Copy-edits by Candlelight: Meljean’s Journal, as she survives the…

Wicked Wind

Thursday, December 14.


The news has said this will be a heavy wind storm. I should start dinner early.

Into the oven: frozen chicken with some crap on top to make it taste good. (this rarely works, but I rarely eat it).


What if the power goes out soon? I add two small frozen pizzas, Verdi, with such lofty ingredients such as “portabello mushrooms” and “garlic alfredo”. French fries. The tot begins taking a bubble bath.


Tot is screaming because it’s suddenly dark in the bathroom.
Maybe if I don’t open the oven the trapped heat will cook all that shit.


Ooh, the candles are pretty. I’m hungry.

6:45, the following conversation takes place.

Bobby (the pseudonym that Meljean’s husband uses): Can we eat that stuff?
Meljean: I dunno. It might have cooked. The pizza cheese is melted. But it’s hard to tell if the chicken is done, because the flashlight washes it all white-looking anyway.
Bobby: Will I die if I eat it?
Meljean: ….. you can find out, I guess.


The pizza was tasty, if not exactly crispy. Bobby still lives.

Tot wants to watch The Goodnight Show. The guy, Leo, gives me the creeps, so am glad we cannot, even though she cries a little.


I’m hungry. I should do something. I don’t want to waste my laptop battery; I could do copy-edits, I guess. I need those turned in by Monday anyway.

Tot wants to watch Sesame Street. I tell her Daddy ate a half-cooked Big Bird.


The tot is asleep. It’s the first time she’s been asleep before midnight in….what year is this?

I’m hungry. Since when did His lashes lowered as she lifted her hand to his face. need a comma before “as”? WTF?


Copy-edits half done. Can’t find my copy of the Chicago Style Manual. I have struck out five more commas before “as”. I hope my editor doesn’t kill me. It just doesn’t look/sound right.


Goddammit (I have also struck out all of the suggestions to change “goddammit” to “God dammit”. My hero cannot say “God dammit”. When you split it up into two words it looks like a weenie says it. And it also adds undue emphasis to “God” which, considering the nature of my series, I can’t use willy-nilly. There’s a reason why some characters say “Thank god” and the second word is lower case, and why others can say “Thank God” because they believe something completely different) I need to use the laptop to make the page-long revisions. Still hungry.


This is just to say

I have eaten
your toes
sticking out from
the blankets

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


It’s getting kind of cold in here. My cow pajamas aren’t cutting it anymore. To bed.




Oh, hey, check out that tree that fell on the roof of the next apartment!


Meljean: You’re going to work?
Bobby: Yes. I haven’t been called, so they likely haven’t canceled school.
Meljean: You realize that we’ve had the ringer off? You should call.
Bobby: I’m already late. I can’t call now.
Meljean (after driving one block): WTF?? Why do all of these assholes have power and we don’t?
Bobby: Crap! Look at all of the cars in the school lot. They didn’t cancel. Those bastards.


I want my Internet back. I want my Internet back. I want my Internet back.


Okay, the house is cold. And I can’t cook anything. Good thing the tot is at pre-school, and then going to the in-laws.


Wearing scarf and hat while working on copy-edits again. I’m hungry. All of the stuff in the fridge is going to go bad … I might as well pull out the cheese and start gnawing.


Copy-edits by candlelight again — ah, effingmotherA! Impromptu hot wax job on my wrist. It is now hairless and smooth, and manuscript pages have a few blots of wax on them.


I think I stink. Must make a choice: cold water, or stink. Cold water, or stink. Cold water, or stink.


Bobby: Jesus, you stink. And I think–
Meljean: Please, don’t say it–
Bobby: –we’re going to have to–
Meljean: –oh god no no no no–
Bobby: –stay the night at my parents’ house.
Meljean: –NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!


Still sobbing. Make pitiful attempt to start fire in the fireplace with no kindling. Find out the flue was open when I kick through the flames and smoke pours in. Have to kick again to open it. Decide that the pioneers who settled Oregon were insane fuckers.


Find a propane camp burner and a 2-hour firelog buried deep in the storage closet. Bobby shoots down plan to have a cookout before attempt is made to ask.


As we drive from Beaverton to Lake Oswego, I just know that all of the people in their well-lit houses and their bright colorful lights and their motherfucking heat ARE MOCKING ME!!


Eat lots of Indian food. Charge laptop. Feeling severe Internet withdrawal.


Drive downtown to get my sister from work. Take her home. Lights still not on. PGE crews no longer working outside. Wonder how dare they! HOW DARE THEY take a few hours off!!! Do they not know I’m staying at the in-laws?


To bed. I still stink. Have problem with getting naked in other people’s homes (or just the in-laws). Hair looks v. bad. Wear stocking cap all night.



Finish up copy-edits. No printer at the in-laws for the full-page revisions. Printer at home with no power. Drive to Bobby’s work, sneak in and use their printer. Will go to Hell for this, am sure.


At post office. Man in front of me has hand in front of nose. You think I stink? Bastard. BASTARD! I DON’T HAVE POWER OR THE INTERNET! TAKE YOUR CHEERILY WRAPPED PARCEL AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR–

Am called up to the counter. Luckily not the same creepy guy I had last time, who said weird things when I mentioned I was a romance author.

I think this one thinks I am a hobo. Goddammit. If I took off my stocking cap, it’d be a lot worse I PROMISE YOU THAT!! YOU THINK YOU CAN GO POSTAL?? JUST LOOK AT ME AND WHAT I CAN DO–


Bobby drags me out of post office. We return to in-laws. I call home. If power is on, the answering machine will answer.


No answer.


No answer.


No answer.


Am fed a sunny-side up egg that’s actually cooked all the way. I didn’t know that was possible.


Writing. Writing. Writing.


Am fed kicheeri rice and little thin crunchy papad and a spicy yogurt chutney thing that is so good I want to cry.


Writing writing writing. Being without Internet is strangely productive.


Pick up sister from work. Take her home. Finally give in and take a frigid shower and scream and to warm up stand in front of the fireplace with all of my leg hairs sticking straight out from the rampaging goosebumps. Return to in-laws’ in defeat.


Sister calls to say power is back on.


Am fed pulao and more yogurt chutney but with cilantro and onions and it so good I do weep a little but pretend it is just my weak white-people eyes.


Back home. Have 237 e-mails, 230 are spam. Also have many comments to respond to, but first must clean out the refrigerator and toss all of the food. Will come back to life tomorrow.

(Graphic stolen from KPTV12 website. WICKED WIND? For effing Christ’s sake. WICKED WIND????)

(With utmost apologies to William Carlos Williams.)