I, for one, am enjoying the long winter of 2012-2013. It's the winter without end despite Punxatawny Phil's prognostication. At least Sir Walter Raleigh, Raleigh's own large rat, predicted the long winter correctly. I was sick with the adult croup, a bad cold, and then the neurovirus from the Tuesday after Thanksgiving until about January 20th. That was tree cutting time, garden rehabilitation time, and landscaping project time. Now it is all squeezed between now and whenever winter ends, because when it ends, the ticks will burst from hiding, the green pine tree pollen will be as thick as volcanic ash, day time highs will go from the 50s to the upper 80s immediately, and plants will grow while you watch them. I've been splitting time outside and inside. I'm a hot weather writer because I can't handle the heat and sun, so when this winter breaks, writing will begin in earnest. So, the production of the poetry book, POEMS FOR A PLATYPUS, continues heading for a deadline a week away, the short story that I'm writing has exceeded the 5,000 work maximum by 6,000 words, so now it is something else, and the pull of the next Detective Stark novel is getting too strong to resist. I'll get to it, I tell my subconscious, the moment winter ends.