Late last week, the computer models (all six million of them) were projecting that the tropical storm named Isaac would spend the last part of the weekend and the beginning of the week pounding one side of Florida or the other as a large, rain-laden hurricane.
We live in an area that is Evacuation Zone Five, which basically means we won’t face a mandatory evacuation unless a Really Big One is closing in. Part of our own planning, though, is to evacuate if a storm sized category three or bigger is predicted. We have family inland, and there’s no reason to stick around.
Isaac, though was predicted to be smaller than that, even if its size and moisture load was a major flooding threat. We decided early on to stay put, and began pulling together the flashlights, batteries, radios, and other supplies in case the power were to be out for an extended period. I filled a dozen empty containers with water, filled the car with gas, checked the emergency food supply, and otherwise prepared for the possibility of limited life for a few days.
Thankfully for us (though maybe not so much for the northern Gulf coast), Isaac kept tracking west, like a true pioneer. Even though schools and government services were closed as a precaution, yesterday was probably only the fifth or sixth worst weather day of the year, so far. The winds stayed below threatening levels and the rain we received was nothing compared to tropical storm Debbie who loitered of the coast for a week at the beginning of the summer.
I was thinking, this morning, how sometimes writing is just like planning for a hurricane that never hits.
Earlier last week, I started back on my strict writing schedule. At least, I planned to.
I took the bomb-blast mess of my work space and restored order. I shuffled stacks of notes and manuscripts into more-organized stacks. I printed a to-do list and put the projects of highest priority within arm’s reach.
But the actual writing was pretty sparse. I had planned, but the writing storm never headed for my sandy coast.
Sometimes it happens, but it is better to be prepared than to be bowled over with unexpected output.
This morning, the un-realized potential of last week began to pay off. I had a great writing session, re-working parts of a story I already really love. That story is better today than it was yesterday, and I’m more confident than ever that it will soon find a publishing home.
Just like the boxes of batteries that will be ready to power flashlights and radios the next time a Big Storm threatens our little slice of paradise, the planning for my writing might have felt momentarily fruitless, but in the end, it paid off.
Here’s to a good week, wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing…