If we were having coffee, we’d be at my house because I’m on a tight budget and rigorously following my own 10 Tips To Survive The Starving Artist Lifestyle. That means not buying a $3 cup and instead making a whole pot for 25 cents. You can either partake in tea (I have English Breakfast, Earl Gray, green, chai, rooibos – whatever you want!) or bring over your French Press and make some coffee. Then we’ll settle onto the couch with our steaming mugs as the snow falls outside.
Because we’re in Canada, we’ll talk about the weather. That’s just what we do. It’s February and this is the month that everyone starts getting super sick of winter. In November, December and January we’re good sports about the cold and snow and ice. But come February we’ve had it! Personally, I’m tired of suiting up in boots, scarves, mitts, and snow pants, and this week was particularly bad for cycling – a foot and a half of fresh snow Monday night combined with the fact that Toronto rarely ploughs the few bike lanes we have, and it was a treacherous ride to gymnastics. You shudder, incredulous that I ride a bicycle year-round. I shrug – it’s better than waiting for the streetcar in the freezing cold. At least on my bike I’m creating body heat! Plus, cycling is much cheaper than driving a car or taking transit. As a starving artist, I must choose the most inexpensive option. I just wish the car drivers would give me more space on the narrowed, snow-covered roads. Better yet would be if the city built properly separated bike lanes that they actually ploughed, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about cars sideswiping me.
This leads to a discussion on city politics, then world issues, then my most recent novel project which is inspired by the crap we humans do to each other. I tell you the story is coming along faster than any of my other ideas, proof that I must be getting better at this writing thing. I came up with the concept in November, completed a thrice-revised beat sheet by January, and was all ready to start the scene outline in February until I followed my own advice and did a Story Litmus Test (Hook, Theme + End) and discovered my Hook could be stronger. But when I created a better hook, it changed the whole plot! So, in an effort not to over-revise (blogged about that bad habit here), I set aside the project and returned to working on my mystery thriller Psycho Smart. I find alternating between projects really helps me detach from a story and see it with fresh eyes, a perspective I need to spot what I should fix and what I should leave as is. The only problem is that this is messing with my Deadline Schedule, but I’ve adjusted accordingly and moved on.
What about you? What are you working on this month? Any plans to escape the cold and go south?
After we’ve reminisced about beaches and vacations and everything else, it’s time for you to venture back into Toronto’s winter wonderland. I send you on your way with a hug and a travel mug of hot tea to keep you warm while you wait for the streetcar.
If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out her hashtag: #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.