Ancient Norwegian Winter

I live in the thriving small-town metropolis of Nampa, Idaho.

In past winters, I have enjoyed the Vietnamese food of our lovely downtown area, the wonderful coffee at the Flying M Coffee Garage, and the thousand other little shops that make me feel like I might accidentally find something magical that got left in someone’s attic somehow. It’s fun to go outside, brave the cold, and live your life in that kind of winter.

This winter we are currently experiencing frost giants, ice demons, and various other cold-related magical beings of ill-intent. I’m pretty sure I saw Odin the other day, standing in the middle of a field, putting out fires and causing cars to slide off the road with nothing but the power of his single glaring eye. In this kind of winter, you better watch out and be careful.

Typically, the winter here is a few inches of snow, some frigid cold and a couple of dead car batteries. Usually the snow is gone the next day when the snow turns to rain and it turns out your battery just needed to be charged.

This winter, though? This winter I’m literally going to buy a pick-axe so I can brake up the ice that the plow truck deposited at the end of my driveway so it stops trying to tear off the muffler. I have a pick-axe already, of course, but I think I may have left it leaning up against my shed before the first snow came and now I can’t find where it is. Imagine going to your local grocery store not only to find all the bottled water has already been bought but that there’s not so much as a single liter of propane anywhere to be found. (Of course, I already had a water container for such emergencies and a camping stove, so I was all set). That’s the kind of winter I’m in: an ancient magical Norwegian winter that is better left in myth and legend.

I recall I once likened holding a Mag-Lite in such a winter to holding the chilling dick of a Yeti, and I can confirm that it’s still true. I spent all morning looking for my pick-axe in my dark garage, feeling the cold of the flashlight even through my glove, before I realized the hilarious truth: the snow had already eaten my pick-axe and I would not find it again till spring.

I’m buying a new one tonight before the sky tries to kill me again.

Also, I went outside and felt my nose-hair freeze for a little bit and realized the garbage trucks still aren’t able to service my house. I would try to clear a path without the pick-axe so they could pick up my recycling, but I’ve already broken two shovels trying to chip the snow away.

I AM NOW IN OTHER LANGUAGES

You know what the people love? The Pancake Family.

The people love it. There’s nothing that makes “the people” happier than thinking about other people being slowly crushed not-to-death by a hydraulic press. It’s a liberating feeling to walk around thinking, “You know what? I may be having a bad day but at least I’m not being slowly crushed not-to-death alongside everyone I know and love.”

Here it is in Thai, courtesy of the wonderful individual whose name I’m sure is available in Thai at the link, but which I can’t 100% confirm as I don’t speak Thai and I can’t translate all that’s being said about it. So, if you speak Thai, go ahead and enjoy that except if you do and you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you already enjoyed it in English. So I don’t know what that will mean to you.

I’m pretty sure this is a first for me, but it might be a second as I think some readers once translated Run, Run Judy into Latvian back in the day but I can’t remember.

Also, look for the Pancake Family in the first collection from nosleep’s 30 press, which I will talk more about later when there is more information about it. That should be the first time I ever see anything I’ve written in print since high school, when teachers submitted my stuff to competitions without my permission.

I’m still pumping away at the Family of Fang and Claw stuff, as always. I’m trying to make sure it’s nothing but aces when you read it. I’m going to have to re-write Reunion to make that happen, but I want people to read the stories and then put the book down and walk quietly out of the room, past their stunned family, into the night, and then when they’ve found a place where they are all alone and away from everyone they can just break down and have a good cry.

I’m going to try to trade effort back and forth between a Tide World novella about a dog that lives much longer than humans (flipping the paradigm of most dog stories around) and Age of Fusion stories after that and Tide World novel.

It’s fun times, all around.

BOOKS

I re-read all the Patrick Rothfuss books while running at the gym these past few weeks. I just set them in front of me, phoned in my athletic performance so that I could focus on reading and not on pumping my legs, and went deep into Temerant. (By the way, this reduces the amount of calories I burn in an hour by about a third)

I know I’ve recommended those books before, but they really are very good and you’ll enjoy them if you read me. Because they, like me, indulge in a bit of “what does it mean, huh?” but elevated above being high in college. Which I like to think I occasionally do.

Pick those up if you haven’t.

I was kind of hoping that somehow, sympathetically, my re-reading of the books would have caused the third book to be finished but alas such is not the way the world works. I kind of like having something to wait for, though. Keeps things from getting too boring.

You’ll never be as happy in life as you will be when you learn to appreciate the variety of things being what they are.

But still, y’know… fuck the winter.

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