Mosquito Coast – Minus the Coast and Harrison Ford

I’ve been AWOL for a while, haven’t I? First I was travelling, then I needed to catch up with my life, then I found myself with a strange reluctance to resume my old routine. I’ve been reading a ton, plotting, and spending time with my RL peeps, resisting the lure of Google 1+…

Today, however, is a tentative toe-dipping back into the waters of reality, though they have to be chlorinated, warmed and indoors. Do you see this photo??? Yes, those black shapes are mosquitoes. This photo was taken yesterday morning. Through the skylight of my sister’s vehicle. IN THE RAIN.

We are having an influx of the pests thanks to a year of more gray skies and precipitation than is generally possible in Alberta. Unless you put on bug-sprayed overalls, it’s unwise to go outside for more than a dash to the car, which is a bummer because my foot finally seems to have healed and I have missed my walks.

Yesterday we fantasized about making a bubble suit. We had dollar signs in our eyes and then I remembered these. (Photo courtesy of Safer Water Walking Ball):

Ever since I was a kid being chased around the house by my ball-enclosed hamster, little pink paws extending in what was probably a plea for help as they tried to outrun the rattling turds behind them, I have wanted a human-sized version. (The ball; not the turds.) Don’t you find it odd that a woman needing a break from routine would find herself fantasizing about a hamster toy?

I blame it on the mosquitoes. Probably West Nihilism Virus, or something.

Anyway, I’ll be back with highlights of my trip. Just wanted to let you guys know I haven’t forgotten you!

What have you been up to in my absence? How are the mosquitoes in your neck of the woods? If you have children, are they driving you crazy yet, or are you still in the romantical stage where you kiss their sweaty heads and swoon at the scent of their napes?

19 thoughts on “Mosquito Coast – Minus the Coast and Harrison Ford

  1. Missed you, Jan! Not just a bumper crop of mosquitoes here in SW Michigan, but biting flies too, especially on the hot, damp days (like today). Generally on my morning walk, the dog and I just have to get through the woods to the beach for relief. But some days the nasty buggers get bold, and follow us down to the shoreline (like today). Sorta spoils the moment. I like your hampster ball fantasy, but I can only imagine the thrill (terror?) of rolling/crashing down through the wooded dunes by us.

    Still haven’t wrapped up my WIP, although really getting close now. Funny how life tends to get in the way, huh? I’m trying not to take my failed deadlines too seriously, but I’m feeling a bit wrung out by it all these days. All I can do is keep galloping toward ‘the end.’ It has lots more words than I’d hoped (another failed goal). If this thing ever gets printed out, hope no one drops it on their foot. It’d do some damage. 😉

    Good luck getting back into the swing, and hope your flying pest population explosion abates soon!

    1. Missed you too!

      There are walking balls that contain bungee cords, you know? I can’t imagine a person would be exactly *comfortable* while careening down a rocky path, but the injuries might be somewhat mitigated.

      As for the WIP woes, one message I took away from Nationals was to respect one’s process. I can’t tell you how many keynote speakers or presenters had taken 8-10 years from the time they began writing to get published. When it happened, although there were bumps and detours, they always began the trip back from a closer position. So persist, my friend. This book will take what it takes. Perhaps learning to be gentle with ourselves *before* publication is the right order to collect wisdom.

  2. Well, hello Jan! I’ve been sketchy on the blogging myself, so I completely understand. I’m still very happy to have the kids home, but I can’t say it’s been the summer of our dreams (think flooded basement, dead refrigerator, and any and all breakdowns which would cause one to have fantasies of a long-lost filthy rich relative). Like you, I’ve been reading a lot though (It’s cheap!), and am holding tight to these summer days because school starts here again in just 5 weeks. Weep. 🙁

    1. I’ve noticed a lot of people are more casual about blogging in the summer, Amanda. Thank you for being one of them; I know you’re devoted and that gives me permission to be a slacker. 🙂

      Very sorry to hear about the mechanical issues! Not fun. Even less fun to have kids underfoot while you’re attempting to keep the homefront sane. Hope your summer becomes indulgent and lazy from here on out.

  3. Welcome back.

    I couldn’t resist Google Plus after receiving an invite, but I haven’t been using it too much.

    I haven’t been writing on my balcony because of the mosquitoes. I’m waiting for the late fall, when the mosquitoes aren’t out full force.

    I do go out walking. Maybe I’m moving so fast that the mosquitoes don’t bite me, but as soon as I rest somewhere, they’re feasting on me.

    1. I just got my invite, Medeia, but I’m going to hold off for a few days. I should probably finish my post-travel laundry first. 😉

      Glad to hear you’re not having the same level of infestation. Even runners are having problems here.

  4. Jan,

    Welcome back! We were just Up North, where mosquitoes and swimmer’s itch ruled a few days of our vacation. Nothing like your photo though — frightening.

    My summer has been full of activity, so much so that I didn’t even know what Google 1+ was until yesterday. Where have I been? The pool, immersed in reading, trying desperately to keep up with blogging, fighting off the urge to “just quit this thing called writing!” when life gets in the way. Like you say, one tiny break from that writing routine makes it difficult to get back into the swing of it all. Glad to see you here, though, and I can’t wait to read more about your trip!

    1. Do you have nerves set in when you take a break too, Christi? What’s up with that? But you are not allowed to quit, sistah. I kind of know where you live and I will send peeps your way to “motivate” you if required. Writing Enforcers are the new black. 😉

      1. Haha, I love it. And see there? You ooze with inspiration. There’s a character peeking out from behind your comment: The Enforcer, armed with smooth-flow pens and moleskins. No writer could resist.

  5. OMG! those mosquitoes are scary! We had a few around the Spray River last Wednesday, but virtually none at Lake Louise on Sunday. That was probably because the temperatures were slightly cooler there. And the altitude is higher.

    Enjoy the good ole Summer Holler Days!

  6. Missed ya!

    My hamster was spoiled with a ‘roadster.’ It’s like a big plastic race car powered by a ball-like wheel the hamster runs around in. No steering, just forwards and back but he loved it. And it was cuter than (insert your own cuteness here.) You might still be able to find them in the pet store.

    My journey to screenwriter is progressing positively. I’ve been asked to do a guest blog about what it’s like to be new to writing screenplays. I also found a great social networking group specifically for those creatively involved in science fiction.

    I’m afraid if the mosquitoes are the first wave of an alien invasion we’re in a lot of trouble… Nobody panic! The sunshine will save us all.

  7. It’s been cold and rainy in Alberta? We had that through all of June and I thought we were getting your normal weather. Now we’re in for a whole week of dining-out weather (90+ and humid).

    1. Dave, our weather can be all over the place. In winter we can go from -40 F to +40 in the summer with 98% humidity. However, our average temperature would be about 26 F in the summer and we’re known as the sunny province. I think we relinquished that title a few years ago, though. This year has been anomalous with a TON of rain.

      Good luck with the heat! Hope you don’t get a mosquito infestation, too.

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