How to Have a Snow Day (Parts I, II, III, and, apparently, IV)

-Be teacher during midterm exam week.

-Receive expected text cancelling Friday while watching movie with roommate.

-Rejoice.

-Relax.

 

Part I: Friday

-Sleep in.

-Smile at snow outside of window.

-Consider actually enjoying snow for once.

-Begin to layer winter clothing.

-Discover heavy boots are MIA.

-Continue to layer winter clothing to make up for deficit of decent boots.

-Gather phone, keys, phone charger, glasses, and similarly layered roommate.

-Realize am probably wearing enough clothing and equipment to go into battle as snow warrior.

-Feel invincible.

-Venture into white, sleety world.

-Climb (small) snowy mountains.

-Arrive at parents’ house.

-Make too-salty cookies.

-Read Wall Street Journal weekend section.

-Revel in Wall Street Journal weekend section.

-Play seven games of Solitaire on floor by wood stove.

-Win only one (by dishonest means).

-Discover heavy boots in parents’ upstairs closet.

-Put on heavy boots and consider possibility of actually becoming snow warrior.

-Ask very nice father for ride home.

-Once home, tromp across street to neighbor-friends’.

-Eat curry.

-Discuss unfortunate bodily functions as well as city council.

-Watch X-Files on squished couch and cover eyes to protect self from aliens.

-Laugh with roommate at people who have cabin fever.

-Make more hot chocolate mix.

 

Part II: Saturday

-Take hot bath.

-Talk to sister on other side of ocean.

-Marvel at ability to speak to sister on other side of ocean.

-Marvel at possibility of sister’s holiday to Netherlands.

-Enjoy marvelling.

-Layer items of winter clothing.

-Put on heavy boots.

-Rejoice in new freedom endowed by heavy boots and also own potential as snow warrior.

-March out alone toward local grocery store to buy supplies for tomato soup and grilled cheese.

-Walk in middle of street because if not now when.

-Become very warm from snow-aerobics (i.e. walking).

-Desperately remove items of winter clothing.

-Wisely decide against removing boots.

-Encounter happy walking couples, happy playing children, happy bundled houses, and angry driver who reproachfully waves self out of road.

-Decide snow turns entire world into Mayberry.

-Become caught up in joy and self-revelation.

-Decide to write blog entry about new person snow has made self to be.

-Arrive home full of good will and with groceries.

-Do yoga to calm rapidity of beating heart from snow-related epiphanies.

-Make pasta (not tomato soup and grilled cheese).

-Listen to Hamilton at behest of sister.

-Stare glowy eyed at computer for hours reading lyrics.

-Imagine Lin-Manuel Miranda writing brilliant things.

-Imagine self writing brilliant things.

-Consider writing blog entry.

-Consider doing laundry.

-Instead, watch angsty indie love movie in dark room.

-Make not-as-salty cookies.

-Learn to play Dominion.

-Lose.

 

Part III: Sunday

-Take too-cold bath.

-Walk to parents’ house.

-Play Scrabble and beat parents (though not brother).

-Ignore fact that parents had Very Bad tiles.

-Eat blueberry coffee cake.

-Play Trivial Pursuit.

-Lose.

-Eat pasta.

-Discover afternoon church is cancelled.

-Read Bible and sing hymns with family instead.

-Consider possibility of Monday school cancellation.

-Dismiss possibility as heresy.

-Walk to local coffee shop to meet roommate.

-Carry on long conversation with roommate and brother mocking others’ inability to drive in snow.

-Play Dominion again.

-Lose again.

-Clean off car and successfully run short errand in it.

-Feel smug and also relieved about driving ability.

-Receive woeful text cancelling Monday.

-Imagine students at home stewing in pots of own exam stress.

-Imagine self, on distant-future-day-when-school-resumes, being doused with said exam stress.

-Stew in pot of future-stress-related stress.

-Grieve.

-Decide no one in weather-weary world wants to read snow-related blog entry.

-Realize self does not want to write said blog entry because self never wants to write lately anyway.

-Answer emails like a grump.

-Eat dinner cooked by nice roommate who makes food pretty.

-Decide even weather-weary world should not miss out on extreme cleverness and wit.

-Begin to draft cleverness and wit.

 

Part IV: Monday

-Wake up to sound of roommate heading off to work.

-Feel wistful.

-Watch Downton.

-Make make ambitiously grocery list including four kinds of cheese.

-Put on clothes and also hat and snow warrior boots.

-Venture.

-Discover main roads are clearer than clear.

-Wish main roads were not clearer than clear so would have excuse to avoid big stores full of tired people and school-aged children.

-Spend slightly too much money on food, mostly unnecessary but delicious prosciutto.

-Arrive home in relief.

-Make self hot chocolate as reward for conquering real world as snow warrior.

-Consider the remote possibility of snow day Part V.

-Dismiss potential Part V as heresy.

-Receive email with school schedule for tomorrow.

-Realize snow day Part V actually is heretical and false and definitively not happening.

-Have mixed feelings.

-Smile at remaining snow outside of window.

-Consider becoming sentimental.

-Decide instead to go ahead and start dinner.

How to Write a Novel (Part I)

-Be frightened underclassman.

-Decide to write novel so that will be person worth speaking to at parties and also to change world and self.

-Excitedly produce short prologue out of thin air.

-Realize have, as usual, given main characters awful names.

-Keep names out of cussedness.

-Hope am good enough writer to become famous anyway.

-Settle in gleefully for months of planning.

-Begin with one outline-ish word document.

-Assign pretentious title from Hopkins.

-Spend summer filling awkward orange notebook with disconnected paragraphs, most written by Tolkien, not self.

-Use special pen.

-Never mention to anyone.

-Make lists of books for character (not self) to read.

-Allow word document to spawn eighteen runty chapter babies.

-Eat M&M’s.

-Eventually mention to one friend, then two, then three.

-Refer to as “my story.”

-Become overwhelmed when friends speak confidently of future B&N author cardboard cutouts.

-Feel weird.

-Search internet for pictures which look like characters.

-Discover no one looks like characters.

-Wonder if characters are too ugly or too pretty or just too fictional.

-Encouraged by crazies of NaNoWriMo, write twenty actual pages in one year.

-Hide away in princess lounge to do so, usually wearing pajama pants and fuzzy blanket as cape.

-Pretend am doing something respectable and normal like biology.

-Feel covert and important.

-Watch Mad Men to inspire self.

-Realize have given self five seventeen year old boys to write about.

-Question own decision making skills.

-Tell more people.

-Continue to shyly use word “story.”

-Have brilliant idea to do independent study!

-Realize will have to begin saying word “novel” for clarity.

-Use “novel” in conversation, usually whispering and doing awkward side-eye to gage reaction.

-Promise to put new friends in as characters “just crossing the street or something.”

-Regret decision.

-Write syllabus for following semester, brazenly assigning self one hundred whole pages.

-Become horrified by others’ unconditional confidence in abilities.

-Decide everyone is possibly mentally deficient (including self, for trying.)

-While home for summer, read Thomas Wolfe for inspiration.

-Hate Thomas Wolfe.

-Continue to read Thomas Wolfe.

-Write another actual chapter.

-Regret hundred-page decision.

-Consider sending pathetic email to independent study professor.

-Give chapters to mother.

-Wait.

-Re-read Mennyms books and weep.

-Receive chapters back from mother, covered in red and “don’t be discouraged.”

-Take twelve deep breaths.

-Revise some.

-In first independent study meeting, when professor cheerfully asks about current progress, begin crying.

-Realize am safe from professor ever asking same question again.

-Continue to be terrified.

-Discover deadlines excellent for forcing courage.

-Create whole bookmarks folder of encouragement websites for writing.

-Become surprised by usefulness of internet.

-Put one word after another.

-Become suspicious when professor unequivocally likes new chapters.

-Wonder nervously if professor actually knows about novels.

-Begin to adjust to own use of word “novel.”

-Struggle, however, to adjust to friends’ use of word “book.”

-Become surprised by continual question, “What’s it about, or can I know?”

-Wonder if world, including own English professor’s wife, believe am hording magical personal secrets.

-Become embarrassed by own inability to summarize plot.

-Wish plot was full of magical personal secrets.

-Tell sassy close friend entire plot in detail.

-Allow friend to give character fatal illness.

-Refuse to allow friend to change first name of main protagonist.

-Become less afraid.

-Turn in self-assigned pages approximately 30 hours late on regular basis.

-Decide sleep is good reward for writing.

-Discover if keep self up writing too long, head will refuse to stop writing, even in bed.

-Decide writing will have to be its own reward.

-Send uncomfortable chapter to friend to avoid asking questions of delightfully awkward professor.

-Become pleased with own cleverness.

-Begin writing acknowledgements page.

-Go, go, go.

-Insert unplanned chapter in act of great daring.

-Decide to use as senior honor’s project so will never have to let go of baby.

-Become sloppy.

-Consolidate chapters into document called “A Draft for Word Count and Ego.”

-Long for revision.

-Dream about revision.

-Wish could time travel to next semester when am revising.

-Become alarmed by professor’s comments about narrative point of view.

-Wonder if POV is even important.

-Wonder what POV even is.

-Become reckless.

-Send apologetic late night emails to professor for incoherence of narrative.

-Drink Earl Grey.

-Cry nonsensically loud tears of joy.

-Nearly finish draft before bed.

-Wake up in elation.

-Actually finish draft!

-Post well-planned facebook status.

-Perform deeply private happy dance.

-Raise ire of entire TLC by printing 144 pages immediately before classtime.

-Use massive stapler.

-Carry around printed draft like newborn child.

-Become terrified by others’ eagerness to hold it.

-Email draft to family. (Change “Ego” to “Encouragement.”)

-Sit in bath planning eradication and merging of certain minor characters.

-Refuse to type or write single word in interest of “letting story breathe.”

-Read portions of draft aloud to self while roommate is away.

-Stab maliciously at embarrassing portions with finger.

-Send impossibly patient independent study professor messy thank you note.

-Consider studying for finals.

-Consider beginning new project.

-Continue instead to mentally smother current project with affection and abuse.

(TO BE CONTINUED)