It’s been a long, cold, wet winter in my part of Down Under.
This past weekend it actually snowed. The (supposedly spring) weather in October is notoriously erratic but that’s ridiculous!
It isn’t only me who suffers in the cold weather, my animals don’t seem too happy either. I have quite the menagerie of pets who are all complaining about the conditions.
Outdoors, the four horses are rugged throughout winter—except for our rescue quarter-horse Star who point blank refuses to wear a rug. He grows himself a thick shaggy coat instead. I think this sounds eminently sensible and wonder why my daughter, the horse fanatic in the family, insists on rugging the others. The reason? Horses competing in shows need to be beautifully groomed with sleek, fine coats—to the point some horses are shaved. No winter-shaggy fur please.
Miss Molly the dog also gets to wear a cold to protect her arthritic old bones. Try getting a coat on a cat? I’ve never had any luck!
Miss Cindy is more outdoor than indoor cat, and only comes inside in the coldest of weather to enjoy a cozy wood fire. She has a snug little fleece-lined cat kennel to sleep in otherwise.
And as for my beloved 21-year-old cat Ancient Albert, he gets as close as possible to the heat source without setting his fur on fire. Tabby—also known as Tubby—likes to stay inside too in cold weather, preferably on a nice, warm lap or under the bed covers.
Humans do their part, chopping wood for the fire to keep the animals happy.
I realize as I shiver away that I have never written a story set in anything but warm weather. Whether my stories are set in spring, summer or fall, it’s always a pleasant temperature. Cool enough, perhaps, for a heroine to shrug on a hero’s chivalrously offered leather jacket on a spring evening, (Something About Joe) but most of my characters wear nothing warmer than a T-shirt. In The Castaway Bride, my hero and heroine don’t wear clothes much at all. If you were cast away on a blissfully perfect tropical island alone with a hot hunk, would you?
A book set in a wonderful snowy location (trapped in a cozy, snowed-in mountain cabin with a hot hunk maybe) might be in my writing future, who knows? But not right now.
They say to write about what you know, but there’s also writing about what you wish for. The scenarios I’ve chosen up ’til now force me to admit blue skies and a kindly sun feature strongly in my fantasies. Yes, the three stories I’m working on right now are all set in summer!
Roll on spring! (A proper spring, without snow, please.)