The Voice is WithinIt’s rainy and blustery here in Pittsburgh, one of my favorite kinds of days.

When the sun is out, it tends to direct your feet outside so you can enjoy the fresh air and the light on your face. You can take a walk in the woods, play a sport, mow the lawn, chat with neighbors. The sun sets the tone for the day. But dark, rainy days are for the pensive. There’s no need to run outside and look for neighbors today, no need to join in any activities today, no need even to speak. The voice is within. Everything needed is inside, so I seek refuge within today.

Some may say it’s positively gloomy. I’m afraid I must agree, especially with the positively part. There’s so much potential here. This is the kind of day you want to crawl under a blanket with a cup of hot tea and a great book—or a great notebook and a pen. Either way, it’s a day to lose yourself in story, and see what happens.

Of course, there is much to do today, places to be in, and people counting on me. But mentally, I will be wrapped up in that blanket and story, carrying them with me in my mind, until I return home to cocoon and create.

Strangely, I think of this process the way my Dad cooks. He’s mastered the art of slow cooking, so that you smell a delicious aroma for about 8 hours until it’s ready to eat. By then, the taste buds are conditioned to expect the best, and they’re never disappointed. Rainy, busy days are days for slow cooking an idea, simmering and stewing the plot until it’s just right. Then, and only then, does it get put to paper.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at