From Christina: Mae Clair and I connected through blogging last year, and I quickly came to count her as both a special author and a special friend. She’s one of the most talented romance authors I’ve read, and she’s also one of the most supportive authors in the romance-writing community. I’m delighted to share her thoughts and personal reflections about this cold, snowy time of year.
A Winter Celebration
By Mae Clair
It’s only a handful of days from Christmas, a most joyous time of year! Saturday is the Winter Solstice, marking the first day of a historically snowy season. It’s the longest day of the year which means dark falls early.
Usually, my husband and I will fill some mugs with coffee or hot chocolate and drive around looking at displays of Christmas lights in the surrounding neighborhoods. Occasionally, I’ve even packed cookies in the car to make the event more festive. By this time, we pretty much have a handle on the holidays (decorations are up, cards are mailed, shopping is done) and it’s a time to kick back and enjoy a bit of seasonal fun. I still have gifts to wrap, but I always reserve that for Christmas Eve during the day.
I can’t say I’m all that thrilled to officially usher in a season of cold, snow and ice, but there’s a spark of magic to be found in the mix. A stillness that settles on the land, especially at night, when the surroundings are wrapped in a hush. It’s an ageless music, underscored by a whisper of earth and sky, something the Vikings surely heard as they trekked across plateaus of snow ribboned with skeins of ice. As much as I could embrace a sun-kissed lifestyle in a tropical setting, I’d have to visit northern climates for the occasional dose of snow and cold. Just sporadically, you understand.
Winter isn’t without perks.
Cold weather is great for snuggling with your guy, or curling up in front of a warm fire. If you’re the outdoorsy type there’s sledding, tobogganing and ice-skating. For astronomers or amateur stargazers, winter is the best time for viewing the heavens. The stars glitter like cut crystal on a bed of licorice-black, and they never appear closer.
The romantic in me prefers to overlook the less savory unappealing okay, downright nasty features that go hand-in-hand with winter in the northern hemisphere. Things like snow shoveling, falling on the ice (been there, done that), scraping the windshield because-the-weather-guys-had-the-forecast-wrong-again-and-it-dumped-the-white-stuff-all-over-your-car-while-you-were-at-work. There’s also the ever popular getting stuck on the drive home because you didn’t bring the SUV (see reference to aforementioned inaccurate weather guys).
As with any time of year, there are pros and cons. Winter being what it is, I try to embrace the positives more than the negatives, snuggling in for the long months ahead. Right now I’m looking forward to the merriment of Christmas and New Year’s, gathering with family and friends. Afterward, I’ll make peace with the arrival of January and February. If nothing else, winter is my most productive time for writing, when I’m huddled inside.
What about you? What do you like most about winter? How do you adapt to the cold months ahead? Or maybe you live in a beautiful climate where snow and ice are rarely seen. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Mae Clair writes novels of myth, mystery and romance, and is the author of WEATHERING ROCK and TWELFTH SUN. The best place to connect with Mae is on her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, Twitter or Facebook. She can also be found on her website at www.maeclair.com