Hello readers, and welcome to the blog post that I’ve been dreading to write.
Dreading, because on the one hand I feel I have nothing to write about (as far as the monthly journal update), yet on the other hand there seems to be too much, and I’m not sure how much I want to share.
For starters, I’ll just come clean and admit that I didn’t take a single photo for the entire month of February. Not one. I’ve totally fallen off the bandwagon this month as far as my plan to get more into photography and keep my blog updated with frequent posts. There’s been some good reason for that, though. In the meantime, you’ll have to content yourself with some old favorites, just for kicks.
To be honest, I was a little tempted to sum up this month on the North Shore simply by saying February: nothing happened. Which is not entirely true, but it sure felt like it.
The second month of the year has always been my least favorite. It’s dull midwinter, and flu season; the excitement of the holidays has worn off, but it’s not quite balmy and light out like it is in March. We haven’t even gotten the big snow events they’ve had further south (that would at least be something exciting).
But all that being said, life on the North Shore is never truly bland. This year we’ve all been enjoying watching the lake slowly freeze over. Lake Superior is currently about 90% frozen; if it totally freezes over, it will be only the second time it’s happened in the last 47 years.
The weird thing about Lake Superior ice, compared to inland lake ice, is that it’s not one frozen block as one might imagine. It moves around, drifts out to sea and then back, and you can still have waves when it’s this frozen. Some days it’s ice as far as you can see, sometimes it’s open water with the ice beginning out in the distance. With the power of winds and currents, you just never know.
To combat all this frigidness, our town has an annual hygge festival, which basically celebrates the art of being cozy. February is the perfect time to while away the hours next to the fire with a glass of wine, a fluffy dog, and a good book. Our woodpile has begun to look notably smaller, and as I think ahead to the coming days of spring, I know I’ll miss hauling in the firewood and spending evenings next to the superior entertainment of the dancing flames. I’m incredibly thankful for our little wood stove. Winter is noticeably cheerier when there’s fire in your living room. And after living in a house with a wood stove, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back.
When I started this year, I mentioned that I’d chosen the theme fearless for 2019. One of the biggest applications of that is being fearless in my writing. I had planned to keep working on my blog and perhaps create a nonfiction ebook to go along with my blog. While both of those are still important ideas, and things I want to pursue, I realized that I was neglecting something important: my novel.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been writing a novel that’s been at once exciting and frustrating. I gave up on it once. It’s one of my biggest goals, and yet it terrifies me the most. And of course, when I drafted my goals for the year, I conveniently left my novel out of the equation.
How’s that for fearlessness, eh?
But this last month, I decided that enough was enough. I’m tired of putting off the job that I most want to do, most need to do. So I’ve decided that not only is this is the year that I’m going to finish my next novel, but that I’m going to finish the first draft by the end of March.
To be clear, I already have major segments written, so it won’t be a NaNoWriMo madness. But there are still huge sections I haven’t written, so it is going to be a lot of daily work from now until the end of the month.
Why do I tell you this?
For starters, to excuse myself and give you a fair warning that my goal for twice-a-week blog posts will not be starting this month. And also because I believe in accountability: it’s a lot easier to let a goal die when nobody knows about it. Sometimes it helps to let your readers know about your deadline and to put yourself under a little bit of pressure.
I’m already excited for next month’s journal entry when the first draft is finished, and to do a post at some point where I formally introduce you to my next book.
Until then, stay warm and stay creative.