Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What to Wear For the End of the World

by Mindy McGinnis

I've got an outdoor wood stove that heats my century-old house. Loading up the stove is the last thing I do before heading to work in the wintertime, and that means slipping on a trusty pair of Carhartts over my work clothes. When I come back in, take off the steel-toed boots and unzip out of my khaki-colored cocoon to slip on some high heels I often think it would make a pretty good panty-hose ad.

My editor, Sarah Shumway of Katherine Tegen, asked some pretty tough questions when we were going through line edits together for NOT A DROP TO DRINK. I love that she made me think hard and left no stone unturned, but occasionally the details of my MC's life are... not very sexy.

1) Does Lynn shave? Probably not - serious waste of water.

2) What does Lynn sleep in? I'm guessing her underwear. And yes, I'm willing to bet they're very practical and have a hole or two.

3) How often does Lynn do laundry? Not all that often. Refer back to wasting water.

4) What are Carhartts, anyway? Well city-dwellers, Carhartts are essential work-wear for farmers, anyone who works outdoors for a living, and also people who would like to survive the apocalypse. I'm not saying you have to own a pair to escape death, but it'll help when it gets cold or if a rabid / infested thing of some sort tries to bite you.

I think it goes without saying that Lynn will not be getting one of those gorgeous ball gown covers that have been the recent rage in YA.

Her wardrobe is all earth tones and denim, I suppose. She needs practical clothing that can stand up to constant abuse and fade into the background of her environment when she's hunting, or being hunted. While her coveralls might cover her curves in the process of protecting her from the elements, she's going to get home safe and sound to sleep in her underwear.

And in her world, that's all that matters.

Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian. Her debut dystopian, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, will be available from Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins Fall, 2013. She blogs at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire and contributes to the group blogs From the Write AngleBook PregnantFriday the Thirteeners and The Lucky 13s. You can also find her on Twitter Facebook.


  1. Yeehaw for country girls! As someone who hauls water, I give this post a "hell yeah" fist pump.

  2. I would wear Carhartts, but only with a fringe of lace sewn on the hems. :)

  3. I lived off the heat of an old wood stove for years and still have my overalls to prove it. (And the nightmares from the wood spiders!)

  4. Just so I'm clear, there's nothing wrong with holey underwear, right?!

  5. Nicole - *fist pump* for hauling water. It's such a damn heavy liquid.

    AG - You would rock the frilly Carharts.

    JAM - You betcha. There's nothing like the good, honest dry head of a wood stove. And the spiders burn up nice, too.

    Bethany - Holey underwear keeps you warmer. That's my understanding.