. Grr.
There is a cure. Well, there are a couple of cures. One would be to stop going to list serves and blogs, quit reading email, stop the paper for a few weeks, turn off the televisions, cocoon in our little holes, not having contact with anyone or anything until the days are longer, the vitamin D deficiencies are restored, and people can be nice again.
Or, you can join a basketball pool. That’s right. It’s that time of year again. MARCH MADNESS is here!!!!!!
The brackets save me. Every year, just when I’m starting to think winter will never end and my husband is about to wring my neck, I get the email from my bracket manager telling me it’s time. Woo-hoo!!! I’m generally not a betting person, but I’ve won big in the pool before, and am completely hooked. I do two brackets each year, one of reasonable chance, and one wildcard, with the 13 seeds moving into the Sweet 16, major upsets, and other unlikelihoods. Last year, my wildcard bracket got me further than my mainstream, and I had a chance at taking the whole thing until Florida made it to the Final Four. Whoops, I just thought of a very ungracious word to call them.
My spirits are rising as I write this, because I know once I’m finished here, and I do my 1,000 words for the day, I get to sit down with laptop, ESPN, the newspaper and my gut, and start making choices so I can turn my brackets in.
This is the exercise that works to drag me out of the winter doldrums. What do you do to call a moratorium on grumpiness??? Is it too early to start hoping for a little sweetness and light?
Wine of the Week: Francis Coppola Diamond Series Merlot
I’d tasted this at a festival and wasn’t thrilled. Had it alone the other night at the hockey game and loved it. Apparently my tastebuds are in betrayal mode.
Late breaking update: