insult + injury = unhappy girlchild

The good thing about all this snow, in my view: nothing. I grew up in Chicago, and there is not one jot, not one iota of snow-love in me. I cannot romanticize the stuff, not even at Christmas.

The good thing about all this snow according to the Girlchild: three cancelled school days.

Sunday night when it was established that there would be no school on Monday but the roads were still passable (if you have four wheel drive and antilock brakes and aren’t afraid of the occasional tree in the road), the Mathematician drove the Girlchild to a sleepover, the really good kind where there are just four friends. This was in town so they could tramp through the snow to the grocery store where they bought all kinds of teenager-feed, and then trooped back to cook and eat and watch television. Monday night (last night) she came home, and not unhappily which had less to do with seeing us, her doting parents, than the fact that today her new computer was supposed to be delivered.

Except today the temperature dropped and the slushy roads turned to ice. The kind of ice you don’t mess with, especially if you live on a windy county road like ours. You may remember this map from the story of the the bat, the knee, the bicycle helmet, the Mathematician and Dick, the doctor. Now in the winter there’s less worry about bats, but ice is no fun either. These last two days people have been skidding off road and down into ravines, over and into cliffs, and when none of that is available, into ditches. Some of them fatally.

So we’re stuck here in the county, while in town the Girlchild’s friends have got another sleepover going because again tomorrow: school cancelled. And the insult on top of that injury? DHL is not delivering her computer today. They don’t like the idea of skidding off the road into the bay either.

Now what we have on our hands is a very unhappy, very vocally furious seventeen year old who declared she was going to walk into town. Seven plus icy miles in the snow drifts and dark is nothing if her friends are waiting for her. She scoffs at the lack of boots. She sneers at the idea of broken bones. None of that is relevant when her best friends are all together in one place without her. Overnight. With junk food, and movies.

Sometimes you just gotta say no, and then ride out the consequences. What I’m really worried about is the power going out, because then she wouldn’t even be able to talk to her friends online, and I fear she would simply… implode. And that would be a shame. A very messy, very loud shame.

So wish us warm temperatures and melting ice and power lines that stay where they are supposed to be. Because truth to tell: after three days of on again-off again power and imploding teenager, my nerves are shot.

66 Replies to “insult + injury = unhappy girlchild”

  1. I’d love a copy since I can’t afford it. And since everyone else is putting a location. Socorro, New Mexico and yes it’s in the United States.

  2. My name is Judy and I am from Sydney, Australia and I love reading historical fiction. Although I live on the other side of the world, I am Scottish by ancestry and enjoy doing family history research and reading Scottish history. I also spent a year in the U.S. as an American Field Service student living with a wonderful family. Your Wilderness books, all of which I have read many times over, bring together these two strands of my past and my roots and I think that it is this that makes your books so special to me (in addition to the indisputable fact that they are impossible to put down!). It would be wonderful to receive an audiobook of Queen of Swords to ease the pain of waiting until the book finally appears in Australian bookshops.

  3. I’m in Grenoble, France…where we still have no snow in the Alps but it’s getting colder, so hopefully soon.

  4. My name is Wendy, I live in New Hampshire and I am smack in the middle of reading “Queen of Swords” and loving each and every page !!! Would love the CDs.

  5. Hi everybody, I’m Dana from not that sunny Adelanto, California (today at least) in the good ole United States and this is my first time responding too well anything… Love the Wilderness series, read them all, listened to them all over and over and over. Ran out on the 30th and brought QOS and now it’s over, so now I can’t wait to hear the voices of the different characters and to see how close I came to pronouncing the names correctly. Great book, can’t wait till the next one. But I’m patient, generally. Here’s hoping.

  6. Hi, I’m Debbie from Germantown, Maryland. I too love the Wilderness series. I picked up the first one because my colonial ancestors settled in the Mohawk Valley–then I got hooked!

  7. My name is Marna and I am from Occidental, CA – in the beautiful redwoods of Northern California.

  8. Hi. My name is Kaye, I live in Christchurch New Zealand. While I would be more than happy to purchase the audible download, lo the book is ‘not available in my geographic location’ which is a bit of a bummer :-(. Great thing about audiobooks is that while doing all those pesky little jobs around the house, you can listen to books at the same time. Makes the dishes and washing slightly more bearable.

  9. Home is not exotic, but it is certainly American. I am from Kansas, near the Oklahoma border. I would like to have the Queen of Swords on CD because it is a long way to drive to work everyday. I listen to lots of books on CD, and this is one I would enjoy hearing more than once.

  10. Hey it’s me, from Ottawa, Canada. Just got QOS finally, trying to find time to read it. Thanks!

  11. Dear Rosina,

    My name is Sheena Walsh and I hail from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. At present the jacarandas throughout the streets are going from purple to green. Though we are on high water restrictions recent rain is making the city almost its usual fresh spring self. I love living here with the ample foliage and the river and the friendly people. If you came down under you would receive a very enthusiastic welcome.

  12. Wahoo! I was thrilled to find Queen of Swords at B + N today here in sunny San Antonio, Texas. I wasn’t expecting it which greatly enhanced my thrill quotient. I’m a fan from the beginning and yes, I bought Into the Wilderness because it had Diana Gabaldon’s recommendation on the cover. How delightful it was to discover a series that is every bit as rich as the Outlander series and one which I have continued to buy in hardcover as soon as it is published. Both you and Diana are great storytellers and I hope you will both continue your independent writing until you have wrung every ounce of plot out of every character. You make us love them and we can’t wait to find out what happens next. I know I’ll be sad to see Queen of Swords end but thanks for continuing this great series. Just know that we, your fans are whispering over your shoulder as you write saying, “…and then, what happens next?”

  13. Hey There Rosina

    It’s Ang here from Wellington, New Zealand – otherwise known as Windy Wellington (not today though) or for film fans, Wellywood!

  14. Well, if you want to get technical, my first name is Margaret…but I use my middle name, Lynn.

    I am from Augusta, Georgia, USA

  15. Oh, I love a good audio book. It might be the only way to get my mom into the series.

    Tennessee – Chattanooga by way of the Tri-Cities

  16. Hi Rosina, I hope I am not to late. It is only just now Monday eveing here in cold Mississauga Canada.

  17. Penny from Auckland, New Zealand. I’d love to get an audio version of the new book to listen to when my hands are full of new baby and my brain dozy from no sleep ;)

  18. I’m from Vermont. Started reading Queen of Swords on 11/3 when I received it from Amazon and finished this afternoon. True to form, I was so captivated by the story that I read faster and faster at the end in order to find out what happens. I will have to go back and reread for all the wonderful details and subtle pieces of information that make your stories so enjoyable. I can truly say that I rarely read anyone’s books twice and I have read all of this series at least that many times. When you ever complete this series, you will have to write one heck of a epilogue to tie up all your incredibly real characters loose ends. Hats off to another great story. Great job representing all the myriad of cultural elements of the deep south. Regards, Cathy

  19. I live in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA. I love spoilers and have enjoyed reading them before finishing the book.

  20. My name is Carolyn and I live in Huntington, Vermont. The CDs are great to listen to after reading the book because I find that I rush through the books to see what happens next and I usually miss some interesting details.

  21. I live in a suburb of Chicago, Lake Villa Il near Antioch where I think you lived at one time. It’s hard to believe that this far from the city is now considered a suburb, you wouldn’t know the area there are so many new homes. I loved Queen of Swords. Keep up the good work.

  22. Hello This is Linda, who lives on Endurance
    Farm in Ohio. Several years ago, I purchased
    “Into the Wilderness” at a bookstore in
    Williamsburg, Virginia. Took in back to the
    house we were staying at on Duke of Gloucester St., sat in the English garden and began to read your book. The experience was completely thrilling! The sights and sounds of history surrounding me and an incredible adventure filling my mind. I’ve wanted to tell you Thank You for some time now, for this wonderful series that you’ve created.
    Have just started Queen of Swords, and refuse to rush through it after waiting so long for it to arrive. I’d very much like to be chosen for the audiobook give away because, my husband and I are building a house entirely by ourselves, from scratch (cutting up logs) and it would create another great experience for us to listen to the story while working in our wilderness, in a hollow by a waterfalls.
    (P.S. Could comment to you on your Nov. 2nd log, Process of writing a novel, about building a house.)

  23. I also live in Ohio, United States… in tiny little town called Granville… absolutely adored Queen of Swords

  24. Hello from Independence, Missouri USA. The state from which Harry Truman called “home”. Thank you for a “wonderful” series of books. I just received “Queen of Swords” in the mail and I have just begun to readi it. I look forward to what will happen next with the characters.

  25. Anne from Tucson, AZ. Waiting for the book to arrive (asked for the book as a bday present – only til next week to wait.)

  26. Sending you a great big “hey” from Mooresville, North Carolina. And thank you, too, for many hours of great reading.

  27. Hehehehe, I don’t envy you. Ever considered cross country skis? Easier then walking, and very calming,swish,swish,swish…

  28. Sounds like she would prefer to be here; where girls her age have just finished their final school year and it is currently about 100 degrees F. I have never seen winter snow (bit of summer stuff on a mountain, but that was it), can’t even imagine what it is like and my kids have barely seen rain, let alone snow!!

    All I can say is hang it there and hopefully the tempest (inside and out) will ease soon!

  29. Living in Australia it is hard to imagine weather conditions like the ones you are describing. We have the opposite problem here at the moment. I also feel for you because I have a 16 year old daughter and we go through emotional rollercoaster rides with her all the time. Patience is a virtue when you have teenagers and sometimes a still tongue also! I hope the weather improves very quickly for you.

  30. Where I live, a lot of people would say you’re not from around here until you’ve experienced a snow day or you’ve been “snowed-in” at work or at home. Getting outside might not be such a bad idea.

  31. Pam, where your from it’s c,c,c,old! And i’ve lived in the land of the wee trees so I know cold. It’s so cold where you live that the statue of the mountie on a horse there at mountie headquarters..isn’t a statue it’s a real mountie frozen solid! hehehe(I just made that up)I’m feeling silly today :D

  32. Good one, Wolfy. Oh, Rosina, you have me cracking up. I remember when my mind worked the same way as your daughter’s, and I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end (eldest cousin’s children), too! Yikes. Hang in there, ignore the fury inside your house in favor of just staring (glassy-eyed and drooling, if you like) at the fury outside.

  33. Why don’t you guys create your own pyjama party the two of you and do facial masks, manicures, pedicures a good game of trivial pursuit or something silly and enjoy your time as mommy and daughter. Okay I realize this might just be a fantasy but still it couldn’t hurt to try!!!

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