Monday, January 31, 2011

The Storm is Almost Here

The winter storm that is so much in the news is bearing down on us. The winter storm warning from the National Weather Service starts at 6:00 PM tonight for us, so that probably means we'll start getting some frozen stuff around 8 PM. The forecast has called for sleet, ice, snow, mixture—it keeps changing. That's to be expected as the time nears and the computer models come together. The best guess right now is we'll have a half inch of ice followed by 3-5 inches of snow.

Rather than negotiate the hills of Bella Vista tonight, I'm going to stay in Bentonville with my mother-in-law. Here apartment is about 3 miles due north of the office, on flat streets. If need be I could walk to work from there. Tomorrow should be the worst, with an inch of snow on top of the ice at the time of morning commute, snow still falling. She doesn't have a computer or Internet, so I'll probably stay at work late, or perhaps go to the library until it closes.

The storm is hitting at work and in writing as well. I have to have one of my flood studies re-submitted by Thursday. I worked on it some Saturday, and am in good shape with the computer modeling; now need to have the CADD tech do the mapping and pull a brief report together. It would be a snap except yesterday our 18-inch diameter water transmission main advertised in the newspaper, so today we should be deluged by contractors coming by to obtain drawings and specs—which aren't ready. Hopefully they will be by 10 AM. Plus I really, really, really need to make major progress on my Rogers flood study. I'm so close to being able to run the first computer model. Four hours of undivided might do it.

In writing, I will be a journalist this morning. I have phone interviews scheduled with two DOT officials in two states, for information on my article for Safe Highway Matters. That's due on Wednesday, and since this is the first time I've written for them, I'd like to get a draft in Tuesday. It's only a 400 word article, but short doesn't necessarily mean easier. Then I have an article due for Buildipedia the following Wednesday, and another the Wednesday after that.

Meanwhile I'm working on Documenting America and on articles for Both of these are discretionary, of course. I could drop them at any time. But if I did, I would in effect be saying, "I don't have what it takes to be a writer." So I keep going, keep my schedule a whirlwind, hoping that I get to the point where I have something more than freelance articles published. Having decided to go the e-self-publishing route, this year is the critical year. More on that in future posts.

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