Nothing shortens a winter as much as going away for two weeks. I am back on schedule and going on with life. But the whole month of January has melted into history and suddenly it is February. Leaving home for a couple weeks does not make time stand still. While we were gone the earth continued to turn on its axis and make its annual trip around the sun. I knew that, of course, but was still surprised to see how much later the sun set than it had when we left.
Yesterday felt like spring with the temperature soaring into the fifties and today we could cross into the sixties. I'm enjoying but not being deceived by the weather. Tomorrow the ground hog will probably remind us there's another six weeks before spring arrives. That's fine with me (especially if the weather stays as mild as the winter has been so far). My job list for this winter has not been conquered and I can use six weeks to get everything done.
The job at the top of my list is preparing three workshops for two writers conferences at which I am to speak. The first one is on story writing for children on March 3. That one is a one-hour workshop. Then on April 13 I have two workshops in Virginia which are ninety minutes each. The first one is "Effective Techniques for Interviewing." I'm supposed to tell how to harvest information from living people in order to accurately write their stories. The second workshop is "Literary Latitude with Limited Facts." That one deals with writing true stories of people who are no longer living. The writer has to use some imagination to fill in the gaps where information is limited. How much liberty can be taken before the story becomes fiction?
I got a start on one of those workshops this week but have a long way to go before I have enough material to speak four hours. Still, it is good to be home and back in my familiar niche at the keyboard. If I can conquer these workshops in the next month I might still have some time to travel in the Past Lane awhile before spring is here.