As I write this, we are at 19 degrees with freezing fog, after a snow storm that dumped another 5 inches on my town. We have not been without snow on the ground since Thanksgiving. Here in Colorado, you would assume that is pretty normal. But I don’t live in the mountains (although one day I hope to), and our weather is usually pretty up and down. We can be above 60 degrees on any given morning, with sunny skies, and have snow by mid-afternoon and drop into the single digits by nightfall. Weather is so unpredictable here that forecasts aren’t really good for more than 36 hours out.
And you would think I would be upset with all this snow and cold. But I love it. I was a born and raised Midwestern girl, but I always longed for the snow-peaked Rocky Mountains. When I had the opportunity to move here at age 50, you can bet I didn’t look back. And snow and cold in winter means I can slow down and spend more time writing or crafting or cooking, three things I love to do. There is no gardening or outside work, and our social calendar has gone to great emptiness since the holidays. Winter is quiet, encouraging one to be introspective and thoughtful.
And as a writer, it means I may get time to be inspired. To write more. To catch up on some research or read an extra book or two. Or, to come up with new ideas for stories.
What if my heroine and hero were forced together by an ice or snow storm? What kind of trouble could they get into if there was no power because of downed lines, trapped in a single room of a cabin where a wood stove could keep them warm? And needing to replenish the firewood supply, what if they were to run into an angry, hungry, sleep-deprived bear? What if they knew each other before, parting on less-than-ideal terms and having some hard feelings about how that whole thing went down?
I have read some books set in winter, that trapped the hero and heroine together in an icy or snowy situation. They had to make do, and stay away from the bad guy, in one of the books. They had to make do, and while they made do they had plenty of time to think about themselves and each other, to fall in love, to work together to find a solution.
My brain has been playing around with such a story. And I think my brain is having more fun with this than usual, because of our current icy, snowy conditions here. Not that that is a bad thing, right? I’ll take inspiration where I can get it.
Unlike some other writers, it is really hard for me to write about a particular time of year, say, a holiday or hot summer or cold winter, unless I’m actually experiencing that thing myself. It’s hard to be inspired to write a Christmas story, for example, when it is the middle of June and I’m picking green beans in my garden and getting a sunburn.
So, since my current WIP is floundering, perhaps I’ll drag that ice-storm story out and give it a go. For a while, anyway. Until the sun comes back out and gives us some warmth and melting of snow, and then I can get back to the summer story I’ve been working on.
What are you working on in these cold, dark months? Tell me about it in the comments!