Why yes, I was one of the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Winter Storm Riley. (Did you know it had a name? I didn't until it was all over).
I didn't lose power early on. My brother's household woke up Friday morning with no power, and all the schools were closed, so I spent much of the day with the nephews. Fed them, took them to their gym, brought one of them home with me so he could play my electronic keyboard, play a video game on my PS4, use my wifi to do his homework, watch a little TV. It was all going well until my power went out at 7 p.m.
Few things are more annoying than trying to placate a 14-year-old whose planned electronic agenda has been derailed by a power outage.
Worse, from my point of view, was that I didn't get any writing done while I still had power. Because . . . deadline. Luckily we had warning that the high winds might knock out our power, and I'd charged up all my devices and saved my book files on a flash drive. I managed to get a couple of pages done on the laptop before crawling into bed fully dressed—well, apart from shoes—for a restless night. Second restless night in a row—when you live in a tree-filled neighborhood, near-hurricane-force winds are not your friend. You spend the night listening for the crack-crack-crack-BOOM that signals a falling limb . . . or tree.
None of the limbs or trees fell on my house, not the first night or the second. But I woke up Saturday morning in the freezing cold house, and Dominion Energy wasn't even giving an estimate on when they'd have our power back. Not exactly surprising—there were hundreds of thousands of people without power in Northern Virginia. About ninety thousand customers just in Fairfax County, where I live, or nearly 25% of the county.
A less dedicated writer would have taken this as a sign from above that she wasn't destined to get much writing done for a few days. But I'm pretty stubborn. I packed up my laptop and a few other essentials and took refuge with good friends down the street who have a generator. (Many thanks to my writing friends Alan Orloff and Sherry Harris, who also offered refuge in case the generator failed. And many thanks also to Gypsy, Eddie, and Buster, who provided canine and feline supervision to my weekend's writing efforts.)
I got ten pages done Saturday. Another two pages today--so far. I'm still a few pages behind where I wanted to be by the end of the week—and normally I like to end my writing week Friday and rest up over the weekend. But given everything that's gone on this week . . . not such a bad result.
Dying computers, broken glasses, and now multiple-day power outages. Finishing a draft rarely involves this many tests of character and dedication.
Here's hoping that by the time you're reading this, my lights are back on