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The image above is my writing space for today: the kitchen table. All summer I've been writing at the kitchen table because my office is too hot. I paused for a moment after writing the two sentences above because there is a glaring irony in them, given that I've been preparing for my NaNoWriMo novel about the world impacted by climate change. 

Hawaii is a hot, sticky, tropical place especially in the summertime. This particular summer felt like it went on forever, and not in that never-ending summer vacation kind of way that punctuates childhood. I relegated both my writing and my day job work (also a work-from-home endeavor) to the kitchen because more windows equals better airflow and on the unbearably hot days the air conditioning from the living room could make it to my seat here. The heat (not to be confused with the humidity) seems to be finally breaking though, and I anticipate I'll be back in my office soon. In the meantime, another bonus of working in the kitchen: proximity to food!

My husband and I did really well with dinners this week. We made an extra effort because my sister is in town and we are trying to stick to our budget. We made three meals, had leftovers once, and ate out once - a total win for us lazy chefs! I am not a vegan by any means, but two cookbooks I couldn't live without are The Oh She Glows Cookbook and Oh She Glows Every Day written by Angela Liddon. These cookbooks were recommended by a friend a few years ago and I have loved every single recipe that I've tried. Not only that, but my husband - a classic American meat and potatoes guy, loved them too! Several recipes have made it into our weekly rotation (when we're motivated enough to cook, let's be honest) and 90% of the time I make my weekly lunches from something in one of these books. Today I'll make our grocery list from these cookbooks before diving into my writing tasks for the weekend.

When I picked up writing again after many years of focus on my career and education, I changed my process considerably. I used to be a panster (read: no preparation, "seat of your pants" style writing) but now am an entrenched planner. For NaNo this year I'll be writing a novel about a family torn apart and brought back together by climate change. I think I know an average amount about global warming but not enough to set some characters in a world that is several degrees warmer than our current one. So I set off to educate myself. Well let me tell you, in case you had any doubts, the research on this topic is about five steps beyond depressing.

I've been reading book after book about the effects of a warmer world on things like natural disasters, the economy, conflict, disease, and more. As I'm reading and learning my mind is plagued by questions not of what my characters are going to do in this new world, but of what would do in such a world. As I cycle through emotions related to depression, despair, and to be honest, complacency (an emotion I recognize I'm privileged to feel that I'll address in a later blog post), I keep making it back to the convinction that we need hope and action. I'll write a world that I hope my children will never have to inhabit, but I recognize that hope is not the answer. Though to my mind a necessary ingredient, hope will not save our planet, only action will. Mark Lynas writes in his book called Six Degrees: Our Future On a Hotter Planet wrote: "Getting depressed about the situation now is like sitting inert in your living room and watching the kitchen catch fire and then getting more and more miserable as the fire spreads throughout the house -- rather than grabbing an extinguisher and dousing the flames." So as I prepare for this novel and start writing in November, I'll be keeping an eye and a list toward what actions I can take.

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Comments
  • Thank you Juanita, I appreciate your kind words :)

  • Loved your post and the sentence "... another bonus of working in the kitchen: proximity to food!" This made me smile. Thanks for sharing.