The weather has been absurd for the past few weeks. The temperature has kept close to 27-30 degrees Celsius and I do not care for it at all. On the first day of the heatwave I had an anxiety attack when walking to work. Heat and anxiety attacks and the beginning of my depression are a closely knit tangle in my mind. The last proper heatwave was in 2015 and my brain still connects those dots.
I started commuting to work from One Stone Island last week because even though I got a little more used to the heat, the poor cat shouldn’t have to endure it if not necessary. It’s only a short row and a 12 km drive to town, but compared to the three blocks I normally have from home, it’s a long way.
I’ve had evening shifts for most of the week, so what I’ve done is wake up in my own time, get up, make tea (despite the heat), write in my diary, read a bit, edit one chapter of my manuscript, go for a swim or a float in the cool sea water and then leave for work.
Yesterday the heat was supposed to break for a few days and it did rain a bit. Today has been cloudy and windy and the current 15-17C feels chilly now though it’s well within our normal summer temperatures. I’ve outdone myself today and edited three chapters of text. I now only have one chapter left, but I’m probably leaving that for tomorrow.
I’m enjoying the cool air and a pot of mint infusion on the terrace over the water. The cat is lying on the chair next to me and I’m pretty pleased with life at the moment. The edit is soon finished (it needs a few more touches besides the last chapter) and I’m pleased how it has turned out. It’s always as strange to read my own text and enjoy it so much. There are days when I’m convinced it’s the worst tripe ever typed, but tonight is not one of those moments. Tonight I feel hopeful and eager to share my characters with other people.
I had a revelation lately. I was at work at the gardening section and the gardener with whom I’ve become friends was telling me about the fruit trees on sale. One of the decorative apple trees is called the same as one of my characters (and a blueberry bush is actually called the same as my protagonist!). The name is actually his vocation and a very generic Finnish word, but still it felt like someone was talking about one of my very dearest friends. I’d had a lousy few days because of the heat and thinking my text was awful and there was so much to do and I’d never finish and I’d never get published and so on. But at that moment, with the apple tree, I realised that I could never leave my characters hanging. I love them and I want other people to know and love them too. It’s like finding new friends that you are certain will get along with your old friends and you can’t wait to introduce them.
The book I mentioned in my last post has given me the tools to combat my Resistance. Maiju is still a pretty tough boss, but the employee Maiju is progressing well, so she can be allowed such luxuries as a new crochet project and the possibility of a weekend free of writing after this version is done. But if I’m looking for some external force, some Spirit of Creativity, a Muse or some such thing, I have created it in my own characters.
I’m now going to wrap my fingers around a warm cup and enjoy the chilly breeze. Tomorrow’s supposed to be 29C again…