Bits ‘n bobs

Earlier this afternoon my son asked me if I knew anything about quantum computers. My response, as they say on the Internet, was O___o.

(He was asking for a paper he’s writing for his chemistry class. Something to do with finding a way to manipulate nuclei to pass one solid object through another solid object. Pretty sci-fi stuff, as he says.)

Now that he’s a high school junior, we’ve been spending a lot of time researching potential colleges for him to apply to next year. I’m thinking about creating a separate blog to document that process, but can’t come up with a good/clever title for it.

I have almost decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year, though haven’t completely ruled it out. Revisions to last year’s project (working title: The Mystery of the Bleeding Manuscript) are going very slowly. Currently I’ve set it aside – briefly – to do some background research on the Champagne fairs in the Middle Ages, for one of the interstitial scenes about the creation of the titular manuscript. I hate revising and would much rather be writing, but if I’m ever going to reach the point where I have something I can actually submit to an agent I need to stick to my guns. Thus signing up for NaNo ’10 probably isn’t in my best interests. On the other hand, it could give me next year’s revision project. If I could trust myself to be disciplined enough to write in the morning and revise in the evening, it’s do-able, but I’m not sure I can.

Alas, earwax.

I get a lot of traffic in relation to my post from last fall about woolly bear caterpillars (in fact, it brings more traffic than anything else). Back then I wrote:

According to folklore, if a woolly bear’s coat is mostly black, then there’s a bad winter coming. Judging from the ones I’ve seen around here, winter will be mild. Meteorologists seem to be saying the same thing, though their predictions are based on El Niño forecasts rather than caterpillar-spotting. Even so, after 3 successive Michigan winters, I doubt our first winter back here can seem anything but mild.

Folks, the caterpillar IS A LIE. Last winter turned out to be one of the harshest winters I have ever seen, and that’s including the three I spent in Michigan. Kevin Myatt, who blogs about the weather for the Roanoke Times, summarized it here: from the beginning of December to the beginning of March, there were over 20 separate winter weather events. Out here in the sticks it was even worse, not least because our country road was usually one of the last to get cleared (if it got cleared at all – sometimes we had to depend on the kindness of neighboring farmers and their tractors to dig us out). My son’s school was closed for about 2-3 weeks total, though not all at once, fortunately (though there was one week where he was out on Monday, went in 2 hours late on Tuesday, and was out on Thursday and Friday). For bonus fun, our central heat was non-functioning for the entire month of January – thank goodness for the woodstove and space heaters to keep us from turning into human popsicles!

Anyway, my point is this: if those caterpillars last year were predicting a mild winter, I don’t want to know if they’re calling for a harsh one this year. Actually, yes I do, because then I’m packing my bags and moving to Aruba.


About Laura

Former single parent adjusting to an empty nest, moving back in with my parents, and returning to the workforce. Student of medieval history, fandom dabbler, and perspiring writer.
This entry was posted in Family, Mill Living, NaNoWriMo, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bits ‘n bobs

  1. Anne says:

    So, I was reading Lois McMaster Bujold’s blog and it sent me to your review of CryoBurn, and that got me curious to see what other authors you enjoy and so I came here. I also have a high school junior who is studying chemistry and I spent several years in Michigan, wondering why anyone puts up with that winter stuff. (I figure there’s a trade off; maybe no roaches.)

    I enjoyed your blog, as I did your CryoBurn review. I look forward to reading more from you!

    • Laura says:

      (Whoops, I think I originally put this comment in the wrong place.)

      Hello, Anne! Glad you dropped by. What a coincidence! I enjoyed our brief sojourn in Michigan, but was glad to put it behind me – even if its wintry weather followed me south. The summers up there are much nicer, though, cooler and less humid.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my review of Cryoburn. I could hardly bring myself to put it down once I started reading, though I was sorry for that once I’d reached the end. I can only hope the rumors of the Ivan book prove true, and there’s not too long of a wait.

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