Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond

Sandy offers peace and quiet, if you know where to look...

Some eagle-eyed readers will know that I live on the Eastern Seaboard of the US, just a few short miles away from where the exact center of Hurricane Sandy is scheduled to pass over within the next day or two. I was trained well for emergency situations, and I was in NYC during Hurricane Irene last year, so my preparations for this storm have entailed checking the stock of flashlights and batteries (fine), non-perishable food (one more tin of nuts would be nice, but otherwise fine), water (another couple of gallons bought), and figuring out the safest place to be in the house if trees start coming down (the basement -- no other rooms of this house are windowless). Now, I get to sit back and enjoy the storm.

I would actually be okay if the power went out, which is a pretty likely situation. All the loose ends on my computer have been tied up as of an hour ago. While it would pretty much suck to be without electricity and Internet for a while, not only am I prepared to deal with it, but that kind of situation would greatly diminish the amount of distractions during the workday.

Call it a house-arrest/forced writer's retreat. I could sit down with a good, ol'-fashioned pen and notebook, and really concentrate hard on translating. On the voice, and the rhythm, and the word choice, finding things from my own brain, instead of relying on the crutch of online dictionaries and thesauruses (thesauri? whatever).

Maybe it's nostalgia for a simpler time that never existed; maybe it's a burning curiosity to see if I really can be persuaded to work without the onslaught of my usual tools; maybe it's just wishful thinking. Here's the thing -- everyone will be staying home from work tomorrow. Everyone will be here. And bored.

Distractions galore.

Oh well. Maybe I can retreat to a dark corner of the house and blow out my candle. No one will find me then!