It snowed this morning, which came as something of a surprise. It’s not that it never snows here at the end of March, or even into April, but I don’t remember seeing anything but rain in the forecast. Almost all of the snow had melted by late afternoon, which makes the whole thing feel like some early, strangely elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

Still, I’m glad I didn’t have to trudge through it to get to the office this morning.

Meanwhile, there’s a new issue of Kaleidotrope up and waiting, if you’re looking for some short stories and poems to read.


March seems to be going by a lot quicker than I anticipated.

On the one hand that’s good. Now that we’re over the initial hurdle of Daylight Saving Time, and I’m a little more adjusted to it, I am enjoying that extra daylight in the evening. The morning sunrise hasn’t quite caught up yet, so it’s still dark when I wake up, and the weather can’t decide if it wants to be seasonably mild or bitterly cold. But we do seem a lot closer to spring than we ever did in February, when I sometimes felt like the world was never going to thaw. And I’m perfectly happy to put a little distance between then and now.

But on the other hand…how can the month be more than half over already? How is that even possible? It does not seem like it should be possible.

It doesn’t help that I have several big projects at work that probably need to be finished before the end of March…and that might not be. Most of the delays I’m seeing, or anticipating, aren’t of my own making, which is something close to (but not exactly) a relief. Still, it’s a busy time of year, and suddenly realizing that April is only two short weeks away isn’t exactly helping.

But it’s not all bad. (Even the bad parts aren’t all that bad.) I’m writing some, which is nice. My weekly free-writing group took this past Sunday off, but I’ve wandered back into a short story of my own and spent some time yesterday and today at launch trying to navigate those wanderings in my notebook. It’s been a while since I’ve written free-hand (except at work), and I’ve given myself permission to be terrible, which is not permission I give myself easily. A fair amount of what I’ve written is crap, there’s no doubt, but it’s crap pointing in the right direction. If nothing else, it feels better than not writing, which is always something to aim for.


Let’s pretend this past week was just so exciting that I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it, and that’s why I haven’t posted much of anything here in a week. That seems better than just admitting that it was a boring one-day-pretty-much-like-the-last kind of week.

Even today, there wasn’t much to report. The weather turned nice again — windy, but not the slap in the face of winter’s return we had on Thursday and Friday. There was snow in the forecast for Monday, last I heard, but I think most of what hobbled us in February has finally melted.

I bought my plane tickets for my trip in September to Canada and the Banff Centre. Still, it’ll be another half a year before I use them.

This evening, I watched a couple of movies. I started with Grave of the Fireflies, a late-’80s anime set near the end of World War II. It’s a beautiful film, although very sad, and after it I needed something of a pick-me-up. So naturally I turned to the downbeat folk music story Inside Llewyn Davis. (The original thought had been 12 Years a Slave, but maybe not this week.) I liked the movie a lot — it’s not really a downer — but I didn’t quite love every bit of it. I’d be tempted to call it “lesser Coen Brothers,” if even their “lesser” movies didn’t have such style and skill. (See The Ladykillers or Intolerable Cruelty, for instance.)

All in all, a pair of very good movies.

And all in all, while not a super exciting day — I did a little editing, went for a walk, listened to a podcast — a pretty good day.


It threatened to snow last night, half a foot by some accounts, and we spent much of the weekend dreading the snow’s arrival. I am so finished with winter.

And it did snow in the night, though it started much later than had been predicted, and was at best a good dusting. (The picture up above is from early January.) It was cold and gray enough that none of the snow melted, but I think we all acknowledge that we dodged a bullet this time.

This time.

The last three days (again)

There’s not a whole lot to report, actually.

The weather, while it has taken a turn the cold and flurrying since the weekend, hasn’t been the soul-crushing winter that the rest of February was. Then again, it also beggars belief that it’s the end of February already. It’s a shorter month, but not by that much. It’s still early days, but I may look back and remember it as the longest and shortest month of 2014.

At work, I handed over a book to production, and I don’t think I was quite prepared for the huge feeling of relief that would follow. But the handing-over itself? That was just a lot of paperwork and formatting and back-and-forth with authors. I’ll have two more books in quick succession that will need to go into production very soon, and I think the feeling of relief was only because they couldn’t be handed over immediately. (One manuscript has permission issues for which I’ve contracted a freelancer, and the other isn’t expected until Monday.) I had a little breathing room, in which I could focus on some other smaller projects — I have manuscripts out for review, I’m mentoring someone (and worried I’m just giving her busy work to do) — and finally typing up my notes from my campus trips a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be on campus again tomorrow, headed to Stony Brook University, unless illness or weather unravel those plans for a third time.

I finished reading Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. It’s an interesting book, one that I’ve actually attempted to read a couple of times in the past. I’m not sure exactly why those attempts fell apart on me like they did, since it’s actually a really good book and maybe one of Dick’s more accessible, less out-there books. (I’d actually started reading The Divine Invasion, then quit maybe a hundred pages in when I learned it was the middle book in the so-called “VALIS Trilogy.”) The book is an alternate history, of a world where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II, and I think Dick makes a really smart move centering most of the action in Japanese-controlled San Francisco. The book is less about the mechanics of this world, the kind of thing you see in countless “what if the Nazis had won?” stories, and more about using that world to look at our own. If it had been set in Germany, or Nazi-controlled New York, it would have been a very different book.

And that’s about it, really. Just a handful of decent but uneventful days.