My writing has slowed down a lot this month, and I think it may be because it’s summer and I’m reacting like a troll.
I mean troll as in the Terry Pratchett Discworld books, where trolls are rock-based life forms who are known for being incredibly stupid, but it turns out that when they get out of their mountain habitat and face warmer weather, they slow down, which means they appear stupid. If they’re in the right place, where it’s cold enough, they can be quite intelligent. Some of the trolls who leave the mountains wear cooling helmets with fans so they can function with higher intelligence.
That’s how I feel in hot weather. We had a terrible heat wave for the past few weeks, and I’ve been barely functional. I was stuck on the same scene for a week and just couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I don’t sleep well in hot weather. I don’t think well. I have no energy. I practically collapse midway through a gentle yoga routine.
A front came through on Sunday, so for the past couple of days it was about 10 degrees cooler, and I feel like a different person. I finally got a good night’s sleep. I got that scene written. I have energy. It’s going to go back above 100 after this weekend, so I guess I’ll slow down again.
I don’t want to go through last year’s experience of a deep freeze cold snap and power outage again, but while I was worried about pipes freezing and not being able to cook warm food, I was never really physically uncomfortable. I had warm clothes and blankets and was able to stay pretty cozy. If I lost power in the summer, there would be no way to be comfortable. It would be just about impossible to cool my house with air conditioning to the level where I’m comfortable in the winter, and I wouldn’t be able to afford the power bills if I did. Plus, air conditioning is different from cool weather, just as I would suffocate if I heated my house in winter to the level that’s semi-comfortable for me in the summer.
It seems that either I need to find one of those cooling helmets or I need to get to the mountains to cool off. Alas, it’s at least a two-day drive to get to anywhere that might be cooler, and with current gas prices and airline meltdowns, I’m not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. I’ll just be sitting surrounded by fans, with a damp towel around my neck, hoping that cools me off enough so I can think.
I know that the obvious solution, longer-term, would be to move to a place that suits me better instead of being miserable for half the year, but that’s easier said than done. If I can’t even travel for a vacation right now, travel to scope out a new place and find housing is also out of the question, and then there’s the cost of housing and moving, which is way out of my budget. I bought my current house long ago and wouldn’t be able to afford to buy it now, but even if I sold it I couldn’t afford much of anything at today’s prices. I am doing some preliminary research, though, and am looking at possibilities, even if it means having to get a real job.
In the meantime, I’m going to have to take advantage of the relative cool while we have it and get as much work done as possible while I have any brainpower. And then this weekend it gets miserably hot again.