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1200003_88771071For the last month, I’ve basically had all the time in the world to write. I needed to work back up to it, because I was not well the second half of April, and the repercussions extended into the early half of May. I’m still not fully recovered today, but I’m more or less functional to write.

With all the time to write, I’ve spent most of it outside. Even in the hottest days of summer – and hot is HOT in Texas – I’ll probably spend them outside. Last summer, my parents had the deck area renovated. Now it’s like an outdoor room, an extension of the house. There’s a roof over my head to keep the sun from obscuring the screen and bearing down on my skin, but I can feel the fresh air and hear the birds, and if it’s too still, I can turn on the overhead fans, which are surprisingly effective.

Even better, I can sit out and write when it rains. Even during the most massive storms, I move the all-weather furniture back against the wall and watch the opacity of the rainfall billow past and the wind toss the trees back and forth. I turn off the music and let the sound of the rain wash over me in a wonderfully non-literal way. I shudder with the rolls of thunder and watch the lightning from underneath the beams.

I have an odd relationship with storms. I live at the bottom of Tornado Alley, so there is fear associated with that. Also, I’ve had to walk the dog under too many lightning skies that made me wonder whether this is the end.

I also have a fear of apocalypse (which is probably why I write about it all the time), and storms are a part of that. The Big One. I have dreams about massive storms with tornadoes dropping from the multicolored clouds like living rope. Sometimes I’m inside of them. Sometimes the rain leads to a Noah-level flood. I’ve been hit by lightning in those dreams, nearly drowned, picked up by the wind…not fun.

I’m more or less not at risk even during the worst lightning storms I’ve walked in, but it’s hard to shake the association.

And yet I love storms. Distant thunder and the percussion of the rain soothes me. I enjoy the storm movies, Day After Tomorrow, Twister, and this late summer, I know I’m going to rope someone into seeing Into the Storm with me, no matter how bad the reviews are (I’m going for the tornadoes, not the dialogue).

The love and fear of apocalypse and storms is probably the biggest driver behind the writing of  elemental novel Forces of Nature last year, and I’m really looking forward to expanding that short novel into a series of short novels to explore the characters and their relationships better. There will be apocalypse. Between Ash, my Air elemental storm chaser, and Nathanial, my Water elemental ship hermit, there will be storms, all wrapped in a package of surprisingly enjoyable erotica.

We all deal with our fears in different ways. A horror writer makes them attractive, even when horror isn’t the prevailing genre in the end.

Our spring storms seem to be on their way out here in Texas. Now we just have to wait for the summer storms in July and August. Those can be a bitch.