Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Heavy Cloud, No Rain

by Bethany Maines

It’s fall again. In Washington State that usually means a return of gray skies, cold weather, and a persistent morning mist that makes it feel like the your day is starting off with a little bit of a smokers cough.  This is when I burrow under a pile of blankets, shove my feet under a dog and return to writing. Unfortunately for my writing, and for the wild fires raging over my state, the weather has been unrepentantly sunny.  The last time we had measurable rainfall was July 22.  We have now passed the 1951 record of 51 days without rain.

What the heck is going on!  If I wanted blue skies I’d move to California!  My running shoes should be caked in mud by now; instead, they’re leaving a fine silt of dust between my toes at every jogging opportunity.  That’s just… it’s just not normal.  I’m having mud withdrawals.  And writing withdrawals.

During the summer I try not to worry too much about how much I am or am not writing.  After all the season is so short, I need to cram in all the outdoor activity I can.  But I’m starting to have that feeling I call The Looming Fat. 

Think of The Looming Fat as that feeling you get after having spent a month on vacation eating nothing but gloriously fatty foods, and then you return home.  And you know the fat’s there, but as long as you don’t step on the scale you can pretend the fat hasn’t settled into a permanent home on your rear end. But still the fat looms behind the door and prepares to jump out at you when you least expect it – like when you try on a pair of slacks for the first time before going back to work. 

Only in this case, it’s the Looming Brain Fat.  Having spent most of the summer watching the Olympics and reading “trashy” (aka fun) novels my writing muscles may have developed a little bit of spare tire.  And instead of settling down, like they should, and plotting out a new novel, they seem to be requesting more trashy novels and continuing episodes of Grimm.  “This is not productive!” I yell at them.  They give me the stink eye and tell me to come back when it’s cold out. 

The good news is that Friday’s forecast says, “chance of rain.”  Make that a “chance of writing” and maybe I’ll make it to winter.

Bethany Maines is the author of Bulletproof Mascara, Compact With the Devil and Supporting the Girls.  Catch up with her at or check out the new Carrie Mae youtube video.


  1. This is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand

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  2. Bethany, I hear you. After giving workshops and going to conferences, it's time for me to buckle down to write the next book, and my own brain is digging its feet into the sand and having to be dragged inside like a recalcitrant child. *sigh* Time for the taskmaster whip.

  3. I really liked your post. Of course, I live on the california coast so sunshine is at a premium here. I'm pretty cold most of the time.