• Edie Montreux

Tuesday’s Top Ten: Rainy Day Activities

I’ve enjoyed the rain the past couple of weeks. For some reason, rain in October seems more melancholy than rain in June. In June, there’s still the promise that the storm will break and the sun will come out, turning everything to a hot, humid mess. In June, we’d better take the rain and like it because it’s about to get damn uncomfortable.

In October, the rain blows in after dawn and stays all day, drenching the leaves that have fallen from the trees, and knocking the rest to the ground. The dampness mingles with the cold north wind, and the first hint of winter chills us to the bone.

Even so, I love the rain, be it warm enough to feel like a shower, or cold enough to feel like ice chips hitting your cheeks. I don’t mind the snow, either, as long as I don’t have to drive in it.

Everyone has their favorite things to do on a rainy day. Here are mine.

10. Starbucks run. I’m no cat. I don’t mind adventuring into the rain, even if it’s to walk to the garage, hop in the car, and then drive a few blocks to the Starbucks Drive-thru. Coffee is mighty tasty when watching the rain fall.


9. Clean House. I don’t mean “stink up the house,” by cleaning with industrial-strength products. Clear out the clutter. Move the stuff from the catch-all kitchen table to its rightful place.


8. Candlelight Diary Entries. Okay, so this one is a little weird, but bear with me. My best friend in junior high lived in a century-old farm house, one with a cemetery in the front yard, complete with two headstones. They moved the headstones to the local cemetery (there were no bodies–believe me, they checked) so they could expand the front porch. This spawned all kinds of stories in our heads. Who were John and Edna Platter? Where did they come from? How had they died? The dates on the graves didn’t match the age of the home, so had they died elsewhere? My friend asked me to help with a project. We aged some paper sheets and rolled them, binding the roll with leather. Granted, this practice was far older than a pioneer house, but we wrote pioneer stories on the parchment by candlelight, pretending we were John and Edna’s daughter, Betsy. That’s what Iowa kids do for fun…shut up. I still think it’s fun to write in my own journal by candlelight. Again, shut up.


7. Classical music. Beethoven sounds more ominous over the sound of rain drumming on a peaked roof. See that face? Ominous, I tell you.



6. Bake. My grandma started baking her holiday goodies in October. She had a chest deep-freezer full of frozen goods: bags of sliced apples and rhubarb, disgusting black bananas, etc. She would turn those raw ingredients into delicious treats, and then freeze them again for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I may not have her skill, but I can cook a mean package of premixed Toll-House cookies.


5. Soup. Chicken and noodles, to be exact. It’s only soup the first day. Chicken, green beans, carrots, egg noodles, and enough pepper to make my nose run. I let the rest of the soup simmer in broth all day in the crock pot, and then toss in the noodles and crank it to high for two hours before we eat. Once the noodles disintegrate, it’s more like stew, but it’s so good.


4. Expand a Plot Bunny. I have a notebook of plot bunnies for just this occasion. Something about rain distracts me. I’m restless and want to write, but no new ideas will come. That’s when I take out my Plot Bunny notebook and flip through the many, many stories until I find one that appeals to me. I flesh out a character or develop a setting. If I feel all of it, from beginning to end, I start a plot outline. If not, I put it back and move to the next one. Nine times out of ten, I find a character here and a setting there generate a new plot bunny in my head, and then I have to start a new page in my notebook. In other words, I’ll never run out of ideas.


3. Read a book. I’m still planning on reaching my 60 book goal by the end of the year. I need to read 14 more books for that to happen. Yeah, so I slacked off a little. Bite me. This is the best time of year to make it up, anyway. It’s cold outside, it’s dark earlier and earlier every night, and it’s perfect hot tea weather. Time to read a book.



2. Scary Movie Night. While it’s perfect book weather, it’s also October. Lemur is a huge horror movie fan. His favorite movie of all time is John Carpenter’s The Thing. Something tells me we’ll be watching it this week, whether it’s raining or not.


1. Write. Once the plot bunnies have done their job and I have a fully functional story outline, I’m ready to write. I’ll be working on my YA M/M Romance this week, and for NaNo. I’m going to use Writing Faster, FTW, to get 50,000 legit words.