Monday, November 9, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Snow

When I first started writing my story—Snow Kissed—I knew I needed some insight about SNOW from my friends who actually lived in the snow. I, myself, am a California girl recently transplanted in North Carolina. I’d visited snow, gone skiing, spent weekends in the mountains all while living in CA. Now in NC, we have the occasional snow fall which usually melts that same hour or within a day or two. But living with snow day in and day out all winter long, I knew nothing about. So I tapped into the knowledge of my good friend and critique partner who is a Wisconsin native. Here is just a part of what she told me are the ‘Ins and Outs’ of Snow.

Good Things

  1. Snow is beautiful. Especially new fallen snow that has yet to be disturbed.
  2. Winter sports and activities are great – skiing, sledding, ice skating, snow mobiling, snow shoeing and ice fishing to name a few.
  3. It’s nice to look out at the snow from your cozy, warm house as you are curled up under an afghan with a good book.
  4. Winter clothes are so cozy and cuddly (not to mention more forgiving of figure flaws than most summer clothes.)
  5. Hot chocolate with whipped cream when you come in from the cold.
  6. No road construction!
  7. Snow days! Hurray for no school.

Bad Things

  1. Dirty snow and slush are gross.
  2. Shoveling the driveway and digging out cars after a snowstorm.
  3. We miss gardening, picnicking and swimming outside.
  4. It’s not nice when it’s twenty degrees below zero (before factoring in the wind chill) and your car battery is dead from the cold.
  5. It’s a pain to have to put on so many extra clothes – coat, hat, mittens, scarf and boots – just to walk to the end of the driveway and get the mail. If you have kids, add snow pants as well to their outdoor ensemble.
  6. Cold floors! Especially if you don’t have carpeting in your bedroom.
  7. Bad driving conditions. Icy roads can send cars spinning into the ditch and drifts of snow can trap cars in them.

Do you have anything to add about snow? Love it—Hate it?

Here is an excerpt from my story, Snow Kissed, with my snow-loving heroine and the hero who hates it.

As soon as Muriel left, Logan’s mood seemed to shift from irritated to agreeable. His body language became much more relaxed with his hardened chin softening and a real smile moving onto his face. “So, what are you up to this afternoon?”

Before Holly’s expression could waver into a frown, she forced a smile. “I…I’m off for a snow walk.” Possibly my last in Meriden.

“That is what’s so stupid about this…this whole Winter Wonderland Carnival. There’s no snow!” He raised both his hands in aggravation.

“There might not be any right now, but there will be.”

“How do you know? There’s no snow expected. Cold, but no snow.”

“There’ll be snow tonight.” She stepped close to him, laying her hand in the crook of his arm. The contact brought a swirl of pleasure moving around inside her stomach—more so than normal. It must be from all the excitement of her news—nothing more than that.

“Just breathe,” she whispered to him, as she slowly took in a deep whiff. “You smell that?”

He shook his head. “What? Burgers from down the street?”

“No.” She laughed; he could be so dense sometimes. “It’s the first snowfall.” She inhaled another intoxicating aroma of winter air. “It’s coming.”

“And what’s so good about snow? It’s just annoying and inconvenient.” He pulled his arm away and folded them across his lean frame.

“Snow is beautiful…magical.” Her voice came out breathy with the idea of snow making her feel all tingly.

“It’s cold, wet stuff that falls from the sky.”

“Then there are the wonderful clothes: hats, scarves, gloves…”

“…galoshes, wool socks,” he countered.

She continued, not to be undone by his cynicism. “Fresh baked cookies, hot apple cider, hot cocoa, hot toddies…what is a hot toddy?”

He nearly laughed at her, a cute smile building in the corner of his mouth as he shook his head. “A hot alcoholic drink. You want to come in for some coffee? I just made a pot.”

She shook her head and took in a deep breath before releasing it. “No, remember I’m off to take my snow walk through Meriden.” She tilted her head up at him. “I’ll be at the carnival tonight, working the booth for the church. Of course, you wouldn’t dare show your face there, now would you?”

Pausing, she made a concerted effort to memorize his face, including his subtly uneven eyebrows. This was probably one of the last times they’d be together. A breath hitched in her throat at the thought of never seeing Logan again. They’d shared so many memories over the years: spring picnics at the lake, midnight movies, and disastrous cooking adventures. Life wouldn’t be the same without him.

She should tell him she was leaving town for good. This was the perfect moment. Maybe he would respond by telling her she should stay—stay because he loved her too much to let her go. In my dreams.

“Goodbye, Logan,” was all she could bring herself to say. Lord, help me. It was easier than being disappointed.

Snow Kiss is available now at White Rose Publishing. Feel free to stop by and visit me at my website.


Kara Lynn Russell said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe you kept that list. If I had written it last winter I'd have added having snow is much better than having the temperature drop so low that it won't snow. (Honest, we had -60 weather. Schools closed and my shower drain froze.) I hope the list helped anyway.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

I live in SW LA where it snows every 20 yrs - Dec 2008 we had snow - not a lot mind you, but enough to get a few pictures and build tiny snowmen :-)

But to live in it every year?


I'm very much a Summer person - warm temps & sunshine make me happy.

Good luck with your new release!

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Kara,
I love your list! You gave me lots of ideas. I don't know how you do it living in all that snow. My CA blood couldn't handle it. ;)

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Pam!
I'm with you about the snow. Last winter we had more snow in NC than we'd had in the four years I've been living here. It lasted like three days. :) That was enough for me.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey, Cindy! As a native Pittsburgher, we've had our share of frigid temperatures and wicked snowstorms. Then there was the blizzard of 93 we are still digging ourselves out of. LOL People working downtown were virtually stuck and had to stay in a hotel for the entire weekend. Then there's standing at the bus stop, waiting for what can seem like hours when the wind is howling at your back. And did I mention taking the dog for a walk. The little darlings get snow, slush and grime in between their paws and track the rug and house. But on Christmas Eve, with the downy snow falling so softly, blanketing the ground and coating the pines, nothing is more beautiful. Add to that some blue twinkle lights, bathing the scene in celestial light, it is totally surreal.

Cindy K. Green said...

You paint a lovely picture, Sharon. It really is a love/hate relationship with snow, isn't it??

Kara Lynn Russell said...

I mostly love the snow and winter. I'm much more a winter person than a summer person. But I must admit that the snow loses its appeal by the end of March and I'm ready for spring.

Cindy K. Green said...

LOL Kara, I can totally see that. I don't like summer much either. Too much heat,bugs and humidity here. My favorite in Autumn and Spring.

LK Hunsaker said...

Researching snow is a funny thought to this northern girl, although I did live in the south for 12 years and so understand. ;-)

The worst is driving. It scares the heck out of me even with as much practice as I've had.

I may be a bit off, but I enjoy shoveling snow. The workout and cold crisp air are wonderful and you keep plenty warm from the energy used.

I also enjoy raking leaves.

Great excerpt, Cindy! Loved the part about smelling the snow on the way. I do that but I've been laughed at by those who can't. *shrug*

liana laverentz said...

Forgiving of figure flaws. I like that :)

I commented on another blog that I like living in a place with four seasons and I'm sticking to it! But I wouldn't mind if the snow season was a tad shorter.

Beth Caudill said...

I love new fallen snow. Yucky brown slush is not so pretty.

Sledding is tons of fun for everyone. As long as there are no cars on the street or you have a nearby hill.

Boys love snow forts and snowball fights. Unlike girls who enjoy snow angels and building snowmen.

Cindy K. Green said...

Hi Loraine, Beth and Liana! Great snow comments.

Loraine--I have to say that my son and I have decided that we HATE leaves. You'd understand if you could see all our leaves. We live in a forest (surrounded by trees). We have 'leaf showers.' LOL!

Hi Liana-I enjoy the 4 seasons too now that we've moved to the East Coast. That is something we never got in the west.

Beth-great ideas of things to do in the snow. My boys can't wait to see if we get some this year. I bet yours are too.