What Is Your Metaphorical Snow?

From around midnight on April 28th until about sunrise on May 1st — three full days — it snowed nonstop at my house. Sometimes fat soggy flakes, sometimes angry pellets.

But nonstop.

As a native Coloradan, I’ve worn sandals in January and a parka in July, so the un-spring-like weather came as no surprise. What was unusual was the duration. I couldn’t remember a storm lasting this long that didn’t pile up on the roads and make a big mess of things. Really, it was the perfect snowstorm.

While it is fairly predictable that my daffodils and grape hyacinth get snowed on after they bloom, what captivated me this time was the resilience of these little blossoms. Even though there was no accumulation on the roads and pavement, there was a mighty impressive pile of heavy, wet snow blanketing the yard and garden.

3sad daffs      5really sad hyacinth      6sad hyacinth

One doesn’t have to be a writer to see this particular metaphor sliding toward you like a conspicuous Rocky Mountain avalanche. Brace yourselves.

I have cowered, bent and broken like those daffodils. I know all too well the crushing weight those hyacinths struggle against. Insurmountable. Suffocating. Pernicious.

I get dumped on by outside commitments, travel, time management mistakes. But I usually see the forecast and prepare ahead of time.

Sometimes, however, the storm comes out of the blue and I receive a review or critique or rejection that gobsmacks me with its thunder. Other times I find myself in a blizzard of my own making:

• Doubt — What was I thinking? I can’t write a novel!

• Despair — Words? What are words?

• Angst — Ack! I’ll never make that deadline and nobody will work with me again.

• Fear — I’ll die penniless and homeless in a cardboard box down by the river, the true extent of my talent forever lost to history.

But then I remember.

Great artists often become great after their death. I don’t live near a river. I’ve made impossible deadlines before.

I raise fluttery phobic fingers to Facebook to verify that I DO know words. Sentences and paragraphs, too. Often, people even go to the trouble to “like” them.

I pull my books off the shelf and gently caress them. “Ah, yes,” I murmur, stroking my name on the cover then checking my driver’s license to make sure it matches.

Afterward I point my widdle face toward the sun and watch as the storm disappears.

It always does.

4perky daffs          7perky hyacinth

So, what is your metaphorical snow? Does it hang around you like six more weeks of winter or blow through like a haboob across the desert? How do you deal with it? Are you pulled under by a rogue wave of despair, or are you tossed, hopeful and panting on the shore, by a gentle tidal surge? Are you prepared to paddle hard so it doesn’t suck you under? [I know! I need serious help.]


Author: Becky Clark

I write mysteries with humor and spend my free time attempting to rid my clothing of dog hair. My new book FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in the Mystery Writer's series, was out April 2018.

13 thoughts on “What Is Your Metaphorical Snow?”

  1. So much yes! I just got an email from a friend who went to Malice and her epiphany that she “belonged” to the crowd. And I cried. Both tears of joy that she’s found this confidence (because she’s a fabulous writer) and anguish that IT MIGHT NEVER HAPPEN TO ME AND I WILL DIE IN A CARDBOARD BOX BY THE RIVER (and I do live by a river – 3 of them!). But then I sat down as usual to write at lunch and I’m prepping for the next book to pitch. And I keep going back to the email from an agent that says, “Great writing.” So I’m right there with those daffodils and hyacinths I guess. 🙂


  2. I had an editor tell me that my book sounded like Agatha Christie. “Thank you,” I said enthusiastically. He held up a hand. “No, no, I meant Mystery She Wrote. You need to start the whole thing over. The plot is terrible.” I didn’t dump the plot. I won the 2015 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic award along with Cynthia Kuhn. Keep writing, little solider. Keep writing.


  3. Love love love this, Becky. Beautifully written.

    Mary, you ALREADY belong! You’re published, you’re fabulous, you’re writing more. Come to Malice next year and everyone will be hugging you and proving it!

    Sue, yes. Yes indeed.

    Keenan, love that story, especially “I didn’t dump the plot.” YEAH!


  4. What a wonderful post, Becky–and you used gobsmacked one of my favorite words. What great comments too! I think we should band together and write an IF for writers. We deserve our own anthem.


  5. This is a wonderful post, Becky, and very timely as I’m still processing a rejection I received recently (definitely knocked me down for a couple days!). One of the things that has always struck me about Colorado flowers is their resilience, and I’m definitely finding inspiration in both them and your post right now 🙂 Perseverance is so important for writers, made all that much easier by a fabulous writing community!


  6. Living in Northeastern Pa, my weather feels a lot like yours. I don’t know if my writing feels like despair as much as my inability to get it done most days. It gets done eventually though.


  7. Mary, you made me LOL with your shouty voice. And I’m glad you didn’t name the person with the epiphany because I can fill in the blank with so many writers I know.
    Sue … let’s hope the blossoms grown all through the winter too!
    Keenan … I didn’t know that either! Great achievement for you and Cynthia.
    Thanks, Sam and Cynthia. And we should ALL make plans to go to Malice next year. Deal??
    Kait … your nice comment gobsmacked me. [see what I did there?]
    Kate … isn’t it annoying how we can get 100 nice comments about our writing, but the rough one is the one we glom on to? What is wrong with us?? But you’re right, our writer peeps help us out of the abyss.
    Thanks to all of you for being my sunny little daffodils!
    And Mary … words is words, baby! Short stories, novels, poems, lyrics, essays, or textbooks … they’re all difficult and worthy of accolades. You rock!


  8. As someone whose metaphorical snow constantly hovers, threatening to bury me and take me out once and for all, I really love the hope your post gives.

    Keenan and Cynthia—WOW! Congratulations!!!


  9. Snow? HA, I am glad I live in southern California. My “snow?” Long ago I decided that I do not like cleaning. I do not clean for entertainment, nor do I clean as a hobby. The dirt, like snow, will appear at the most inopportune times, and if I rush to conquer it, it will surely bury me. I will survive dirt. I will conquer dirt. AND I will read, down by the river,or rather down by the ocean in my case, and I frequently do just that.


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