Too Darn Hot

Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here, writing this on August 10, the first relatively cool day we’ve had in weeks. More heat and humidity are due in next week, when this blog will actually appear. Let me just say . . . yuck!

I like living in Maine precisely because we don’t usually have more than a handful of hot, humid days each year. 2018 has already broken the record. DO NOT tell me climate change is a hoax. It’s pretty obvious something untoward is going on with the heat index.

We have window units in three rooms—the living room, the bedroom, and my office. Air conditioners work pretty well for controlling how hot it gets in the house, but the humidity is another matter. Did I mention I hate to sweat? Worse, my brain doesn’t work properly when the weather is steamy. It’s a good thing the current manuscript (the one set in March) is in a “resting” stage, because I doubt I’d have produced anything readable in this weather.

I visited New Orleans once, back in the 1990s, in the summer, for a RWA conference. It’s an interesting city, but the humidity nearly killed me every time I went outside the hotel. Drinking hurricanes helped, but only up to a point. I did make a successful pitch to my editor at the time (for the book that became Echoes and Illusions), but my most vivid memory of those few days is of being profoundly uncomfortable.

Our recent heat wave has been on a par with that experience, only it’s lasted longer (23 days and counting). Here in western Maine a lot of places aren’t air conditioned at all. The heat builds up inside during the day and it doesn’t have anywhere to go at night. Forget sleeping well if you don’t have something to help cool things off. Even in air-conditioned buildings, energy savers cut in and out, making you sweat just before you get another blast of cold air. The end result is a lot of cranky people.

Animals aren’t happy either. I took pictures of Bala for International Cat Day (August 8). She wasn’t about to move, let alone be cute for the camera. Maybe cats have the right idea—sleep until things improve.

Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett is the author of nearly sixty traditionally published books written under several names. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries (Overkilt—November 2018) and the “Deadly Edits” series (Crime & Punctuation) as Kaitlyn and the historical Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries (Murder in a Cornish Alehouse) as Kathy. The latter series is a spin-off from her earlier “Face Down” mysteries and is set in Elizabethan England. Her most recent collection of short stories is Different Times, Different Crimes. Her websites are and and she maintains a website about women who lived in England between 1485 and 1603 at


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13 Responses to Too Darn Hot

  1. Marc-André says:

    Tell us about it… London doesn’t normally get hot for more than a week at the most. This year we had constant hot humid weather from May onwards. Mostly without break or rain.

    • kaitlynkathy says:

      It’s been a brutal summer everywhere. I suppose I shouldn’t complain. We have had rain here. And no forest fires (knock wood). I just really hope this isn’t the new normal.

      • Marc-André says:

        Sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if this will be the new normal. For too long we’ve made huge changes to the eco system. And while it’s normal for the planet to go through cycles of extreme cold or heat snaps we seem to have pushed it a little too far. :/

  2. Lea Wait says:

    Absolutely agree. Most days too hot and humid even to sit on my porch with a cool drink. Strange and un-Mainely summer.

  3. bereksennebec says:

    Amen on the misery associated with this weather. The ultimate hot/humid day last week hit me with a sinus infection. Nothing like bending over and having your face fall off multiple times. Poor Berniw, our dog looks like he’s melted every time he flops down.

  4. bangorgirl says:

    Simply horrible! And one night we had a power outage so not even a fan to move the air…this isn’t my Maine! Good news…tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful and comfortable. Hooray!!!

  5. bethc2015 says:

    My energy is sapped and I can’t think straight. Our dehumidifier helps a little with the humidity but then generates more heat. I hope relief is in sight.

  6. Julianne Spreng says:

    Here in north central Ohio, we had 90’s in MAY. I remember snow flurries the first week of May! Our only saving grace is that it’s mostly been dropping into the 70’s, 60’s, and even a few 50’s at night. Climate deniers need to open their doors and experience the real weather. Not the artificial climate inside.

    Kaitlynkathy try visiting New Orleans in January. It was very comfortable.

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