As the weather grows colder and the days shorter it seems like the perfect time to bake. Turning on the oven warms the house. Cakes, baked dinners, soups, bread. Oh, the smell of fresh bread baking.
Winter seems to invite those extra cups of coffee and cookies. Shortbread, snickerdoodles, scones, with jam and cream... of course.
It all is so easy and comforting.
But... there is a downside. To the warmth, the enveloping odours of hot food, lashings of gravy, spices and sugary indulgences. How come baking isn't good for the waistline? Is that fair?
So instead of heating the oven I am gathering kindling. Stoking the fire and each time I do it inspires me to write.
How often does my hero light a fire? Does he have the same problems as I do? Damp kindling, wood that refuses to burn? I remember the days of swinging an axe to chop firewood. Even getting the blade caught in the block took an effort to remove. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it. I now blame if for my damaged back, but that's another story.
Each flame, each moment when the conflagration takes hold, the spreading warmth the light, smoke, heat and comfort all take me back to my writing. Did I capture the essence of the fire? Did I use all the senses? Did I create the atmosphere a fire brings?
Of course, once I begin wondering my thoughts return to the latest novel up for editing. Seafaring adventure.
The series starts with a shipwreck, and with the two final adventures we return to the ocean.
What's not to love about pirates, sharks, whales, storms, visiting strange harbours, navigating shoals and feeling the salt laden breeze on one's skin?
Not so many fires in this one, but more the ocean spray, the constant motion of wind and wave. The exhilaration and danger.
There is a magical quality to winter. Even without snow and frosts, the cooler weather, the long nights. The clear crisp starlit nights all inspire and invigorate. I even enjoy the chills. Being able to rug up and wear extra layers without overheating. To walk, work and experience the beauty of our environment without needing constant protection from the harsh sun. It is a wonderful time of year.
So, I will head back to pen and paper and away from the kitchen. I will not listen to the call of the choc chip cookies or dream of the succulent scones slathered in strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream. I will return to the adventure and hope I can eliminate all the grammatical nits from the next book before it is released.
If you can't write to while away winter the cooler weather is a great excuse to curl up with a good book!!
Enjoy your season... and the weather... whether it is summer or winter.