I was chatting with my dad this weekend and he was asking me questions about Arcata, none of which I knew the answers to. Population? Um… College enrollment numbers? Um… Industries? Um…

After I hung up, I went to wikipedia and read about Arcata for a little while, so I now know the population is somewhere around 17,000, about half of which is related to the university in one way or another, and that the “industry” is, in fact, the university. I also know that the average high temperature — all year long! — is in the 50s or 60s. All year long!

In September, which is the hottest month of the year here, the high temperature will be 62. And in January, the coldest month of the year, it will be 53. Ironically, that’s almost perfect weather for living in a van. On the other hand, with the low of 42 in January, I’d probably be quite happy to be in my cozy tiny house. (Except that I’m still planning on being back in Florida by then.)

Tank and Zelda, uncertainly sharing space on my bed.

Tank would be quite happy to be in my cozy tiny house, too, but he is slowly adapting to his own house. Okay, so the picture doesn’t show that, but I’ve caught him curled up in his own house at least a few times. And I’ve relented and let him into my house only when the rain was really pouring down. I’m not sure he’s figured out what the secret is, but at least he’s not trying to run in every time I open the door.

Now that I’m finally mostly done with house projects, I’m trying to get back to my writing projects. It hasn’t been easy. I want to write fun and joyful books, the kind of thing that you finish with a happy sigh, with maybe a chuckle of two of delight along the way, but every time I try to give my brain room to create, it falls into terrible spirals of self-loathing. In our culture’s stories, if your child rejects you, you must be a really horrible person. Even if you can turn it around and say, well, a child who rejects the mother who loved him is probably a horrible person, then you’ve raised a horrible person and that’s just as bad. Either way, horrible all around.

It’s not very conducive to writing joy, so I’m thinking I should probably write horror for a while. Something with lots of very gruesome murders, innocent people suffering but the bad guys getting theirs in the end. It feels like it might be very satisfying to commit lots of virtual murders. I suppose the alternative might be to play lots of video games for a while, but writing out my hurt and anger would be cheaper. And possibly more productive. Not emotionally productive — I told a friend yesterday that I didn’t see the point in therapy right now, because I saw no hope for change: my sense of betrayal is so deep that I don’t see how I ever recover from it. But there’s obviously a market for books with gruesome murders — a much bigger market, in fact, than that for books that try to delight. That said, I’m really tired of living in my head. I might need to look for more house projects to do instead.