Tuesday, February 8, 2011

20 Ways to Survive the Winter of 2010-2011


Myra here. Is it just me, or has this been a ridiculously cold winter? Our area has already broken the record for snowiest February, and it’s only the second week! Anything below 40 and I am loathe to even stick my nose out the door. And lately, when the streets are slushy with snow and ice and they’re forecasting single-digit temps, I’m staying home and staying warm.

Now you’d think my self-imposed “house arrest” would leave me no excuse for not writing. True, the word count is adding up, often 1500-2500 words on a good day. But I can only write for four or five hours before the old brain cells need some rest and refueling.

The thing is, when I reach the point that I can’t write another word, I know I’m going to feel guilty if I don’t get to work on something writing-related. So I’ve come up with a list of 10 suggestions for what to do when it’s snowin’ and blowin’, you have no idea what comes next in your wip, and all you want to do is curl up in front of a roaring fire and sip hot cocoa.


  1. Organize your reference and craft books by subject matter and then by title or author.
  2. Clean out your e-mail inbox and file all your “keeper” sent and received messages.
  3. Clean off and reorganize your workspace.
  4. Update your Twitter and/or Facebook status with something “writerly,” and see what writing colleagues and publishing professionals are posting about.
  5. Catch up on magazines, newsletters, and blogs about the publishing business.
  6. Review and organize your notes from the last conference you attended.
  7. Listen to a conference workshop recording.
  8. Reread a favorite craft book.
  9. Watch and analyze a classic movie for plot, characterization, foreshadowing, etc.
  10. Write a blog post about what to do when the creative juices run dry.

Of course, there comes a time when you don’t even have enough brain power for any of the above. That’s when you need to bring out the big guns to defeat writer’s ennui:

  1. Play endless games of computer Solitaire.
  2. Browse for silly YouTube videos and forward them to your friends. All your friends.
  3. Do as many crunches as you can on an exercise ball.
  4. Challenge a family member to a Wii bowling match.
  5. Soak in a hot bubble bath while reading an escapist novel.
  6. Shop for new games and apps for your smartphone.
  7. Plan a week’s worth of dinner menus and send your spouse to the supermarket with a detailed grocery list. Don’t complain if he/she brings back the wrong item or phones you 16 times to ask for clarification.
  8. Iron something, even if it doesn’t need it, while watching sappy movies on TV.
  9. Sit in front of the bathroom mirror and try new hairstyles.
  10. Give yourself a mani-pedi.

Your turn. What are your favorite wintertime non-writing writing activities? When you need to get away from writing entirely, how do you recharge?

Caveat: The suggestions contained in this post are not carte blanche for avoiding writing entirely! If you ever want to write “the end,” you’ve got to regularly plant your seat in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard. Every manuscript is completed one word at a time, so just keep writing!


Leave a comment for a chance to receive winner’s choice of a $10 Caribou Coffee or Starbucks gift card, sure to warm you up on a snowy day!

94 comments :

  1. I write poetry for friends/family on special occasions. (No books, I'm afraid, although I natter enough that I could fill a book with drivel. Does that count?) When I haven't a clue as to what I'll say, I bake ... and bake ... and bake ... and some time during the baking process, bits and pieces usually come to me. I write them on the dry-erase board and continue mixing, etc., and the next thing I know, I have at least 8 lines written. It's enough to "jump start" me and I can usually continue after that, either by sitting down to write it out (er ... scratch it out ... and then write it out ... and then scratch it out ... you get the drift) or type it out on the computer. I think it has something to do with putting your mind in another place and then your subconscious comes up with what you need.

    Sometimes I play Mahjjong on the computer so that my mind will wander - hopefully to the topic at hand, but perhaps not. I'm getting pretty good at the game; too bad I can't say the same about my poems, LOL!

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  2. I sit at the computer and search all my bookmarked stuff...sometimes play the Hoyle games on computer or rummi..shower/bath, wii, nap..or EAT!

    you were going so-so there til the crunches on the exercise ball business - ain't happenin'! I fall off those things. not ironing anything but fabric for quilting..and not doing a mani/pedi either cause I can't reach my toes too easily(also one reason I can't do crunches and due to the hobby of eating).

    here's some tea bags - all kinds - ya'll didn't use 'em all up last week!

    Susanna

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  3. Firstly Im home!
    I saw how you are all freezing over there was really nice in Hawaii just perfect. We have had a below average summer and although there were a few hot days when I was gone have been told its been like autumn the past week. Even today feels early autumnish. We also had a cold winter by our standards not like yours.
    Im not a writer but I find also doing things like a jigsaw helps.
    You know I cant even imagine what I would do in your temps. I think I would go completely mad. I go mad if I cant get outside even in winter!

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  4. It's been cold here too - Houston - last year got cold for one weekend(and I had an outside faucet break) and this past week has been cold and even sleet one day. blech!

    oh, don't enter me either!

    susanna

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  5. I have lots of little people to keep my rear out of the writing seat, so I don't have much need to get away from the writing... But every now and then I need to claer my head, and for some reason, getting in the shower really helps. Maybe because there's no pen/paper/keyboard in there?? :D Pressure's off, so the ideas flow!
    And Laney, I love writing drivel, too. And I always think it's rgeat unless someone tells me otherwise!

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  6. Nice list! I just wrote a blog with similar suggestions for my local RWA chapter website - funny how writers' minds think alike! I am signing up for ways to have more accountability with my daily writing goal in 2011, so that helps me survive the winter doldrums. I would love to be considered for the First Five Pages this week. jenna at jennavictoria dot com.

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  7. Great list, Myra! Tackling the e-mail is the worst for me. I'll clean it and then the next day, it's full again. As far as the weather this winter - I'm so ready for spring!

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  8. I'll go with eat or take care of the littler people running around here.

    Right now I actually have to go to work. Haven't been in 12 days. Of course, I only work on T/Th and we had all of last week off due to weather. And we're getting another 4" or so [supposedly] today.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

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  9. I head to my sewing room and start working on a sewing project or I watch a movie while working on an embroidery project or I read.

    And I wish I didn't have to go out today or tomorrow because our temps are below zero with dangerous windchills.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

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  10. I am in the process of creating Valentines Cards with lovely quotes and sayings that only I could come up with. I have been complimented for always saying the right thing to the right person at the right time.

    For nonwriting, well there are all the designs that go on the cards. But I also get out and walk regardless of the weather.

    When the house gets too cold, I still my robe in the dryer until it is hot, put it on, and bask in the warmth for a while. Definitely helps!

    Last week, we met with the florist to plan the flowers for my daughter's wedding in October. Nothing like flowers to get you out of the winter doldrums.

    Jenny, so glad you had a good time.

    No need to enter me.

    Peace, Julie

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  11. Welcome home AusJenny! So glad you enjoyed your holiday... Surely there's something you can write about and share: "What I did on my Hawaiian Holiday." Right?!

    Laney4 - who is the good looking puppy with the stick? May would like to play please.

    Susanna - Stay warm. I was in Houston recently. Got out just before that storm hit. Brrrr. (Of course, it's snowing here in middle TN now... Brrrr...)

    Thanks for the fun ideas Myra! I can almost smell the air on that first photo - CRISP!

    Wii has been calling but I've not played in a couple of months. Sigh.

    One thing that I have to do every day, regardless of weather, is toss May's toys. She is persistent and relentless. And I do nose around and read wonderful blogs and such, like Seekerville and this one today: http://midsouthillustrators.blogspot.com/2011/02/2011-scbwi-ny-conference.html

    I would love to have attended this conference but after Susan's review in art and words, almost felt like I did! :)

    I brought some thin ginger crisps to go with that tea. MMMM.

    may at maythek9spy dot com

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  12. LOL, Myra! Love the one about make a list of a weeks' worth of dinner and send your spouse shopping!

    If I sent my husband shopping, he'd probably forego the list and bring back bags of frozen pizza and tamales.

    Don't you just love the way guys shop (all males reading this post not included!)?

    We're up for another frigid blast here in CO. Gotta go back and check your list, but did yo mention anything about online shopping for thermal underwear??

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  13. Welcome home, Jenny! Glad you had a great time. I'm so jealous!!

    Myra, fun article!! I cracked up about organizing and reorganizing your shelves. :)

    While my kids were out of school for snow (missed a full week here in GA), I jumped in working early in the morning and made sure to take advantage of them sleeping late. But once they both got up (around 1 pm!) I would use the time to work on blogs and such.

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  14. When I'm procrastinating, I catch up on blogs. (Commenting is writing, right?) I also head to the pantry. However, reading blogs is a lot more fun and certainly less fattening.

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  15. It's been colder than usual here in the south. Mostly I'm keeping grandbaby which keeps me busy and inside all the time. He's only 8 months old so we just piddle around.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  16. It's cold here in nw Florida--cold for Florida. I lived in Vermont for 20 yrs. so I really do know what cold is.

    When I want to do something writerly, but not work on my wip, I read a craft book or do some research. I love research. Reading is so much easier than writing--I have to remember my word count is important!

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  17. Great ideas, Myra! I like the idea to use your wii to exercise while house-bound. If someone has a treadmill or elliptical, these snow days are perfect to get your exercise in.

    To keep from going stir-crazy, brainstorm your story with your best buddies, and/or your favorite plotting program so that you'll be primed for your next writing session.

    Another idea is to write a short story for Women's World, or an article for the paper, OR a week's worth of blogposts and upload them for a safetynet when your time is limited.

    So far, we've had really cold weather, but I'm not down to organizing my husband's socks yet.

    Far, far, FAR from it.

    Sigh

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  18. FUN POST, Myra, with lots of excellent ideas how to make the most of our time.

    At night when I am so brain-dead that my words are not coherent -- either out of my mouth OR on the written page -- I snuggle into bed under my electric blanket, put ear plugs in and read while my hubby watches TV.

    LOVE List #2, ESPECIALLY points 5 and 8!! Give me a bubble bath with a great romantic escape, and I'm in heaven. But I had to laugh at #8 -- "Iron something, even if it doesn’t need it, while watching sappy movies on TV." I had a hard and fast rule for many years throughout my marriage where I would only iron about three or four times a year (unless there was an emergency, of course, like a shirt that needed reironing for an important meeting, etc.). These became momentous occasions to my husband, where I would spend the day watching Gone With The Wind while catching up on a mountain of ironing. Oh, how he LOVED movie day ... :)

    WELCOME HOME, JENNY!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  19. I've got too much other stuff going on to wonder what to do when not writing - all of my writing time is stolen! But, oh, it's so sweet....

    Add that to the fact that I love winter, and cold, and snow - no winter doldrums around here!

    I just wish I was in South Dakota with my dear husband, snuggled up with some hot chocolate next to a wood burning stove, watching the snow fall...maybe I'll be there by next winter!

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  20. I love cross stitching and sewing and quilting. so those would be on my list

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  21. Winter is getting me down--your list perked me back up! I've been catching up on reading. The perfect activity for freezing weather!

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  22. Myra, you said the three most horrendous words in the English language: "organize" and "clean up." Those words make me shudder. My hubby wants me to organize and clean up my office. Some day I am. I really am. Maybe.

    NOT writing is easy. My favorite thing to do if I am deliberately NOT writing is to leave the house and tour a museum or go shopping. But I hate shopping, so I try to write every day. I actually wrote 1700 words yesterday! I was happy.

    Myra, you are right. This has been an especially snowy and cold winter. We even got snow in Alabama, including a white Christmas, which basically has never happened before, with about 4 inches of snow on Christmas day. Then we got 8 inches a couple of weeks later. That NEVER happens either. But it's exciting to me to wake up and see the ground covered in fluffy white stuff! Although, when I say things like that, Mary's eyes tend to pop out and the rims around them turn red and that vein on her neck turns purple and throbs, so I try not to say things like that in her hearing.

    Mary! Cover your ears, girl!!!

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  23. LOL. I'm so not a list maker, but I loved reading yours.

    So what do I do in the winter when I'm not writing? Read of course!!!! Though page turning with mittens on is a struggle. You might say I'm all thumbs! :-) (I read while waiting for the bus and on the bus). And blog hop.

    Oh...and the really BIG thing I do to while away cold winter days -- I plan my garden! Pour over gardening books from the library, splurge on horticultural magazines that promise me the Garden of Eden. Then I map out my garden and try to remember what's out there under all that snow and what I need to divide or add or cut back...ah bliss...I can almost smell the earthworms now.

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  24. Do Zumba! Or some *indoor* exercise. It's much less embarrassing than braving the snow for a jog only to hit a patch of ice and land smack on your tush in front of a bunch of guys working road crew. If it happens, pretend it didn't. And ignore the cough-laughs from the workers faking that they didn't just see that stupid girl do that.

    -Emily
    hendrickson_emily(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  25. I browse Amazon.com and debate the relative merits of the Kindle vs. the Nook Color. :)

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  26. LANEY4, thanks for being our Seekerville early bird! You're absolutely right about getting our minds into another thinking mode to help get the words unstuck. But baking...seems like that could be VERY dangerous to the waistline!

    SUSANNA, I avoid the ol' exercise ball like crazy, too. It's sitting under my desk right now just mocking me. Thanks for the tea! Sounds perfect on this icy day!

    AUSJENNY, welcome home! I would have LOVED to be with you in Hawaii!!! It's been awhile since I did a jigsaw puzzle, but those things are addicting! Once you sit down to work on one, it's SOOOOO hard to quit!

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  27. Oh Myra,
    This was great!!!
    I usually don't have to resort to your list because my writing time is limited, but sometimes if I'm having a writing block or creativity hiccup, I'll resort to:

    Wii games. TOTALLY!!!

    Youtube and watch inspirational movies...I don't 'inspirational' like Touched By an Angel (which is sweet), but I mean 'inspirational' like - inspires my creativity for my wip.

    (I'm hiding my head here) but I LOVE to play a cool word game on my childrens' Webkinz accounts ;-)
    It's addictive - really. And since it's made for kids, I can win :-)

    Sorry, Myra - I rambled.
    Back to work.

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  28. SUSANNA, we lived in the Houston area for 13 years. Saw it snow once, and it didn't even stick. But I remember some REEEEEEALY cold days when we used to volunteer at the therapeutic riding center! (And some really HOT ones, too, in the summer!)

    VIRGINIA, I've heard several writers say they get some of their best ideas in the shower. It works for me sometimes too!

    JENNA VICTORIA, I think it's the weather. We're all going stir-crazy! At least those of us who are NOT vacationing in Hawaii!!!

    JILL W, I know what you mean. Sometimes I get up to 200 e-mails a day, when you add in all the writers loops I subscribe to. It can be overwhelming!!!

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  29. the current temperature is minus 5.

    High today expected to reach ZERO.

    And this winter is so much better than last winter I could cry.

    But the tears would freeze on my face.

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  30. CAROL M, we're looking at up to another 8-10" by tomorrow. SOOOO not looking forward to that! Hope you get to work okay! And home again!

    ROSE, do try to stay warm!!! I used to do cross-stitch and have been thinking about relearning how to knit. That's GOT to be more productive than playing iPhone Solitaire while watching TV in the evenings.

    JULIE HILTON STEELE, how exciting about your daughter's wedding! I admire you for getting outside to walk. I'll just stay inside and walk on my treadmill. Or not.

    KC, thanks for the ginger crisps! I expect to be playing (or at least watching) a lot of Wii over the next several days. Our three strapping grandsons are due to arrive this afternoon and stay with us while their parents are out of town.

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  31. And MELANIE, I have asked you to PLEASE quit being so happy about snow.

    It's just CRUEL.

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  32. AUDRA, we had to break out the box of thermal underwear last week. Yikes!!! Yep, my DH tends to call 3-4 times during any given shopping trip. But at least he doesn't mind going so I can stay home and write!

    MISSY, you're so right--it's hard to concentrate and be creative when the kids are around. I'm really wondering how much actual writing I'll get done while the grandsons are here!

    SANDY, thanks for visiting! I agree, blogs are much less fattening than raiding the pantry. We serve only calorie-free snacks here in Seekerville. Although sometimes Ruthy's descriptions of her offerings are enough to add 25 pounds just by reading them!

    PATSY, I bet you and your grandbaby have just lots of fun together! We just came home from visiting our youngest two (8 and 5) and had a blast! The three coming today are 16, 14, and 11. Oh BOY--literally!!!

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  33. CARA, I've really been getting into the research for my wip. Hard to stop when it's all so fascinating! BTW, I'll be happy to join you in Florida for the rest of the winter. It can't possibly be as bad as the Midwest right now!

    PAM, you are so incredibly practical! Great suggestions (except for the exercise part--puleeeze!). Of course I'm always up for some brainstorming with my Seeker Sisters!!!

    JULIE, LOL--I don't iron unless I absolutely have NO choice. My hubby irons his own shirts, thank goodness--I taught him well. He's usually the one doing an ironing/movie marathon every few months. (Yes, he lets his ironing stack up, too.)

    JAN DREXLER, that's enough of such talk. Loving winter????? WANTING to be in South Dakota??? Well, if your hubby's there, I can understand, but how about SD in summer? Maybe I could handle that.

    APPLE BLOSSOM, those sound like great pastimes. I will be happy to watch you do them from afar. ;>D

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  34. JILL K, you're right--winter is a great time to catch up on reading. Except after awhile my eyes start crossing and I've just got to do something different. One thing I do enjoy is watching the birds who visit our backyard feeders. Good for entertainment as well as relieving eyestrain.

    MELANIE, cleaning up should always be the last resort, when you're bored to tears and can't think of a single other thing to do! And truthfully, I would MUCH rather write than shop! I am a terrible shopper! Stay warm, girl! Send that snow and ice right on back where it belongs--Mary's house!!!

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  35. Love your list! When I get a little brain dead and the words just don't seem to want to come I play word games. It jump starts my brain cells. Unless I am beyond recusitation and then I plug the ipod in and start cleaning the house and singing my favorite songs at the top of my lungs. It helps to warm me up and get the blood pumping.

    The poor dog hides. But he should be glad he's inside and not out on days like these. Brrrrrrrr!!!!

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  36. KAV, you need to get some of those fingerless gloves. Before I started using a heat-generating laptop, I used to wear them to type in the winter. Gardening? Never had the bug. I keep trying to talk hubby into trying it now that he's semi-retired, but he isn't interested either. Guess we will continue to buy our produce at the market.

    EMILY, we have a really good friend who is a marathoner. He's been out training even in this weather, wearing ice cleats!!! We personally think he's crazy! Hey, will you give us a Zumba demonstration?

    ERICA, I love browsing Amazon, too. I got a Kindle for Christmas year before last and have enjoyed it. Pros and cons to all the e-reader choices, I know, but the Kindle works for me.

    PEPPER, we love playing Wii! Do you have Resort? That's our favorite. My other recent addiction is the iPhone Words game, which is basically Scrabble. Then my daughter found the site wineverygame.com and starting wiping me out big-time!

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  37. MARY, I am so very sorry for you. We will get down to minus 2 on Thursday, so they say. This is utterly ridiculous. I will help you tackle Melanie. We can bury her up to her neck in snow.

    DAWN, we do not mention housecleaning on this blog. It is a 4-letter word. However, singing and bopping to your favorite songs is perfectly acceptable. Unless you frighten the dog too badly. Then you may have other messes to clean up!

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  38. Oh I do SO MANY of those suggestions you have there. In fact your first list pretty much explains my non writing activities. :) I don't have a Wii, so can't do the second list as well though. LOL!

    But oh, I agree with you. This has been one COLD winter. WEEKS in the below zeros, lucky to even see TWO degrees above zero. Now we're barely below freezing, so I'm taking it!

    Stay warm, ladies!! :D

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  39. My fondest dream is to spend winters in Florida and summers in far northern Minnesota.

    I'll probably figure out a way to do it just the opposite. Summers in Florida and Winters in far northern Minnesota....or I could have all that hot and cold by just staying right where I am.

    I'm hard at work petitioning the state of Nebraska to adopt a new motto.

    Nebraska.
    It's not for wimps.

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  40. Myra, The dog's a beagle. He just howls. Scared the postman the other day. That was fun and entertaining. And I've got to make a good show of doing some of 'that word' once in awhile or the hubby would wonder if I do sit around and eat chocolate all day long. Got to keep up appearances somehow. :)

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  41. Myra, you don't want to see my Zumba demonstration. Me and Latin dance moves...The sight has been known to make small children cry. I'm far more graceful wiping out on ice.

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  42. How on EARTH did I miss the bubble bath?!?

    With candlelight and music.

    Oh wow, calgon take me AWAY.
    Love that one, Myra

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  43. Wii Sports Resort is super-cool. I LOVE Frisbee golf.
    There's a major championship game going on in my house over that one.

    I like Wii Fit too (and it makes me feel like I'm 'trying' to work out ;-)

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  44. Wow! Look at all that snow.
    Great post!
    Cheryl

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  45. CASEY, glad you are able to stay warm! I'm pretty sure Punxatawney Phil didn't see his shadow the other day, so hopefully spring is on the way!

    DAWN, it's perfectly acceptable to clean AND eat chocolate. In fact, it's imperative!

    Oh, come on, EMILY, don't you want to try out for Dancing With the Stars???

    LOL, PEPPER, my hubby and I play Wii Frisbee Golf regularly. The problem is, we are so horribly inconsistent in our throws! One is perfectly down the fairway, and the next is in the trees and out of bounds! I'm not much good with a real Frisbee either.

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  46. Hi Myra:

    Get ready for ten more inches!

    Do you think God’s an author and He’s raising tensions? It’s working!

    I don’t need a list of things: I have a TBR pile that’s tall enough to require a building permit. Also I have new batteries for my AlphaSmart. They say you can go 800 hours on one set of batteries.

    I’m ready. Bring it on. This is Oklahoma. Any weather is possible. All we have for protection are barbwire fences.

    Vince

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  47. Mary, have you seen the mosquitoes in MN in the summer? Yikes. :)

    I like to follow the rabbit trails that lead to new writing blogs and catch up on my reading. And emptying the email inbox is always good, too.

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  48. I like to watch movies and read books. Not very original. :-)
    Good tips, thanks!

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  49. BE QUIET, VINCE!!! I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE SNOW!!!!!!

    I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT THE SNOW!!!!

    I DON'T WANT TO BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE SNOW!!!!!!

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  50. SALLY, following those rabbit trails can get you in trouble. You might be carried away by a giant Minnesota mosquito.

    JESSICA, please tell us how you watch movies and read books at the same time. Doesn't that get confusing?

    Sorry, I think all this snow is making me loopy.

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  51. When I can't concentrate, I search for new posts on my favorite blogs, like here at Seekerville! I must admit I'm easily distracted by the internet and the access it gives to great sites. Time slips away far too quickly for me when I'm thus occupied :) I'm home for the 8th snow day since school began again in January. And already half my precious day is gone!

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  52. I read when I need a break from writing. But I also like to eat (which is not nearly as good for me!)
    Susie Sheehey
    susiesheehey (at) verizon (dot) net

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  53. RENEE ANN, our schools have been closed since early last week, too. We ran out of snow days really quick. I know our neighbor kids are getting quite bored.

    SUSIE, reading is good. Eating, not so much. Unless it's chocolate. Chocolate is 100% okay any time, any day. You have my word.

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  54. Starbucks for me, please! :D

    I like to do the networking thing, too. I also play piano, do laundry, snuggle with my five year old, read a book or two or three or four or five, just got into sewing quilt blocks, would love to scrapbook but haven't braved dragging the supplies out in years, drink hot tea, perculate on my story while doing housework, daydream or think up new stories or plot...I could go on, but need I say more? :D

    ~Linnette

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  55. I LOVE Mahjong! I forgot I had it. Just moved the shortcut to my desktop. ;-)

    Oh! I also visit Seekerville. :D

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  56. LOL, Julie L! I love that you are so unabashedly romantic! :D

    ~Linnette

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  57. Thanks for the list Myra,
    I like to lounge with my family and then when I get back to work I really enjoy it.
    Jan

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  58. When I can't concentrate, I usually read, check random blogs, find more people to follow on Twitter, or pull out the complete Sue Thomas:FBEye DVDs.

    If I want to LAUGH, I get someone to play the "cow races" on Wii!

    Now I loved the idea of the menus and hubby shopping. Here's a twist, though. My hubby would LOVE that, and he's very dedicated to whatever list he has. I try to loosen him up by saying, "and if something looks good to you, go ahead and get it," but he never does. Oy.

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  59. LINNETTE, I have never played Mahjong. There's actually a computer version???

    JANET K, I imagine I will be getting in plenty of lounge time with family over the next several days. The grandsons arrived 30 minutes ago, and already are eating me out of house and home!

    REGINA, I LOVE the cow races!!! That's one of the games that got me hooked on Wii! One of my other grandsons insists on playing Tanks whenever we visit, but his idea is to blow up the other player and THEN take out the enemy tanks. So not fair!

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  60. Hi SALLY. One of my kids owns a T-Shirt with a picture of a huge mosquito on it and the words
    MINNESOTA STATE BIRD

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  61. Vince welcome back.

    And AusJenny, HAWAII? SERIOUSLY?
    Did you miss the cyclone that swept across Australia?

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  62. Linette - I'd forgotten I had majong on this computer... I need to keep that forgotten...

    Mel - great for you!!!! 1700!!! That's AWESOME! I hit 1800 yesterday - which is more than last WEEK combined :p.

    Myra - made it to work. And home. We've got a dusting already. We're in the corner of the county looking at 5-7" instead of 3-5" like everyone else we know. I don't have to go anywhere else until Thursday morning. Unless they cancel classes again. My kids are going to be in school late. But not losing spring break [which would actually be better for me - I'll be in Denver and then I wouldn't have to worry about childcare - just after school - oh well].

    I did put my time between classes to good use and wrote over 800 words and emailed them back to myself. I'm quite proud of that. Dunno how many of them will actually make it through edits but that's okay...

    Back to the ol' Word doc...

    But Seekerville isn't procrastinating. Nope. Couldn't be.

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  63. Hi Virginia! I could drivel on all day (and probably do, LOL!). Good luck with that showering technique. Do dry-erase boards work in there? I think I would be tempted to hang by string a hardcover notebook and a couple of sharp pencils on a nearby towel rack....

    Hi KC Frantzen! Austin is the dog in the picture and I love him to bits. He was 13 a year ago when that pic was taken. We dogsit him for a retired couple (who live 2.5 hours away) whenever they go on their numerous trips. We had Austin for 8 full weeks last year and loved every moment....

    Hi Myra! Yes, baking CAN be very dangerous to the waistline. I lick the spoon while everyone else eats the "baked" result (although I have been known to eat a brownie for dessert twice in a day).

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  64. I don't know why it didn't show up, but the last post to Virginia, KC Franzen, and Myra were from me, Laney4....

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  65. Mary I arrived back Friday night and the cyclone hit the day or so before but there are residual after affects of the cyclone. The first one caused alot of flash flooding victoria which has already suffered so much from flooding and the last one caused so much more damage to Queensland and is slowly making its way to Western Australia as rain depressions. Where I live have missed alot of the rain. I have heard we had a few really hot then humid days while I was gone but not much more.
    I actually had mostly warmer weather in Hawaii than here. today is going to be a nice day when it warms up.

    I will write up some of my adventures and not sure if I will add it to my blog or not yet but will let you know.

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  66. CAROLM, glad you made it to and from work okay--AND got some writing done! You go, girl!

    There's still a glimmer of sunshine here, but the snow is supposed to roll in by evening and last through a good part of tomorrow. I'm afraid the kids are going to be in school through the Fourth of July at this rate!

    LANEY4, maybe you weren't signed in. Cute puppy, BTW! Is he a Golden? I love doggies! I've got one stretched out behind my chair and the other is probably downstairs pestering the grandsons. Or, more likely, SLOBBERING all over them!

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  67. AUSJENNY, I can't believe how hard Australia has been hit lately! Glad you have been okay where you are. And still wish I could have joined you in Hawaii!

    Hey, Mary, let's get our "winter homes" down under and our summer homes up north! A rather long commute, but it sure beats suffering through another blizzard!

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  68. Yep! Computer Mahjong is the only way I've ever played it.

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  69. Has Ruthy brought afternoon food yet?
    Here on the East coast, we're startin' to pine for some viddles, SO....
    I'm getting ready to pull out some homemade mac-n-cheese from the oven, some Pecan Buttermilk Fried Chicken, beans, and roasted potatoes.
    I'll share.

    Will somebody else bring dessert? I'm sure my kids will finish off the Blondies really fast

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  70. DEAR GRAMMAR QUEEN

    Or anyone else....

    Mentioning Seth made Ethan's gaze swing to the cave opening. Ethan’s Stetson lay on the ground by the entrance.

    Is this right? Lay? MS Word says no, but what else? Laid? Lying?

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  71. We're pretty excited about the weather here, too, AusJenny. I'm sorry I complained before.

    It's now up to a balmy FIVE DEGREES

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  72. Myra,
    Yes, Austin is a golden retriever. He's quite deaf but understands hand signals very well. He's arthritic and needed carrying up and down the stairs last year, but now he's on new medication that's working, and I'm looking forward to dogsitting him again for a couple of weeks in April. He weighs 80 lbs, so it's no easy feat carrying him. Because I type in my office in the basement, he wants to be with me (don't all goldens want company?). I should have a lap top, but all my paperwork is strewn across my office, so I don't bother. Anyway, he's the most intelligent dogs I've ever known and gets his point across quite well. He was fired as a guide dog at training camp because he was too friendly. And yes, he loves to slobber as well ... and inevitably leaves a trail of fur everywhere he goes ... yet I still love him to bits. Thanks for asking....
    Laney4 (just in case, although it keeps showing as signed in).

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  73. Dear Mary, you are absolutely correct.

    "Ethan’s Stetson lay on the ground by the entrance."

    Here "lay" is the past tense of "lie," and in present tense the Stetson would be lying on the ground (intransitive verb, meaning in a resting position, not as in telling a falsehood).

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  74. LOL, my house is one giant furball, and we have to hand out paper towels to visitors for the slobber! And my big ol' yellow half-Lab weighs in at 95 pounds! Her "little brother," a black hairy mutt (maybe part border collie??) is a whopping 55 pounds. And both are confirmed lap dogs!

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  75. I never get writer's ennui. Never. I merely play the games for brain exercise. LOL

    If I get the ol block, I sometimes do research to keep my mind moving. Or I take a nap and my mind rest.

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  76. Hey, Pepper, thanks for bringing refreshments! I've got a big pot of apple cider brewing, so help yourselves! My daughter arrived this afternoon with some gluten-free pumpkin bread that I'm sure she'll gladly share.

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  77. TINA P, you are my kind of gal!

    Brain exercise. Of course. That's EXACTLY why we play those games! Keeps us sharp!

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  78. Late to the party today!!!!

    Oh my stars, this is probably not the place to say that I LOVE winter...

    Although I'll be ready for spring in a few weeks.

    Drooling over the neatness and compactness of those bookshelves. Oh my stars, you're supposed to be able to SEE the titles??? Who knew?

    And solitaire???

    Whassat????

    :)

    Fun list, Myra. Excuse me while I go shovel the walk.

    Again.

    In more layers than any person should have to put on. God bless these farmers. Just God bless them, every one.

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  79. Favorite winter time non writer activities...hmmm.

    Getting up at 4 am. Packing bag in case snowed in at work.

    Leaving house at 5:45 for work in small SUV.

    Me and one other guy on the road.

    And of course he has to ride my bumper.

    I love snowy days.

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  80. Hey Ruthie! Welcome to the party. You ARE really late today! :D

    Hugs, Linnette

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  81. Guess what? We're supposed to get some snow on Wed. night! One to three inches they say. I hope it's more! (Mary and Myra, if I could take yours away, I would. And I would keep some of it for north Alabama!)

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  82. HAH!!!!
    I'm right and MS Word is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    I will now pause and savor this moment fully.

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  83. I like a cup of hot chocolate during the winter.
    csdsksds[at]gmail[dot]com

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  84. Hey, RUTHY, about time! Do you not know how I depend on you to cater these events???? You can shovel the walk later!!

    So far the snow line is staying north of us. No telling what tomorrow will bring. At least now we have three strapping grandsons in the house we can press into duty.

    TINA, don't you just despise tailgaters? And they always get so much worse in bad driving conditions. They must either be crazy or have a death wish.

    MARY, Word is fallible. Now you know.

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  85. Mary I would be complaining two cos when you say 5 thats farenheight not celsius. I complain when its under 50 infact I complain under 55! today we are going for a balmy 78ish. although its now overcast but still I can sit in my shorts and t shirt and not be cold!
    (ok I know I am cruel but on a positive I loved Wranglers in petticoats)

    Whats happening to my country is so hard to watch. Floods and cyclone in Queensland, Flooding in other states and then bushfires in Western Australia. My area isn't suffering much except I hear the humidity has been really bad here (we are not use to it).

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  86. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraFebruary 8, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    I would say reading a great book or doing a puzzle are great ways to get away from the cold outside. Stay warm everyone!

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  87. Sorry I'm so late today.

    Myra are those all your craft books? What a collection :)

    I like watching movies and getting out when I need to recharge.

    Have a nice night.

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  88. Great post.

    I do sudoku fairly regularly and my Nook offers it. (I've tried chess, but I've yet to beat the Nook even on the easy setting.)

    I also just like reasding a good book.

    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  89. I just clicked on your book photo, Myra, and was astounded at the titles of those books! Loved the one called "How to Write and Sell Greeting Cards, Bumper Stickers, T-Shirts and Other Fun Stuff"!!!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  90. Georgia had sunshine today and warmer temperatures! But when we were iced in for three days, I cleaned closets and made soup.

    Love homemade chicken noodle, chili, turkey, vegetable, especially when the temperature is below freezing.

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  91. EVA MARIE, yes, those are ALL my books. And only 2 out of 4 or 5 full shelves! I am a book hoarder.

    Hi, WALT! I knew how to play chess about a million years ago, but it requires too much thinking and strategy for me. I'd rather figure out how to get my heroes and heroines out of complicated fixes!

    LOL, LANEY, that is one book I have never really used. I've had it for ages!

    Cleaning closets, DEBBY??? You must really have been desperate! I've got a pot of 15-bean soup simmering in the crock pot today. We had another 4-5 inches of snow since last night! Yikes!

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  92. Myra, you haven't used that lovely book? I'm shocked! (LOL)
    Perhaps you can give some of them away (like that one) to your bloggers as prizes some time. It would help make space for the books you really want to keep/read!

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