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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Wood’s Edge, along with much of the central and northern east coast, is snow-covered. Though snow and ice make traveling challenging, there is a take-your-breath-away beauty to the trees and fields glistening with new-fallen snow. With that wild, white beauty in mind, I chose a quote from Emily Bronte for this frigid day:

“I will smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow.” – Emily Bronte

And yes, I’ll smile this summer when my rosebushes are green-leafed and covered with blossoms, when the lazy bees hum their tunes, and the rich fragrance of roses fills the air. But today, I smile at wreaths of snow adorning the bare briars.

13 Owl Flying extra For those who’d like to read a few winter tales, my newest release, Owl Light, includes several chilly and magical tales.

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Evergreens We had a couple of inches of snow last night. Though the blustery wind has pushed the snow into small drifts, it isn’t deep enough to scoop up an unblemished bowlful.

You might be asking, why in the world would I be looking for a bowl of snow? Here’s the answer: When I was a kid, we used to gather snow from a location where the white fluddy stuff was as pure as possible. Then, we’d stir in some maple syrup and make a form of snow ice cream.

The idea for maple snow ice cream was from my Granny and Pop Crosby who’d grown up in Western New York with its lake-effect snowfall. Both had come from families of limited means. Maple syrup was available in the area for a reasonable price, if you didn’t gather maple sap and boil up your own syrup. And so our family’s maple snow ice cream tradition began many years ago in Western New York.

We also had a vanilla version of snow ice cream, which involved mixing sugar and vanilla and a bowlful of snow. For non-maple syrup lovers, it is an agreable substitute.

Variations of combining maple syrup and snow can be found in family cookbooks, online, and even in one of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. With more snow in the forecast for next week for Wood’s Edge, I should be able to gather some snow and relive one of my favorite childhood memories.

Plus, as a writer who frequently writes about winter and frontier or rural locations, this little tidbit of Americana might just be included in a story. Writers need to remember to include specific details in their stories, and what is more specific than a homemade treat using snow?

For those who’d like to try a snow-maple delicacy, here’s a link to an easy maple sugar snow candy. So gather your bowls, spoons, and syrup bottle – and let it snow!

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 My collection of fantasy stories, illustrations, and a few poems, The Greener Forest, is complete. Editor Katie has suggested changes to the fiction (most of which I made) and scanned the manuscript for grammatical no-no’s. This week’s late-night rush to finish an adequate selection of illustrations for layout & design is done. Cold Moon Press must take over the book now. And exhausted, but happy, Sandy the Black-mouthed Cur and I both have bags under our eyes.

Today I woke to a stack of letters to answer piled on my desk and 2 illustrations to complete for a client. I needed to begin work on the cover art for a speculative fiction anthology. This afternoon’s slightly warmer temperatures have stirred up the non-indigenous stinkbug population. At least a dozen of the six-legged invaders have managed to gain access to the house, so I’ve been dutifully grabbing the bugs and flushing them away. Dust and cobwebs are gathering in the corners of several rooms, and there’s a pressing deadline to complete a piece of fiction which I haven’t even started. Yikes!

 But there’s also a recipe I’ve been meaning to try, a novel half-read, and a sewing project calling my name. There’s a movie I’ve been meaning to watch with my husband, and a dog who’d love a walk. I owe several friends phone calls, and my mom wants to read me a letter from long ago she found amongst some of my dad’s papers. The wild birds need to be fed, and Sandy wants to romp in the slowly disappearing snow.

 How should I choose to spend my Saturday? It’s a balancing act. This week, writing & artwork claimed most of my time — so this weekend, I’m going to focus on family, friends, wild birds, and my dog. Will my time-off from working on submissions and promoting The Greener Forest hurt my career? I’m not sure, but I know my soul needs to laugh at a dog eating snow and watch a cheesy romantic comedy with Ernie.

Though relaxing or not, I must still eliminate stinkbugs or they’re sure to take over the house!

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As another ice storm approaches Wood’s Edge, I haul seed out by the bucketful to the wild birds perched on the branches of the trees and shrubs at the forest’s edge. Even with coat, hat, boots, and gloves, I shiver. I glance up at the heavy gray sky before filling the feeders. The chickadees, juncoes, wrens, cardinals, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, nuthatches, and tufted titmice (titmouses?) bravely swoop down and clothespin themselves to the perches of nearby feeders as I fumble with the first suet basket. Crows caw from the fence rail, several woodpeckers hop down the tree trunks, and a solitary hawk watches the goings-on with much interest.

 Meanwhile, Sandy the Black-mouthed Cur is bounding through the drifts, grabbing mouthfuls of snow, and rolling with abandon in the loose, fluffy snow in the corner of the yard. Joyful is the only word to describe her behavior. She looks at me, eyes bright, muzzle whitened by snow, tail wagging so hard the rear half of her body has joined its back & forth motion, and woofs. A playful woof that seems to say: The world is wonderful and isn’t it great to be alive!

Last winter seemed to be a long string of snowstorms. This winter appears to be much the same. I get lots of writing and drawing done it’s true, but I miss morning walks. Ice is not something I choose to tread upon when trying to manage an enthusiastic 60-pound dog. And tonight we expect more ice. 

But even as I cringe at the thought of another month of bad weather (and I suspect we shall get another month’s worth of frozen precipitation whether or not that famous Pennsylvania groundhog sees his shadow) — I think of crocuses and the sound of spring peepers. And since Sandy has only been with me since last June, I secretly wonder what she’ll think of frogs!

 And so, I share a quote from Anne Bradstreet: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” Indeed!  And if we had no winter, Sandy the Black-mouthed Cur would surely miss the snow.

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vwc-b-cvr[1] Bells, a new eShort of mine has been published.  It’s a Christmas ghost story, and I promise the names Scrooge and Marley are not mentioned. Bells actually includes scraps of “real” holiday memories and family members in addition to things that were drawn from my imagination. But that is often the case with fiction — writers select threads of factual experiences and actual people they know and weave them with dreams and make-believe. If the author works hard at stitching the two together, readers will have a difficult time separating fact from fiction in the resulting tapestry. And that’s what we want as both reader and writer, a lovely, seamless blending of ideas that takes us into the world of the story.

In the case of Bells, the reader is invited into the world of 17 year-old Melinda on a snowy Christmas evening at a family get-together in an old house in a small town. The 100+ year-old house on the corner of Park and Millstone Streets is filled with people, delicious foods, holiday decorations, family traditions, a love story, and ghosts. And I challenge you to determine what parts of the tale are “real” and which parts are purely the stuff of dreams!

Update: Alas, Bells is no longer available as an eshort — but hooray, it’s included in Owl Light, published by Cold Moon Press.

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