the hunker down

Thanks to everyone who commented with suggestions for the When It Happens movie casting! I’ll be forwarding all of your ideas to my agent. It will most likely be a really long time before I have any definite movie news to tell you, as these things tend to take way longer than we’d like. But as soon as I have some news to share, you will read it here first!

Speaking of When It Happens, do you remember how Tobey and Sara played Dots? Well, Dots is a real game that the boy who inspired Tobey’s character showed me how to play when we were seniors. In case you were wondering if I ever use real-life experiences in my books, I absolutely do and Dots is one of them. Back then, we had to make our own Dots boards by taking regular notebook paper and filling the page with a dot grid. Those took forever. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that Rhodia has a new Dot Pad!

Rhodia Dot Pad

It’s totally ready to play Dots! Man, I could have really used one of these 20 years ago.

Little things like this make me happy. Because I am all about the little things. Especially when it gets dark ridiculously early. Seriously, it’s like totally dark out and it’s not even 4:30 yet.

So not cool.

It’s official. The Hunker Down has begun. This is the time of year when daylight hours are the shortest. Lots of people think that daylight hours keep getting shorter throughout the winter. False. We get the least amount of daylight on the winter solstice, which is December 21 this year. After December 21, daylight hours start increasing by about two minutes a day (until June 21). This is good news! It may be butt fricking cold in February, but hey, at least we have more daylight. The Hunker Down is the best time to stay inside. It’s dark and cold out. There’s no quality fruit available. No one can come out to play. That’s why the Hunker Down is the perfect time to write a new book! I’ll be working on book six for the next three months. If you also have writing goals, the Hunker Down welcomes you.

Did 2010 zoom by or what? With only 1.5 months to go, I’m flabbergasted. It seems like just yesterday I was hanging on the edge of 2009 and having good feelings about 2010. I made a secret pact last December. I know this might seem crazy, but I don’t care. My pact was…okay, announcing my pact may jinx it, but I am taking the risk. My pact was that I would not get sick in 2010. I was getting all these annoying colds last year and was just really sick of getting sick. I’m like the worst sick person ever. I am whiny. I am demanding. And I can never get comfortable. I also refuse to do any work when I’m sick. You know those people who manage to keep doing everything when they’re sick? Yeah, I’m the total opposite. I pretty much just read and sleep the whole time. And complain about how sick I am.

So I thought, Hey, you know what would be fun? To not get sick in 2010! Irrational as it was, I was determined to reach this goal. It’s actually working – 2010 has been free of sick. How am I doing it? A few new routines have helped. I always wash my hands right when I come home. I use my own pen to sign receipts in stores. I guess I’m just being more careful about what I touch. I’m sure I’ll go back to being less obsessive in 2011 and will immediately get smacked down by a horrible cold. But at least I’ll have my new Dot Pad, ready and waiting to play Dots. Then I’ll just need to find someone who feels like playing Dots with a complaining sick person…

For now, though, I have begun the Hunker Down. Let prime writing time begin!

10 thoughts on “the hunker down

  1. Cool!
    I love Dots…especially when we’re waiting for the waiter to bring our food at some form of a restaurant…entertainment time! WOO 🙂

    • I think it’s awesome that you love doing winter things. I can imagine that skiing and snowboarding and just being outside without feeling cold would be lots of fun. All I really know how to do is snowshoe. I like two hours of snowshoeing and then spending the rest of the day inside where it’s warm, playing board games and making S’mores 🙂

  2. I can’t imagine that a perpetually-sunshiny person like yourself gets hammered by the darkness of winter’s onset, but ‘when it happens’, here are three tips I swear by:
    1. get a faceful of sunshine everyday for at least ~ 30 mins: enough to convert the Vit D precursor in your body to the D you need.
    2. limes are plentiful and cheap: squeeze two whole ones once a day, mix with anything else, and it is highly unlikely you will get sick.
    3. my solution to never getting enough good dark green veg’s is to head to Mamouns (McDougal, S of NYU Law) for a falafel WITH tabouli salad) plus a few dashes of their legendary hot sauce. The parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice/olive oil in the tabouli is a B-Vit blast. Because their hot sauce is very freshly made, the capsaisin conc (natural vasodilator in peppers) is high, and within ~ 5 secs, your chest will be clear. Twice a week, all winter long: trust me.

    • I didn’t know that limes were so powerful. Since I pretty much only drink water at home, sometimes I’ll squeeze limes into my water when I get bored. Now I have a reason to squeeze even more. Thanks for the tips!

  3. To clarify: I don’t know if capsaicin (in hot sauce) is a vasodilator, but it is a bronchodilator. Meaning, if you find yourself with a cold or flu with congestion, this stuff will clear your lungs instantly, better than anything you can get over the counter: it has to be experienced to be believed.

  4. spring on cape cod
    On cape cod, in the spring you have the weirdest weather. like today, you know it’s the first day of spring right? well, today it was snowing. lol no one could believe it. Usually it’s on and off, but i like spring because it’s a reminder that summer is coming. 🙂


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