Losing Sunlight

The sun is shining somewhere…

At this time of year in Seattle, the sun sets around 4:30 pm. I never thought I’d experience that. In Florida, there’s only two hours difference in the day length from summer to winter. So this radical change feels really, really weird to me.

I never realized how much sunlight affects me on so many levels. I seem to go into a low energy mode the minute darkness sets in. I’m less productive, less upbeat. The sky seems closer to the ground somehow. The air feels more dense and harder to pass through. Everything takes more strength.

I also feel as though I’m running late all the time. Usually I have my daily blog written each day before dark. Now… not so much. Even though I haven’t changed my routine, this feeling makes me anxious.

If I could figure out how the bills would get paid, I swear I’d hibernate like a bear from November through February. Burrow into a mound of blankets and just sleep. If it weren’t for my SAD light, I’d probably cease to function entirely.

But then I’d miss cuddling in front of the fire, and decorating the Christmas tree, and wearing fuzzy boots and diving into a nice hot bowl of Pho. So I guess I’ll just have to make the effort. Life does go on, and the sun is shining somewhere, after all.

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Hey! Look what I wrote! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5


When I’ve Made My Point, I Stop.

I never really thought about the length of my blog entries until I put 120 of them into my first book, A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude. Then suddenly it became an issue because I noticed that some entries would fill a page and then continue on to the next page for merely one or two lines. That’s not very aesthetically pleasing.

So, should I “pad” those particular entries to make them longer, or shorten them by a few lines? When I considered either option I had an almost visceral reaction. It felt wrong to me in the same way it feels wrong when people pierce their infants’ ears. It felt like a violation.

I’ve always had a strong sense of when I’m saying too much or not enough. When I’ve made my point, I stop. Because of this, I’ve always chafed at writing assignments that have to be a minimum of, for example, 1,000 words. What if I’ve produced writing perfection at word 978? What then? Does it have less value for lack of 22 words? I absolutely hate stuffing fluff in between what I consider to be valid points just so I can satisfy some teacher’s sense of equity.

It also annoys me when a writer underestimates the intelligence of his or her readers. You don’t have to beat people over the head with your message. Just put it out there, clearly and concisely. They’ll either get it or they won’t.

Just as a good cook can sense the temperature of a steak without having to slice it open, I’ve always been able to rely on my instincts regarding getting my message across. So yeah, some of my blog entries will be a lot shorter than others. State your case and then move on. That’s my philosophy.