I was warned that Arcata, the town where I’m planning on spending the next few months, was a chilly, gray, foggy sorta place. I’m not sure any level of warning would actually have prepared me, though. In defense of my weather shock, my weather app keeps sending me warnings. Severe Weather Advisory! Area Flood Watch! Flooding rain will cause hazardous travel. Hard Freeze Warning in effect. Etc. Nine warnings over the past few days, which I think probably means that this weather is not normal, despite the cold gray reputation.

As a result, my new favorite possession is my eggplant coat, which S refers to as my “puffy.” I call it an eggplant coat because I think it makes me look like a plump eggplant, but you know what? That is just fine. I am perfectly willing to look like a plump eggplant. I’ve become so attached to this coat that I start to feel anxious when it’s out of my sight.

Yesterday, I ventured out of the van exactly twice, both times to walk Zelda, both times in the pouring rain, because it really wasn’t possible to just wait for the rain to stop. Or rather I did wait for the rain to stop and finally gave up. Fortunately, I quite like hanging out in my tiny home listening to the rain. Poor Z does not like the way I’ve been walking her, though, because I’ve been carrying her from the van to the street and back again. She thinks it’s undignified and wiggles to get down, but I think muddy dog footprints all over my beds can only happen once in a while, not twice a day, many days in a row.

In more fun news, S took me roller-skating on Saturday night. I’ve never really been a roller-skater, although I ice-skated some as a kid. I wobbled a lot and never got so comfortable that it felt like flying, the way it looked for some skaters, but I had fun. The best part was watching the other skaters, though. Roller skaters tend to crouch and lean forward, but there were a couple people skating who were probably originally ice skaters: they had great posture and a totally different way of moving. If the roller skaters looked like they were flying, the ice skaters (on roller skates) looked like they were floating. I don’t know which I’d rather do, float or fly, but it did make me want to try ice-skating again.

On the writing front, I’ve been flailing. I joined a FB group for writers of Humboldt County, hoping I might find some real-world writing partners here, to help keep me accountable and maybe meet up with me at a cafe now and again to help my motivation. I didn’t go to their Sunday meeting, though, because it was pouring. Maybe next week. Meanwhile, I added a new note to my white board: Trust the reader. I think part of why I’m flailing in Fen is that I feel like I need to explain things that you will have forgotten and remind you of things that have already gone by and anytime a writer has to “explain”, a story is stuck. Maybe Fen 2 is going to have to start with a note that says “reread the previous book” but one of my other white board notes says, “skip the boring parts, the reader will thank you,” and I am going to try very hard this week to follow that advice. Last week, I was stuck in a boring part and got nowhere, so this week I’m just going to glide right over it. Or try, anyway. I might fall flat on my face. But if I do, I will get up, dust myself off, and think about Badonald’s for later. Or maybe a nap.

Zelda on the beach
Before the rain began, we had one quick trip to the beach. Z would have stayed and played, but it was COLD! We saw the ocean, took a picture, then headed back to the warmth of the car.