We’re in it, that slump, between the final frenetic festivities of late fall and the first few signs of false spring, the seed catalogs, the beach themed bar parties, when the whole North American world goes cold. Bitterer than cold, it goes entropic. School’s are out, semesters are over and not yet begun. Literary journals are in a lull, editors having rushed to finish their decisions before the holidays or put them off until long after. There’s a discernible quiet slathering the norm, a tamping down of maze paths and side roads. We’re settling in for the dogged march. It’s winter.
This morning my thermometer read 14. The rain barrels I hadn’t bothered emptying have slugs of ice six inches thick. I may have worn perforated slip-ons to yoga, but I felt the cold curl and twist it’s way up my leg, later through the weave of my chinos.
It’s a good time for fireplaces, for getting fat off of quiet napping and winter stores. But my fireplace doesn’t work and I’m fat enough all ready. I don’t want to nap. I don’t want lethargic. I like the cold, it enlivens me, gives me moments of my senses at their factory optimum. If only we had some snow I’d take a running dive at it like an arctic fox. I want activity.
I’ve been to the gym, I’ve spent hours writing. I’m doing all the things I can do to be productive, I just need everyone else to wake back up.
I’ve yet to hear back on my accepted piece beyond the first round of emails. I’m worried a query might put me on the blacklist while I’m also worried that there’s some problem with my bio, pic, or contract signature. So I fidget. I’ve had nine pieces out for review, some for as long as three months, the least out for no shorter than six weeks. Only two are marked “in progress,” the rest have a lowercase “received,” the same marking they had from the few moments after I’d sent the pieces.
I’m looking for more places. I’m finding a lot of rolling deadlines. I’ve finished another short story, got a difficult one prodded toward a climax. In february I’ll drop back into Life in a Glass House for the first quarter-less round of edits. But there’s nothing for right now.
Everyone’s asleep or resting and I’m ever the insomniac.