There are many people who hate winter weather. The snow, the ice, the cold… who needs it, right? I, however, am not one of those people. Sure, I would enjoy warm (not hot), sunny (but low-UV) weather most of the time. But living where I live in the middle of New Jersey, that’s not going to happen.
I like winter because, well, it’s not summer. Or spring. Or autumn. The shadows cast in the moonlight by the bare trees is different than the shadows cast when the trees’ canopies are filled out. Add a fresh layer of bright, white snow to the ground and these nighttime shadows really pop. Add a slight breeze which makes the trees and their respective shadows dance in the moonlight and now you have a whole new perspective on the world once again.
I look around the yard or the neighborhood at the snow-covered landscape and I see possibilities. The big mountain of snow at the corner of the parking lot… what could be hidden inside it, just waiting for the warmer days to melt the snow? What strange creatures left those tracks across the front yard? What magical powers are contained within the giant icicle dangling from the corner of the rickety old house at the end of the lane? What is going on in that building you can barely see through the falling, blowing, blinding snow?
For me, there is about a foot of snow covering the garden. Yet, I see places where the snow melted – perhaps that’s the landing gear for the alien spaceship that visited last night. The footprints and animal tracks in random patterns, perhaps they are actually a hidden message left for me to discover – a treasure map left by an ancient magician who is hoping I will be the one to release him from his eternal prison.
As writers, we should seek inspiration in our surroundings, even when we find those surroundings to be a nuisance or a problem. Some of the best stories can arise from simply taking a sideways look at a real-world situation. So when you look out your window today, what do you see? Is it snow? Sunshine? Rain? Now tilt your head, squint a little and look again. What do you see now?