Starting With a Roar!

Roaring LionAs announced in yesterday’s Coming Attractions post and in our fabulous newsletter, there is a lot happening around the Lair in March. Historically, we have said, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” I never cared much about the lamb bit, but I have always been fascinated by the image of March coming in like a lion.

This reference to leonine qualities likely refers to the raw, cold winds and lingering last weeks of winter (at least in the Northern Hemisphere!) that characterize March. I remember as a young girl, probably 8 or 9, being desperate for spring to begin already. I knew spring started in March, but didn’t realize that the advent of spring didn’t immediately mean it would be warm outside. Because that is what I wanted: weather warm enough that I could go outside barefoot. My mother would finally give up near the end of the month and give me permission to go outside barefoot for as long as I could stand it. Which wasn’t usually very long. Still, I kept trying!

bare toes in grassThese days, I have no desire to go anywhere barefoot. Spring usually means an onslaught of seasonal allergies in North Carolina, so it’s not something I long for. Still, I find myself getting restless in March. Antsy. Maybe even a bit crabby. I also find myself roaring more than I like, but that is generally about things like unfinished taxes and financial aid forms for the universities. I don’t enjoy this general edginess March brings out in me, but I definitely relate it to the creeping longevity of the days and the barest hint of spring-to-come. (In our yard, mainly wild onions and other weeds popping up!)

yard work toolsTo counter all this roaring while I wait for the Promised Lamb, I generally fling myself into flurries of activity with little forethought and minimal planning. Things like raking out the landscaped areas, cleaning my flower beds, mucking out the dining room (which we use as a storage facility, apparently) and, in general, filling up more garbage bags than our weekly pickup can handle. It does help burn energy and provides me with a fleeting sense of accomplishment, but it doesn’t help me with butt-in-chair time or actually writing anything.

butt in chair logoA dilemma, since I seriously MUST finish both a novella and a novel. Both are about 2/3 finished and I have spent far too long thinking about them. This year I am trying to harness my leonine qualities and funnel them into finishing books. Taking care of business. Remembering who I am.

So what are your grand plans for March? Are you gearing up for spring or fall? Bristling with energy or looking forward to kicking back and relaxing? Let me know how the Roar Of the Lion affects you!

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  • Jane says:

    Hello Caren,
    I’m so ready for spring to arrive. Another storm is coming and we’re expected to get 6-12 inches on Monday. I think spring cleaning is on the agenda for March. I feel like we’ve been cooped up due to the freaky weather and I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors as the weather warms up.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jane, can you believe there is more ice and snow on the way? It seems like it’s been winter FOREVER!

      I can’t say I’m looking forward to spring cleaning, but I’m looking forward to it being done. πŸ˜€

      I hope the GR behaves for you today and doesn’t leave you another mess to clean up (as he usually does!).

  • Patty L. says:

    I like you suffer from seasonal allergies (plant and tree sex are my nemisis). This, however does not stop me from wanting warmer temps and abundant sunshine that spring brings. I look forward to green grass and flowers blooming. I too have a lot of writing to finish up but am suffering from no ass in chair syndrome. My goal this month is to finish my current WIP and then enjoy a spring break.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Patty, I love the reference to plant and tree sex – ha! I don’t think I’ve ever considered it from that angle. πŸ™‚

      I would be perfectly happy if it stayed spring temps until fall and skipped the blazing heat of summer altogether!

      As for butt-in-chair time, we probably need to isolate ourselves and get it all done! Maybe if Paolo locks us in the dungeon until we reach a certain word count, we can make some progress. Not that I trust Paolo with the keys, necessarily. Hm…

  • Helen says:


    I am so looking forward to some cooler weather although probably won’t happen till areound April sometime and for me I do need to give the house a good clean and try somehow to organize the books I have on mt tottering TBR pile the cooler weather for me means indoors and reading more but really I need to get the books in some sort of order LOL

    Have Fun

    • Caren Crane says:

      Helen, when I picture your TBR pile, it’s like the Leaning Tower of Literature! πŸ˜€

      I’m sure you will get it all sorted in time for the Winter Read-a-thon! Of course, there are always more books on the way, so you may need help to get the sorting done!

  • Helen says:

    Oh and we also have the ARRA awards dinner this month that I am really looking forward to as well it is always a great night and I am looking forward to catching up with some great authors

    Have Fun

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, I always envy you guys your wonderful awards ceremony! I’m sure it will be a wonderful time for everyone. Can’t wait to see pictures (although I’ll be dead jealous!).

  • Amy Conley says:

    March means painting, washing windoows and blinds, cleaning carpets. In other words, out withe old, in with the new. And the sooner the better! It is the one time of year I enjoy cleaning with a vengence.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Amy, I think you need to come to my house. Especially if you enjoy cleaning carpets in the springtime. πŸ™‚ I don’t really enjoy the doing, but I love having it done!

      We should form a cleaning posse and travel from house to house until everyone’s cleaning is finished. Then we can have a big party and dirt it all up again! πŸ™‚

  • Laurie G says:

    I’m going to be busy helping my daughter as her C-section will either be on the 12th or the 19th. Her OB MD and her High -Risk Specialist MD are working out the date. Hopefully we’ll learn the exact date today. We’ve been having fun moving my 2 yo granddaughter to her big girl room and getting the house and nursery ready for a tiny newborn.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Laurie, what an exciting time for all of you! It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was moving my older daughter to her “big girl” bed. Now she’s a junior in college and the “baby” is a college sophomore!

      I hope all goes well for your daughter and the new grandbaby. A happy and safe delivery! I know you will soon have even more love to go around. It multiplies, you know! πŸ™‚

  • Mozette says:

    I have energy to burn!

    There’s the Creative Markets here in Logan City I’m taking part in every month this year… and I love it as I’m hoping to get into it more with prettily painted coathangers, coasters as well as my Magna-Pegs, clothes pegs and Cool Pencils too… and then there’s my one of a kind Itty-Bitty Jugs… so cute!

    And then I’m working on the last chapters of Fry Nelson – Bounty Hunter book 3… very interesting and I’m going to leave it as an open ending so my readers can imagine what the characters get up to after this. πŸ˜€

    And then…. *drum roll please!*…. I got a new back fence! Yes! My Body Corporate actually got other Body Corporates and another business to get into it and finally (after over a decade of waiting – yes you read right!) we got the fence started on. Anyway, I got the fence done last week and my garden actually looks quite gorgeous! Yay! no more weeds coming through, more privacy and I can hang pots and plaques off the fence now without the fear of them falling off and breaking. πŸ˜€

    I do have plans to bug the BC to get the end fence done as it’s not connected to the back fence… and Dad (he’s the chairperson of the Body Corporate) isn’t happy about that. So, he’ll dig in his heels to get that done too. πŸ˜€

    Soooo…. yep, I’m busy this year.

    OOOOOHHH! I forgot! I joined a Romance Writer’s Group offline. I’m getting the girls there to read The Anna Millings Adventures… they love it! There’s a lot of sex, self-satisfaction and romping around nude in it, but they love the freedom the main character has with … um… everything. And my fellow writers tell me to not stop writing hot’n’sexy stuff. πŸ˜€

    • Caren Crane says:

      Wow, you are having a super-busy late summer, Mozette! So happy to hear all is going well with the art ventures AND the writing. And the fence! That has certainly been a long time coming. It will be wonderful when your dad gets that last bit sorted for you and you can really enjoy your private space.

      As for the writing, I’m not surprised your group is loving it. Keep it up! One rarely gets accused of having too much heat in a story. πŸ™‚

      • Mozette says:

        And as with every story, there’s conflict (as always) and it’s deep-seated, heavy and dark – very dark – so it’s a good darker side to the story. I get all Stephen-King-descriptive about that too. I knew reading his stuff was going to do something for me. πŸ˜€

        There’s nothing like writing a great story and having a group of people sit there and say that my book is better than ’50 Shades of Gray’… woot! πŸ˜€

  • Connie Fischer says:

    I live in a condo in southwest Florida so I don’t have any complaints! The flowers are always beautiful and well cared for and the weather is also lovely. However, we do like to get into March a bit so we know we can rely on constantly warm days. Love it. Just wish the bad weather up north would stop. People are so weary from it. πŸ™

    • Caren Crane says:

      Connie, I’m glad you’re having some warm days. It certainly does not feel like spring here. Not yet! Poor Joanie was supposed to be getting more “weather” in KY and Jane said NY is getting hit, too. I think Jeanne is expecting some in MD. Sheesh!

      At least the sun is shining here, even if it won’t be much above 40 F. πŸ˜€ Enjoy your warmth and bask in a patch of sunlight for us all!

  • Deb says:

    Caren, March certainly is coming in like a lion here in Iowa. Actually, the lion has roared very loudly for the last 6 weeks. This February has been the snowiest in a long while and the snowiest for most of the winter. We have also been dealing with bone-chilling, bitter cold since mid-December. (Forecast for tonight is a record-breaking -12.)

    So, I live in Iowa, so I’m used to snow. HATE the bitter cold. March is my sister’s birthday month and my parents, nieces, younger sister, and I are taking her to a little pub in Stone City, Iowa (Grant Wood country) for lunch on the 22nd. I have parent-teacher conferences on the 26th and 27th, so the next few weeks will be hectic, gathering testing data and such to share with parents. Just for this reason alone, I can’t wait for March to be over.

    As for going out like a lamb….well, with this winter, who knows? Mr. Lion may not be gracious enough to let that happen. πŸ˜‰

    • Deb says:

      I should add that we got another 3.5 inches last night. Seems as if we have had 4 to 6 inches every week for the last 4 or so.

      • Deb says:

        Oh, on another side note….we had a couple of days where the actual temps were -20 in January…

    • Caren Crane says:

      Deb, it’s hard for me to even imagine the sort of snow and cold temps you guys get in the midwest. Your stories and Susan’s make me shiver!

      Here, it has been in the 30s (cold for us) and 40s for the past week for the highs, which is normal for this time of year. Today, it is supposed to be 68 degrees – which it already is! The sun is warm and gorgeous. I was so happy driving to and from church, because I was actually WARM! πŸ™‚

      I hope March does go out like a lamb for all you Iowans and anyone else still getting ice and snow. Occasionally, we do get a very late winter snow or ice storm in March, but I hope it passes us by this year!

      And enjoy your sister’s birthday celebration. It sounds like a great trip and girl party! I need to figure out what we’re doing for my older daughter. She turns 21 on March 29, so she’ll probably just want to go out with her friends! But she’ll have to give her family a little face-time, too, I hope. πŸ™‚

  • Becke says:


    It’s absolutely glorious in SC today-blue skies, cherry tree in full bloom, daffodils. However, it’s not quite warm enough for our bike rides. Twenty miles/hr downhill and less than 50 degrees turns me into a popcycle! So we bundle and enjoy a walk at a lower speed an little to no wind-chill.

    I established my March writing goals when I started the latest revision and I try to stay on target. For March I finish my second time through so it’s about 100-150 pps a week. That’s a stretch with the day job.

    The beautiful weather gives me more energy so I’m ready to tear into it.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Becke, you must be having the same gorgeous sunshine we’re having! Except it’s 68 here, which is really bizarre! Makes me wonder what’s coming next. Ah, I checked and it’s supposed to be rainy with a high of 39 on Thursday. That sounds right for NC. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few hours and it will all change! πŸ˜›

      I’m a bit in awe that you set actual writing goals. I’m terrible about that sort of thing. But you’re right that it’s that much hard to get pages done while holding down a Dreaded Day Job. Mine is insanely busy right now, just when I need to get a lot of writing done. When it rains, it pours!

      Keeping myself out of the sunshine today and in front of my computer. Hopefully I will get something written besides comments to you guys and emails! πŸ™‚

  • Jo Robertson says:

    LOL, Caren, I love that your dining room is a storage room. As each of our children has left home, it appears that their bedrooms become storage rooms. I now have 3 storage rooms! And the garage is one giant mess of a disorganized thingy-do (can’t actually call it a storage room b/c the cars fit in there too!).

    • Caren Crane says:

      I know lots of people whose “dining room” has become some other sort of room. Now, I actually have a full set of dining room furniture, it just happens to be piled with books, photos, notebooks, file folders and a bunch of other stuff (including Bandita bookmarks!). I really must get that stuff sorted soon. A friend and I were joking yesterday that we need to plan a party so we’ll have to clean house. The thought give me the willies!

      I hope my kids’ rooms don’t turn into junk – I mean, storage rooms, but I could see that happening. Fingers crossed it won’t!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    January and February are big birthday months for our family, so I don’t even TRY to organize and lion-like activity until March.

    March must be my writing month. I’m so dead in the water if I don’t get some serious writing done then. It’s usually the time where I try to lose those last 10 (now 20) pounds of extra weight.

    And, of course, in the US those nasty tax deadlines loom ever closer.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jo, I know that “dead in the water” feeling. March must be a time of writing renewal!

      As for taxes, poor Mr. Crane has been sick this week but he still had to get the taxes mostly finished so we could make the March 1 FAFSA deadline (that’s a financial aid application for US universities). He said he got the second one in before midnight last night “with seconds to spare.” Of course, we still have to ALSO do the CSS Profile for UNC-CH and then amend the FAFSA when our taxes are filed. It never ends!

  • Caren,

    When I was growing up, I tended to dread March, mostly because the in or out like a Lion meant either another blizzard snowstorm or a series of tornadoes. Spring in the midwest is not for sissies!!

    I was out in the backyard this weekend and saw new foliage on the rose bushes. Some of my neighbors have daffodils popping up in their flowerbeds. (I would too, if I could remember to plant some damn bulbs in November!) I’ll be outside the next warm day pruning back the roses and mulching the beds.

    The nice thing about Texas is the roses start to bloom in late March and continue through mid October. You’d think I’d remember to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs when I do the winter pruining on the roses, but no.

    Maybe next year!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Suz, I can’t even imagine late winter in the midwest. Brr! Since it’s 68 today, all the daffodils are putting up shoots like crazy. My earliest bloomer already has buds ready to pop. Of course, since it will be 18 tomorrow night (and sleeting) and 39 on Thursday (for the HIGH!), everything will likely get bitten and look wretched this spring. Ah, well. It’s glorious today!

    • Suz, I love roses. It would be nice to have them blooming that long.

  • catslady says:

    We are right on the border of a storm – anywhere between 4 to 12 inches depending on which way it blows. I too am ready for winter to end but I know March is a fickle month. I’m hoping this is the last roar of the lion and we get to see that cute baby lamb!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Catslady, I hope it’s getting near the end of the storms for you. It’s been wintry long enough! I did see it’s supposed to sleet here (and be 18) tomorrow night, but it’s sunny and 68 right now. All the birds and squirrels (and flowers and shrubs) are very confused!

  • I think the lion is dressed appropriately for this March. We got a couple of inches of snow this morning with a promise of more this evening. I am so sick of winter and so ready for spring! However, March is normally a “shut-in” month for me due to taxes. I live in my small office, cranking away on the computer – so the weather outside shouldn’t bother me. Come April I’ll be ready to burst out of the house and grab spring with both arms…assuming I survive the winter.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Donna, I was thinking of you last night as Mr. Crane was struggling to get the taxes “done enough” for us to file the FAFSAs for the girls. I was sure you are already head down and going like gangbusters trying to get your clients’ taxes done. Better you than me, sister!

      It’s a good thing spring arrives a little later for you, since you’re so busy in March. By April down here, it’s too late to start doing anything and the yard will be out of control! πŸ˜€

  • Shannon says:

    I miss living in North Carolina. I loved my crocuses, roses, hyacinths, and daffodils.

    But here I am, facing another storm–5-10 inches according to one radio station, 8-12 inches from the internet. At least I’m in a condo and don’t have to shovel the stuff.

    As for the butt in the chair thing, I can deliver myself two messages–I am doing enough or I’m not doing enough. Deadlines do force me to do what has to be done. But I also look at what is that keeps me from the “butt in the chair” whether it’s life stuff or writing. And I keep coming up with that inner critic that says I need to wait until I can do it perfectly. There’s life stuff that I forcing myself to do even though the evil devil is setting on my shoulder telling me there’s a better way, a more graceful way, etc. I’m digging down and pulling up the other voice, a little girl voice, that says “Look at me. I can do it.”

    • Shannon, we do get nice early spring flowers here in the Carolinas, but our summers tend to be miserable, you may recall.

      I hope this storm won’t sock you too badly and will melt quickly.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Shannon, I wish you were here today. It’s sunny and 68! Never mind that it will be 18 and sleeting tomorrow night. You do recall THAT about NC, don’t you? You never know what you’ll get next!

      As for the inner critic, it can be hard to turn that off. I think you’re smart to listen to that little girl voice. She knows you can do anything you set your mind to! And you will. Getting things done just because you have to counts. It seriously does. Done is done! Deadlines of all sorts do at least help keep us moving forward. Onward and upward!

      I hope the bright, sunny days are just ahead for you. Hang in there!

  • Caren, what a fun post! I never know what to expect from March. When the boy was in second grade or so, we got snow every Wednesday in March. Even he was tired of it.

    I’m looking forward to longer, more temperate days and hoping to get Sentinel launched without snags. And maybe catch up some on my reading.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Nancy, March is certainly a mixed bag around here, isn’t it? Sun! Snow! Rain! Sun! Ice! High winds! You just never know what tomorrow will bring. Well, maybe the meteorolgists do, but I sure don’t!

      I’m sure Sentinel will launch smoothly and delight us all! I hope you can indulge in some reading, too. We all have books longing to be read sitting around waiting for us!

  • Caren, I love that line about March coming in like a lion – I think the first time I heard it was in June is Bustin’ Out All Over from Carousel (had parents who were R&H fans). We’re heading for autumn here and already there’s a change in the air. Autumn is actually the nicest time of year where I live. Clear skies, crisp nights, warm days. It’s swimming weather usually up until about Easter so there’s still nice summery things you can do without wanting to die from the heat and humidity. We’ve had a really stinking hot summer this year so I’ve been looking forward to the change of season like you wouldn’t believe.

    Good luck with the novella and the novel! I’m ROARING with anticipation!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, Anna, how I wish we were heading into autumn! It’s my favorite time of year. It sounds like perfect conditions where you are. I’ll have to remember to plan my trip over there for March! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the good wishes for the novel and novella. At this rate, I’ll need divine intervention to get them finished!

  • flchen1 says:

    You can TOTALLY do this, Caren! And…GO! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your next post, in which you say, “I did it. I’m done!” πŸ™‚

    I can’t believe it’s March already… onward!