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I survived Texas Winterclysm 2021

This week has sucked balls. It sucked more balls for a lot more people in this state, but it still sucked for us too. Ice and snow basically trapped us in our home for a full week. We lost power and heat for a total of 8 hours, which was a lot less than much of Austin and Texas at large, and we were lucky to not lose power on the single digit days (SO not fair; I left Kansas City to get away from single-digit temperatures). We lost running water on Wednesday and we still don’t have it back. Rumor is it might be next Wednesday before that happens. I need a shower. I need to wash sheets that have been peed upon (by the 4-year-olds, not me). I can’t wait to wash dishes… which is something I never thought I’d hear myself say out loud, but here we are.

Shittiness aside, here’s what I learned this week:

  • I write my best poetry when I am pissed off… like, really, really pissed off.
  • My loving spouse, who has far more doomsday prepper bones in his body than I do, will never tire of hearing “Yes, you were right.”
  • My children will still want to eat ice cream and wear swimsuits when it is 55 degrees in our house.
  • People like book publicists are really forgiving about rescheduling meetings when you have no electricity, spotty internet on your phone, and no running water.
  • No amount of experience of driving on ice and snow (and I have plenty) will make me willing to brave roads in inclement weather with Texas drivers.
  • One box of wine was not enough.
  • Little Fires Everywhere was a damn good miniseries, but still a better book.

In a lot of ways it felt like the early days of COVID: daycare was closed, everything was closed, and anything that was open was mobbed and picked over. Luckily no one expected me to be productive this week, otherwise I might have actually had those book publicist meetings with hair that hasn’t been washed since Tuesday, or made more progress on my next novel. But it was survival mode… literally. Survival was easy enough for us because we were prepared for it, but it didn’t bode well for author work. I may write my best poetry during apocalypses, but fiction not so much. Fuck COVID, and fuck once-in-a-lifetime winter storms. I’m over it.

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