Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fuzzy pajamas and snowflakes

           I’m wearing my blue fleece pajamas and sitting beside our big picture window in the kitchen using the table as a footstool.
Blessed contentment.
Birds are frolicking in the snow, digging for the seeds I threw out, and I’m spending more time watching them than I am writing.  Which is okay. It doesn’t snow here every day, especially on windless days where the the big fat lazy flakes float gently to the ground.
I love to watch the snow. It’s romantic. One of my favorite memories is walking with my husband at night across a mall parking lot while it was snowing, the giant flakes illuminated in the lamplight. I made him hold my hand.
Snow is relaxing. Quiet. Soft.
For our second book, I chose to set it in November (and because I wrote the first scene, I got to do that!). Our last book was dead of summer, lots of heat and a thunderstorm but provided little opportunity to use the weather as a character for conflict.
Winter, I thought, is more complex, at least here in the Midwest--more possibilities for complications. Slick roads, ice storms, whiteouts. When I was in my 20s and drove a white Honda, I got lost on the interstate during a whiteout and took a wrong exit—didn’t recognize anything, signs were all coated. It was terrifying in that tiny, well camouflaged car.  I was sure a snow plow would cover me up and never know I was there.
Terrible things can happen in the snow which could add complications to our characters lives and even up the ante in already difficult situations.
And then there is the balance of that. The romance of the snow where characters can cuddle in front of a fireplace, frolic around bonfires and double up on a sled, or just take a walk along a country road.
Holding hands.

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