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Snow and Smiles Ring in the New Year

The original post was from 2017, but it so happens that we're having another lovely arctic winter, and so much of what I said then applies now. It has been too cold to spend any great length of time outside taking photos, so I've rounded up some of my favorite winter pictures from over the past several years. Enjoy!

*Original post with slight modifications*

While many are bemoaning the cold snap we're getting in Montana, I couldn't be more pleased. I read somewhere that it's the coldest winter in 28 years (2018-2020 were quite mild, so hopefully winter 2022 stays strong). I haven't looked at all the data from the last 28 years, but research for my books in the 1800s revealed that winter could be far worse. Imagine the kind of cold we've had so far this year—fairly mild compared to some winters I've experienced—and consider making it through without central heating systems and automobiles that take you from point A to B much faster than a horse, wagon, or train could manage.

As much as I talk about how much I would like to travel back in time, I'm grateful for hot running water, pipes that don't freeze, and central heating. Of course, given the chance, I'd probably still trade it in for life with the Gallaghers at Hawk's Peak (still true!).

Jewel Basin Winter, Photo by MK McClintock

When someone asks me if it's cold outside, I tell them to step and out and then they'll know, and I find it more accurate than just looking it up online. It was cold, to be sure, but invigorating. I was bundled up in a couple of layers beneath my heavy coat and braced myself against a wind that happened to blow through. I stomped the snow off my boots before removing them and stepping back inside. The warm air hit me and I basked in it as I removed the layers. As I tugged on my house slippers, I realized I had a big smile on my face.

Frozen Flathead Lake, Photo by MK McClintock

There's something comforting about winter for me. Autumn is and always will be my favorite season, but winter gives me a kind of joy I can't quite put into words. I can't say the Gallaghers of Hawk's Peak or the townsfolk of Briarwood, Crooked Creek, or Whitcomb Springs would agree with me considering winter life for them was much more difficult. Then again, I like to think that the same feeling I get when I'm walking through the snow and facing down the elements is the same feeling they had. I could be wrong, but since it's my imagination, I'll let myself think what I want.

Of course there's nothing so wonderful as curling up by the fire with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. It's my ultimate winter pastime. What's yours?

What's Coming in 2022?

The writing room desk is full, though there's nothing specific as of yet on my Coming Next page because I have a lot of projects in the works and I don't have set release dates for any of them at this point. I can tell you that I'm currently focused on the first Crooked Creek novel (Clara's full story), a new Montana Gallagher/Briarwood book, Casey McKenzie's next adventure, and a Christmas installment in the British Agent series. I don't write them all at once, but while writing one I am researching and doing general plot points on the others.

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If you're not too cold yet, below is more winter. These pictures are best viewed with a cup of cocoa in one hand and a book picked out ready to read in the other.


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