Waiting for the World to Melt: Snowpocalypse in the NW = Impromptu Writing Retreat

So... after calling Cliff Mass our local (and probably best) meteorologist, "Cliff Mass Hysteria" because everyone in the Northwest was freaking out about the upcoming snowstorm, I realize, I underestimated the amount of snow we would get and how long many of us would be stuck in our homes.


Seattle is easy to make fun of because of how we react to the snow (I mean, I've been making fun of us all week), but I saw this visual on Twitter (I wish I knew who made it) and it kind of explains why snow shuts down the region--

We have a ton of hills and microclimates. We aren't prepared for any of this. I haven't gotten mail since last Friday. There have been no deliveries in my neighborhood of any kind--FedEx, Amazon, UPS. My Blue Apron order is stuck in Oregon. And I'm working from home. 

Now, if I were a normal person, all this lack of connection and the ability to leave my house may wear me down. But I am not your normal person, I am a poet, so for me, this snowstorm meant I was just given empty days to work on my poems and manuscript.

To me, this week has felt like a writing retreat. Since Friday I have woken up and read or revised my manuscript. I have lived in lounge pants and thermal shirts. I have napped when I wanted and snacked my way through the day. I took a few walks but mostly, moved around the house thinking about titles for my manuscript, making notes in journals, and sitting down with my printed copy of my manuscript and making notes through it.

Today and yesterday, because we pretty much knew we weren't going to make it to work, I did Two Sylvias tasks, such as design a book cover and write some prompts for our April NaPoWriMo event. I ate chili and for dessert had dark chocolate chips and peanut butter on a spoon--ah yes, my glamorous life.

But here's the thing, how often does the world grant us time?

I'm sorry Seattle, it's going to snow hard and you are all going to have stop what you're doing and stay home. You just can't leave the house, most of us can't. So enjoy. Read. Write. Do all the things you say you never have enough time to do. Go for a walk, it's gorgeous out. Play a board game. Do a jigsaw puzzle. Make popcorn and watch a movie on the couch. Nap. 

I know if I had to be somewhere--catch a flight, had a family member in the hospital, etc--this would be a different story. But my life is basically portable right now. We planned to work from home if there was snow, we are. I have enough food to last me another week--I mean, right before the snow started I stopped by my mum's and she gave me 12 cans of tuna fish, I kind of feel set for anything.

And while my emergency preparation skills leave much to be desired (I was the one who bought pistachios, potatoes, and swiss cheese for the big snow event and not much else--though Friday morning after seeing a few snowflakes and thinking--um, I may be screwed-- I did drive up and buy 25 logs for our woodstove "just in case"), I realize, I am actually quite happy at home working on poems. 

And my auto insurance deductible isn't worth me trying to drive somewhere right now. So I'm settled in with my stash of pistachios and yesterday we found those gold chocolate coins someone had put in my stocking in December in the pantry and I thought--it's a late Christmas miracle!

So yeah, that's my update. I'm still here. I'm writing and waiting for this to pass. But otherwise, happy and revising. Otherwise, waiting for the world to melt. 

~ Kells