"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, December 11, 2005

World of White

On Friday morning, Lola energetically roused us--and Shadow--at her usual time (7:18 am), demanding breakfast. At that point there was maybe an inch or two of snow. By the time the humans ate, about an hour later, there were many more inches and the flakes were pelting down. The girls went outside when my husband shovelled the deck, and in no time they were coated. (And yet oblivious.)

Lola and Shadow getting snowed upon

All day long we had white-out conditions, what we refer to as "pond effect" snow. Late in the afternoon, it abruptly stopped, like somebody had turned a switch. Our total was 12 to 13 inches. I stopped decorating the tree long enough to snap this dramatic view from our bedroom window.

the snow piled up on the rooftop

The sky cleared, and we had a gorgeous sunset.

sunset after a very snowy day

We didn't receive our mail delivery. Don't believe everything you hear about "neither rain nor snow nor etc. etc." If the town plow doesn't plow your road, the postman can't get to your box. Sean, our very own Snow Plow man, did a spectacular job on our private road.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny and clear. I drove to the city to speak to a local writers' group. It was a make-good: my lecture was originally scheduled last March but was cancelled due to (believe it or not) a blizzard. You can pretty much forecast dire weather based upon my lecturing schedule, or my husband's overseas business trips!

On my way to civilisation, I paused to admire our little lake. The surface had frozen over only a few days earlier.

the view of our little lake after the snowstorm

As planned, I spent a great portion of Friday on a steep ladder, trimming the tallest Christmas tree we've ever had. This is what it looked like on Friday night, when I was only about 2/3 done. On Saturday afternoon, when I returned home from the writers' group meeting, I finished up.
I could write an entire blog about our ornaments, and probably will. Every one has a story--some date from my childhood, my grandmother made many by hand, and lots are souvenirs from our foreign trips.

I've always been the tree-trimmer in my family, even when I was a kid. It's one of my favourite tasks. Fortunately, I married a man who has tree-trimming trauma, meaning he's perfectly happy to set up the tree and walk away and let me do my thing in my own way. Saturday night, when I finished, he made a caipirinha for each of us and we turned out all the lights in the sitting room and sat there marvelling. We're convinced that tree is still growing, because it seems to get taller every day!

So, here I am this morning, smiling in relief that my work on the tree is finally done. Big ones take a lot longer to decorate, I've discovered!

My work here is done

This is supposed to be a writing blog, and I've got writing news--well, publishing news, really. This week I received a copy of my Slovakian edition, penned by the exotic-sounding Margaret Evansov√° Porterov√°. It's a lovely presentation, with a foil-embossed title. Plus, a mystery book review I wrote appeared in the books section of today's paper.

I'm busy with website stuff, preparing for a re-launch of my author site. So the writing I'll do this afternoon will mostly be in html code!

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