Friday, January 06, 2006

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I received payment yesterday from Your Scrivener Press for my story "Being Needed" which will appear in the anthology Bluffs: Northeastern Ontario Stories from the Edge some time in the spring of 2006. I'm rather delighted that I'll be appearing in an anthology that has stories by both Sean Costello and Susie Moloney, two writers whose work I've admired for years. And, if the anthology is half as good as the sister anthology that YSP released a few months ago (OutCrops: Northeastern Ontario Short Stories), I'm sure I'm going to love reading the stories from the other contributors as well.

It was nice for that cheque to come in the mail at a time of year when we're dreading the post-Christmas bills. It put a little spring back into my step. Not the money so much as the reminder that occasionally an editor actually likes my writing enough to buy a story from me.

Of course, this crappy weather we've been having hasn't added anything to my swagger.

It's January for crying out loud. And we're getting nothing but rain. The snowman that Alexander and I built on the weekend is now the only bit of snow on our front lawn -- all half a square foot of it. What the hell kind of winter is this? One of the things I like best about Canada is we get four distinct seasons, with all the joys and extreme temperatures on both ends of the scale that we experience each year. What we've been getting lately is one season of hot and humid days, and the rest of the year cold and rainy. That's pretty damn bland.

Spring, which is still pretty exciting in its own right, used to be this amazing and dramatic rebirth, a relief of a long, cold, dark and snowy winter, and a chance to shuck off the heavy winter clothing and boots for much lighter fare. The hot and humid summer days on the beach or by the pool are made more satisfying when you'd think that perhaps only 4 months earlier you were standing in your driveway swearing at the snowplow that just pushed another four feet of snow onto the ramp tshoveledust shovelled. And, oh, those bitter-sweet days of autumn, my favourite season by far. The lingering warmth of the summer days as it flirts with you, knowing full well it's going away on a long trip, the cool evenings of the harvest season, the spectacular colours of the leaves, their final swam song of grace before they drop from the trees. And winter. The winter of my memory and my heart is a winter that comes with cold and snow. Long walks in the snow as you're bundled up tightly - making snow men, skiing, laughing madly as you almost hit a tree on your toboggan. As the song goes, the weather outside is supposed to be frightful -- that's what makes the fire inside so delightful. Let it snow, dammit. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

What the hell have we done to the environment to bring on such a right bloody mess? When I was a lad (of course, I grew up in Levack, just north of Sudbury) we usually had snow for Remembrance Day and sometimes even as early as Halloween. By this time of year, the snowbanks were usually at least 5 to 6 feet high. As it stands now, I'm thinking of getting the lawn mower out.

This is ridiculous. Okay, I'm getting all worked up now. Gotta stop that. Think of the cheque, Mark. Think of the cheque. You just got paid for a story you sold. What a great way to start the year. This, story, one of your personal favourites, will be in a beautiful book landing on bookstore shelves in merely a few months, in the spring, when we're experiencing springtime rain, not winter rain.

There, all better. Crisis averted.


Franny said...

Beautiful, passionate post. Your rhythmic, poetic paragraph describing the seasons actually made me sway.

And then "let it snow, dammit!"

Don't worry, it will snow. As winter might say "I am not yet dead."

Virginia said...

Congratulations on the story & the moola, Mark! That's awesome.

I love your animated banner with the skull. That is so cool.

Zephyr said...

I don't much care for snow, but I dislike rain even more. I find autumn to be one of the most depressing seasons that could exist. Rain. Things die. More rain. Leaves fall. Trees are bare. More rain. Sky matches the grayness of everything else.

Winter is usually better. At least it is white instead of gray. Give me sun occasionally and I can handle the cold. Just stop the rain.

Or at least let me get a check for something too!

Anonymous said...

It's the politicians' fault. They control the weather you know. Whoops. Gotta go. The aliens are talking to me through the neighbour's television again.