It’s nippy out there.

The air temp was up to a balmy -15 °F when I took my walk today. That’s before wind chill. The wind chill has been at “OH HELL NO” since last night. -15 marked the high point between -24 last night, and -23 projected for tonight. -50 wind chill anyone?

Yes, I went outside in that kind of cold. Yes, on purpose. Yes, without a job location I had to travel to reach, or a pet who needs walking, or any other external justification.

Why? Why not? Being able to do things like stroll around in the killing cold by choice remind me how lucky and rich I am, relatively speaking, and how grateful I am for so much in my life.

Also, if I don’t get my body moving and keep moving at a steady pace for at least 30 min a day, I hurt, but I could do enough walking indoors to cope. Not easily, and going around and around inside the house is boring as hell, but hey. I have done it.

But given the choice between boring laps and going out into the deep freeze? No contest.

It was a fantastic hike and meditative too. I spent the time focusing on my breathing rhythm, maintaining awareness of my body’s position, location, and surroundings (the whole world changes in incredible, beautiful ways when it’s super-cold)

..at least, that’s what I was doing when I wasn’t concentrating on ways to keep my glasses from frosting over.

I’d been out about a half-mile when I realized why I was enjoying myself so much. Dealing with weather like this is a lot like swimming. You’re deliberately exposing your body to a medium that will kill you if you’re immersed in it too long, but with the right gear, training, and effort, the experience can bring you a satisfying thrill.

When it comes to gear, I have tons. Decades worth. I ruthlessly toss or donate clothes that wear out/don’t get worn, but cold weather kit keeps well. And scarves? Well. Textiles are my dragon hoard.

My winter coat is literally designed for Antarctica– it came from someone who went on a cruise trip with a company that uses old Russian icebreakers. It has a patch on it and everything.

My closet is packed with thick, plushy hoodies & warm socks and so on. I am spoiled for choice.  I not only have sleek, soft long underwear comfort-rated to sub-zero, I have fleecy versions I can layer over it and under my outerwear.

Hats? Ear protection? insulated gloves with mitten covers? Scarves and ear bands to keep everything but the eyes safe from wind chill? YUP.

And boots with thick soles to keep my toesies in a dry, temperature-controlled environment are my year-round standard.

Basically, I was all set for today.  Note, please, none of my stuff is new. A purple wool scarf my friend Jody found for me and the sparkly red scarf gifted to me by my other friend Tess are the  youngest pieces in the ensemble. Some of the long underwear is old enough to drive, and I think the coat is old enough to vote.

But it’s all good gear, so when I wrap up to go out in the killing cold, I am covered top to toe in cuddlesome coziness and feel super-rich and thankful for every protective piece.

I’ve had training too. Nothing rigorous, just enough to make me comfortable navigating a populated neighborhood.  There were many lessons in cold weather survival in my youth, plus I’ve done a lot of independent study since then. (hello, I’m a writer)  Knowing when to stop is a key skill, and listening to my body saying “enough!” is a thing I have learned well.

Once I find some goggles (frosty eyeglasses are a real PITA) I will be able to easily handle hikes on days far colder than this one. Goggles have been on a vague quest list for years now. Since Polar Vortexes are likely to be a recurring issue, I think I will make a point of hunting some down before next winter.

Because it really was a lovely walk today, and I want to do more.

By the way, if anyone is wondering, no,  I wasn’t the only one out there. I wasn’t even the only person out here without a dog on a leash. I spotted one hardy soul out running, and no one was even chasing them.

Was there a point to this post? I don’t know. But we’ve reached the end of it.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

Pre-Dragoncon

Today I:

  • Flew around storm clouds to get to Atlanta. So cool to see the thunderheads up close.
  • Hauled around many heavy things & stacked them. So many things. So much stacking.
  • Posted my full con schedule, Armory & Bard’s Tower both, such as it is, on my Official Facebook Writing page. (copied here, just because.)
  • Reviewed some hotel/con survival essentials
  • Texted people. PHONED people. Yeah, that’s right.All righty. That was a looooonnnng day. Bedtime. Tomorrow, the con begins.

That schedule again:

Thursday”

Armory set-up until it’s done, then…who knows?

Friday:

  • Armory 9AM-noon (Hyatt Kennesaw)
  • Bard’s Tower 3-7PM (Vendor level 2, booth 2719)
  • Writer’s Gather @ 8PM somewhere? It’s in the app.

Saturday:

  • Bard’s Tower 10AM-noon
  • Armory 6-8PM

Sunday:

  • Armory 10AM-noon
  • Bard’s Tower 3-6:30PM
  • READING w/Broad Universe: Hyatt Techwood

Monday:
Sales in the AM, then Armory teardown, then back to wrap up with Bard’s Tower.

And then the collapse, the sleep, and the trip home. Because con.

Dragon Con 2018: Just around the corner!

Here’s where I’ll be next week on my biggest convention excursion all year.

FIRST:  Bard’s Tower is hosting 20 authors this year. I am honored to be in some fantastic company AND HAVE MY BOOKS FOR SALE. (Also free cards, bookmarks, and Unity stickers while they last.) Stop by. Meet awesome people. Buy books and get them signed, or just say hello.

  • Bard’s Tower: second floor of the America’s Mart Booth #2719
    • Friday: 3-7 PM
    • Saturday: 10-2 PM
    • Sunday: 3-6:30 PM
    • Monday: afternoon to close.

SECOND: I’m participating in the Broad Universe Rapid Reading series this year. Come hear quick snippets from books by a bunch of great authors, including my excerpt from Sharp Edge of Yesterday.

  • Sunday 7 PM in Techwood, downstairs on the Hyatt conference level

THIRD: when I’m not in those two places, I’ll mostly be in or near the Armory, where I’m pleased to share that I’ll be volunteering again for my…can it be my fourth year already? Whoa. Time flies when I’m writing books.

  • The Armory: downstairs on the Hyatt Conference level, same floor as the Motor Lobby. 

If you’re in town for the con and only know me from social media, please stop by any of these places. I would love, LOVE, LOVE to meet in person.