Friday, November 05, 2010

Cold and writing do not mix

Let’s face it. I am strictly a sub-tropical variety.

I thrive under conditions with balmy weather, with temps hovering around the 85 degree mark, clear skies, white puffy clouds, and the gentlest warm breeze (I don’t like drafts at ALL.)

Any hotter, and I can tolerate it. Not happily, but I can tolerate it.

Any colder? Forget it. My feet turn into size 4 foot-shaped ice blocks. Forget that old wives tale about keeping warm if you keep your head covered. Me? I must have warm feet to feel any smidge of metabolic activity.

And if it’s below the mid 50s, with a gray sky and a chill wind? I start exhibiting definite signs of hypothermia.

My intolerance to cold has generated all sorts of responses over the years, from the mild eye-roll to the gnashing of teeth as my own teeth chattering disturbs someone in their peaceful enjoyment of the thermostat set on 68 degrees in the summer time. In my previous dayjob, I always took a big ugly fleece jacket that I zipped over whatever suit blazer I was wearing. The hideous thing evoked all sorts of teasing, as I wore it year-round: indoor climes of hot-natured office staff generally hover in the mid to upper 60s.

The Husband and The Kiddo are both hot-natured, and I have learned how to wrap up just short of looking like a mummy in order to survive their ceiling fans and preferred chilly temps.

When it comes to writing, it’s almost impossible to think creatively while one is shaking uncontrollably. So as I wrote the book that wound up being my first sale, I would wrap up in warm fuzzy socks and a big old jacket that The Sister had accidentally left at my house.

But then my computer became so old that I couldn’t upgrade the browser any more, and I moved operations to my laptop and my bedroom. There, ensconced in layers of warm fluffy blankets, I wrote in comfort. Not so for The Husband, as the light from the screen kept him awake.

So I cleaned out the office of all the detritus that had landed there upon my abandonment, and it’s a great place to write. Except for my cold feet. And my cold body.

I’m now in the midst of plotting the stealthy retrieval of the aforementioned big old jacket from The Sister’s house, because it was warm enough to thaw my brain, but light enough in weight to allow me more freedom of movement than a mummy, and of course, it also led to a sale. The combo of warmth and good luck is hard to beat!


Linda G. said...

My DD recently took up knitting (she taught herself by watching how-to videos on the internet). One of the first things she made was a set of fingerless mittens (only your fingers & thumb are uncovered when you wear them), so she can type while keeping her hands warm. Sounds like something you might want to consider. ;)

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

I am with you completely! I moved to FL to be warm. SB, having been born here, is very upset today to be wearing both long sleeves AND socks! Oh, the horror! ;)

Jamie D. said...

I can't think (or write) when I'm cold either...and I live in MT, so sometimes getting warm isn't an easy task. I have a space heater under my desk at work for the purpose of keeping my feet warm (year round), and at home we keep the house at least 72 degrees (sometimes warmer). Heat is something I am absolutely willing to pay for, even if it means scrimping on something else. ;-)

I've been looking for a nice pair of fingerless gloves...I don't know how anyone can type with cold hands!

Tawna Fenske said...

I'm with Jamie D! I have a little space heater under my desk, and I guzzle lots of warm tea while writing.


Anonymous said...

I used to feel the same. In one apartment I lived in, I had no control over the temperature and the building's a/c only had cold air, and it was on even in the winter. I was not motivated to write when I was shivering.

I'm glad I moved out, because now I can turn the heat on. I'm in Florida, but it does get chilly.