Weather and Writing: Part II (How Building a Backyard Ice Rink is Like Writing a Novel)

It snowed today… AGAIN!!! And temps are low… AGAIN!!! Thursday, it’s supposed to get into the single digits… AGAIN!!! So I’ve decided, no matter what, this will be my last winter post. (I’m going to will spring into being!)

This is year 2 for our backyard ice rink. Last year, when my husband came up with the only slightly insane idea to build an ice rink in our backyard, I reminded him that we live SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon Line. And, truth be told, last year’s rink was short-lived, but not this year!

HOW BUILDING

A BACKYARD ICE RINK

IS LIKE WRITING A NOVEL

1. You have to lay a foundation, but it can be a flexible one.

We built our back yard ice rink from a kit. The company sent us the frame, liner, and building instructions and we supplied our own wood for the sides. Laying the foundation required some measuring and planning – not unlike the researching and outlining I do for my novels. But, like an author experimenting with technique from novel to novel, we’re able to tinker with our little rink’s building specs. Last year, its life was cut short by a huge wind storm. So this year we asked Boreas to spare it… and we reinforced the frame with rebar! :-D

2. It takes time to set up properly, which makes it a labor of love.

My husband starting building the rink just after the holidays. Since we have to rely on the weather to keep it frozen, our skating season is short – six weeks if we’re lucky. It usually takes him two weeks of working nights and weekends to make it operational. But all the work is worth it because it’s something he enjoys doing. Writers spend far longer than two weeks on a novel, but I think all of us would agree that spending four, six, or twelve months on a novel that we enjoy writing – which is then enjoyed by everyone else for another twelve, eighteen, or thirty-six months – is a pretty good deal.

3. It’s social and fun.

Once the rink is ready, we invite our friends and family to come skate. Like publishing a completed novel, this is the best part! Sharing the products of your work with others is its own reward. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and reading novels are three of winter’s greatest pastimes.

So how about you? Did you go skating this year? Snow tubing? How about sledding or skiing? Are you a fan of hot chocolate? How about spiked cider or Irish coffee? Are you sick of winter yet? Or are you one of the lucky ones posting about seeing signs of spring? Regardless of where you live or what the weather’s like, hope you’re all having a great week!

About Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, and WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. View all posts by Jill Archer

4 responses to “Weather and Writing: Part II (How Building a Backyard Ice Rink is Like Writing a Novel)

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