March can be a frustrating time in western Pennsylvania. Spring weather intersperses with winter temperatures, teasing residents with the promise of warmth and sun one day only to have the next day requiring winter coats once again. Buds on the trees start to swell, and if the warmer temps stick around for too many days in a row, they may even start to grow leaves before the final snow of winter falls. Other signs of spring include the return of migratory birds, such as turkey vultures, killdeer, and red-winged blackbirds. And the spring peepers, a tiny native tree frog, have been singing for several days in the wetlands now.
Over the weekend I finally found a particular movie soundtrack selling at a reasonable price which I have been looking for over the course of several years (The Ghost and the Darkness, soundtrack by Jerry Goldman). I have mentioned before how I sometimes use music to help me find the mood for various scenes in my writing, and this soundtrack fits my inspirational needs for scenes in multiple projects. So I'm quite excited by the fact that I've finally been able to purchase it in a physical format.
I'm not a big fan of first person POV in storytelling, and many of my favorite stories feature an ensemble cast. This is because the characters I'm most drawn to are fence-sitters. They are not necessarily indecisive, but they do tend to play both sides of a conflict and keep multiple options open for themselves. I always hope they'll choose the protagonist's side in the end, but a good storyteller will keep you guessing throughout the tale.
Today I am sore. Over the past few days, I started a new exercise routine in order to try to regain the muscle I lost in the past year. I don't like being sore. I know some people who love exercise enjoy the pull and protest of muscles that have been pushed to their limits, but for me, I find the sensations restrictive and depressing. But if I want to be able to take on certain hobbies without this type of pain in the future, then I need to retrain my body for those tasks.
I've had trouble finding motivation or inspiration to create much of anything this past week or so. And if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I've been fairly quiet there as well. I've fallen into a nihilistic mood that is often hard for me to shake. Being halfway through February, I am only a handful of weeks away from my busiest time of year, when my work schedule encroaches on my free time, and it becomes increasingly difficult to make progress on any of my personal projects. This is a very disheartening time for me, and I question the worth of working on any major projects as I know I'll end up interrupted during critical stages by a variety of obligations.
I'm going to keep this post short and simple, because the message here is simple and straight-forward. I can go months without coming across a single vehicular accident anywhere along my commutes. But in the past seven days, I have come across four of them, all along major roadways and rendering traffic backed up for hours. This past week was free of snow or freezing rain on the days of the wrecks. Two of the incidents involved shifting and/or unsecured loads.
Many people will not understand how engaging in a true debate could be relaxing in any sense of the word, but for me, debates offer a great distraction that keep my mind in a healthy state of exercise and contemplation. I don't have time to dwell on negative thoughts or frustrations brought on by other people whom I cannot avoid or address.
So winter has truly set in for me now. We've had enough snow in the past week that the private lane I live on is covered with a compacted layer of icy white stuff. You don't get to my place without four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive at this time of year. It's great if you don't like visitors! But at the same time, it can be more than a bit of a problem. Sometimes I can get snowed in or snowed out.
This weekend, western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region had to deal with some relatively common winter weather. So most people in our region spent the weekend at home, avoiding the cold as much as possible. I took advantage of the long, uneventful hours by working on some fanart. I know I should have probably spent part of the weekend writing or editing, but it's been nearly a year since I took time to work on a piece solely for my enjoyment. And the time spent on sketching, painting, and coloring helped distract my mind from other things.
There is nothing wrong with remembering your past and acknowledging it. It's okay if things that you've lived through still hurt and bring you pause. But you should not allow your past to overrule your present or your future. It can take some people longer to get over past damage or loss or injustice, but that does not justify clinging to your grief and pain so tightly that you not only fail to heal but also do more damage to yourself.