Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love and Writing in Winter

Here in Wisconsin, we’re buried under so much snow this winter that driving down the street is like navigating a maze, with huge drifts to each side of you, and no visibility. The trees are coated with glass following an ice storm, and the world’s breathtakingly beautiful. I’m less impressed, however, with the fact that my car froze to the driveway yesterday. And the icy, treacherous roads. And the sub-zero temperatures.

As writers, I think this type of atmosphere is guaranteed to affect us in some way. If we’re not inspired by the beauty or jolted into action by the bitter cold, the opposite’s likely to be true. We either forge ahead and write for all we’re worth, or we crawl onto the couch with tea and books and stare hopelessly at the computer in the corner.

This year, I lashed out with every bit of creativity and heat I could summon and turned out a scorcher of a novella during the past few weeks, in the midst of major snow, winter illnesses, and drafts coming through the sliding glass doors in my office that merited gale warnings. No kidding, I wrote with a scarf on most of the time!

And what I turned out was this fun, wild novella with the most alpha male hero I’ve ever created. Larger than life, in every conceivable way, my Wind Wanderer has the wings of an angel, the tail of a demon, the dominance of a true alpha, and the face of a god. And my heroine, a witch with kick-ass supernatural powers, matches him every step of the way--bravery, stubbornness, a penchant for breaking rules, you name it, she’s right there with him.

So winter may be a literary hardship, but this year I found it an amazing catalyst to conjure up some fierce heat between my characters. I think winter also reminds us of the basic comforts, the things that make us human, really. How our characters touch, talk with, and comfort each other. That a hug can be as important as a shattering orgasm. That drifting off to sleep curled up against each other can seal a heroine and hero’s fate even more so than the fierce sex that preceded their slumber.

Stay warm everyone, and happy reading and writing!


Shira said...

Snow, snow, snow. I know you're thinking the exact opposite. I'm in North Carolina but I grew up in Indiana and went to school in Minnesota. So I am missing the white stuff. So is my 4 year old daughter, even though she has never truly been in Midwestern snow. She just wants to make snow angels. Hope you and yours stay safe and warm.

~ Shira

Elizabeth said...

I'm wondering what else about this guy is "larger than life" ?!? ;)

I'll be checking in for new posts!

Kris said...

Eden, your novella sounds HOT! Can't wait to hear more!

Winter is my most productive writing season. Maybe it's the cold inspiring me to write hotter scenes than ever before or maybe because I can create characters that aren't wearing ten layers of clothing to step out the door! Either way I'm not complaining. What better way to spend a bitterly cold season than squirming in my chair as I create some wickedly hot stories? (With the occasional break to read even hotter ones!)


banksofmillbrook said...

Hi Eden -- saw your post over on PI and thought I'd cheer you up by telling you, no, you're not alone!

I'm in Vermont and I, too, have been immersed in a frozen, white winter since our first big snow on Dec 2. We haven't seen grass since then and probably won't until some time in April. What really sucks about this winter is the ice, ice, ice...makes it very hard to frolic and do all the things that make winter fun. My 7-mo-old puppy got stuck in a snow/ice pile in our back yard last week and he was sooo confused. :-(

Way to go on getting inspired! Your novella definitely sounds like a blast of heat! Unfortunately I'm having the opposite reaction to my 77 inches of snow and I'm in the stare-at-monitor, drink tea and hunker down mode.

Right now I'm thinking I need to try something totally new with my writing...to try to brighten my outlook with something fresh.

And hey, about those giant snow piles on the side of the road? Two weeks ago I found a good use for them: when three cars spin out in the ice in front of you...you can use the snow piles to cushion your crash into the guardrail! LOL.

Thanks for letting me commiserate...

Hang in there and happy writing!

Jen Satterfield

Eden Bradley said...

I just wanted to see your pretty winter pics and say hi. :) I should probably shut up now since I live in Los Angeles, land of the spoiled who whine when the temperature dips below 65 degrees.
I literally could not survive one of your real winters! I'm a weather wimp. But I do agree with you saying that writers are sensitive folks. I think we're very much affected by every aspect of our environment.

Jill Hansen said...

I always knew I was solar-powered, working best when the sun shines. This winter I’ve also discovered I’m green powered--it’s hard to get motivated when I look out and see white stuff instead of green grass. I’m looking forward to the thaw!

Eden, how does your writing react to spring and especially summer--as you shed your winter layers do your characters shed their inhibitions even further? I look forward to reading and finding out...

Eden Rivers said...

Shira and Eden, I envy you your tropical climates! My brother lives in San Diego, and he says he misses the snow a lot--and I've gotta say the icy trees take my breath away when the sun hits them--but I'd kill for 15 minutes on a warm beach right about now, lol.

Eden Rivers said...

Hiya! Bet you don't get to ask that question often on your knitting blog, lol. Yep, the hero in Sapphire Summoning has great big 'ol man parts. Not usually one to be too impressed by that, lol, but February does strange things to an erotic romance writer :-)

Eden Rivers said...

Kris, I hear ya! Writing Sapphire Summoning definitely kept me warm and entertained for a few weeks, lol.

Jen, I grew up in MA, so I've seen a lot of VT. Our mini dog has the same reaction to getting stuck in the snow as your puppy. We've got to shovel a path for him in the back yard. Best of luck breaking the winter writer's block!

Jill, here's hoping for both our sakes we hit a spring thaw early this year! WI weather's something else, isn't it? And if my writing gets any hotter in spring, I think my husband's heart's going to give out while he's editing my work for me, lol. He just sorta shakes his head and grins every time I come up with something more outrageous than last!

Natasha said...

Eden, I live in western NY, south of Buffalo, so we see plenty of the white stuff too. The wind's been kicking up something fierce and the temp is a balmy 17 right now.

What bothers me even more than the cold and snow and really crappy driving conditions is the lack of light. I'm so craving some bright sunshine and longer days!

Hey, spring's gotta get here sooner or later!

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Eden, being in the midwest, we get it all, it just doesn't last as long. Been through a few horror ice knocking all the trees down times -- It's gorgeous like a fairyland, but to hear those trees break, cracks dying thunder...
But, that novel of yours sounds awfully wonderful!

Lynda said...

There are only 29 days to Spring :D

I live in Michigan, the land of 'if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it'll be worse' Sigh. Though I've spent all my life here, I'm not a winter person and I look forward to spring every year (hence, the countdown, lol) But I confess, I do love pictures like those you've shown. Winter can be lovely...if you don't have to go out in it :D

Congrats on working past the winter blah's to write that novella. Your alpha hero sounds yummy hot :D

Ashlyn Chase said...

You're so right, Eden! I've been holed up in New Hampshire just hanging on by a threat, waiting for spring. And I'm doing better than some other writers I've heard about. I blogged about this too...somewhere. Damned if I can remember now. Maybe it was myspace. My brain is frozen.


Betty Hanawa said...

Like Eden Branley, I live in a climate where we pull out the heavy coats and whimper when the temps drop below 65. Deep South Texas near Brownsville and South Padre Island. Lovely pictures, but I'm just as glad to see pictures rather than have to deal with it.

Your story sounds hot. It's going to sell big. Your delight in writing it is going to come through in every sentence. Congratulations in giving winter a single finger salute.

Eden Rivers said...

Hey all,
Thanks for stopping by to comment! Nothing to get people chatting like the weather, lol. I almost got into an accident last night, becasue the roads are so icy that even creeping along in 2nd gear, I zig-zagged into the next lane on a sheet of ice and barely got the car under control before the intersection. I am now SO ready for spring. My husband already totaled our old car this winter (more slippery roads), so my winter goal is just to get through withtout another car accident. And yep, I'm SO counting the days till spring.

Rachel.C said...

Hi Eden,
Saw the post on PI and have been checking you out every day since.
Did something naughty today. I tagged you. It's my first time and I thought Eden's got a new blog going let's get some people over there I'll tag her. LOL Don't hate me for it. I didn't know how it worked at all but I think I've done a decent job and if not, well, help! LOL
Love the snowy pix, I live in Singapore and like you we've just had winter except it didn't get below 27 celsius, and at night it only drops to about 22 celsius. Coming from Australia I've never had the experience of a really cold winter. I hate the cold but your pix make me want to see what it's like.
Hope things warm up soon.

Eden Rivers said...

Hey Rachel,
Believe me, you're not missing anything with the cold, lol! It got even colder this morning, with record breaking low temperatures for this day, and I'm not looking forward to stepping outside the door. Thanks for stopping by!