Winter Soldier


Alright, so the Holiday Season, whatever it might mean to you, is officially over and it’s now 2009. I have finally said goodbye to the last houseguest left from the celebrations as KSWNO mailroom specialist Stig Marmoset has come out of his coma and rambled on down the road in his El Camino. Things are quiet now and the scenery outside the window is bleak and frozen.

The time has come to hunker down and settle into the grimness of Real Winter. The cold, the wet, the ice and snow. Dark days, long nights, the glacial stillness that envelops the world. There are times I actually envy those animals who have the ability to hibernate and just sleep away these difficult days until things finally start to melt and the sun feels warm again.

Then again, I am a Hardy Northerner, born and bred, and am supposed to be used to this time of year. It’s true, my innate survival skills and all-around toughness serve me well during Winter and I promise you I’ll never be one of those sell-outs who moves to warmer climes to get away. The notion of a climate where it’s 70 degrees year round horrifies me completely and seems contrary to the natural order of things as I perceive them. Seasons, and the changing thereof, are an essential part of life where I come from.

The trick is to find ways to occupy yourself so you don’t end up indoors all the time, the shades drawn, empty bottles of Absolut littering the hardwoods whilst strange, indecipherable voices fade in and out of reception in the murky dimness from a tiny speaker on a 20 year old short wave radio.

If my description of that scenario sounds somewhat vivid you’ll recognize a man speaking from experience. Stir crazy is a very real place in my mental landscape and not one I enjoy the idea of visiting. So, we’ll be organizing all sorts of activities here at the Compound to keep those particular wolves at bay.

There will be snow-shoeing expeditions as we explore the surrounding woodlands like the old settlers did, except with more artillery and explosives than they used to carry along, I’m sure. There will be snowmobiling, too, as I’ve invested in a fleet of four new Arctic Cats with steel treads, racing-class engines and built in coolers under the seats. I’m even thinking a Ken Socrates Iditarod, where we’ll gather a bunch special needs individuals and force them to race through some unexplored wilderness pulled by some underfed, barely trained huskies whilst myself and other celebrity ne’er do wells engage in some high stakes wagering on it all.

You’re looking forward to that one as much as I am, I’m sure.

And, of course, work continues on this freakish mammoth of a novel I’m working on. The intitial draft is so large, disorganized and unwieldy I’ve dedicated one whole room of the Compound to it, where I’ve stacked the pages waiting to be sorted, edited, rewritten and assembled into something hopefully cohesive and at least slightly readable. More so than the rough-rough draft that ended up in one of the fireplaces here after a particularly brutal, drink sodden writing session in October. Wish me luck on that.

Most of you reading this (exept you pussies who live down south, and you know who you are) are in the same boat, so you know what I’m talking about. Don’t worry. Stay tuned here for updates on what we’re up to here and be sure to let me know what you’re doing to occupy the dark hours.

We’ll get through it together, like we always do.


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