Thanks to Annette for inviting me to participate in the Fifty Authors From Fifty States blog project. I'm holed up here in my hideaway in Southern Vermont, where the foliage is just past peak, and we're getting ready for winter. Up here, that means having plenty of wood by your door for those cold, snowy nights, parking your car facing out, tossing a bag of the old fashioned, non clumping cat litter in the trunk along with a shovel in case you get stuck, and making sure you have a flashlight and blanket in the car.
Mount Snow, Vermont.
In short, there is plenty to inspire a paranormal author like myself, who specializes in the spicier end of the romance genres, but comes back to the real world from time to time and makes her living as a freelance journalist. Just like the tough times—the winter ends and the trees come back to life.
My novelette Hot Chocolate Kiss was inspired by gusts so strong one day they stopped me dead as I was skiing down a particularly steep and exposed trail. And the scene where the lift attendant warns Keela about the wind chill really happened—and by the time I got down the mountain I couldn't hear, feel my hands or feet or face.
Why do we live here, and play out in such extreme conditions? For me, it's the beauty of nature touched by the warmth of good times shared with family and friends. Precious memories drew me back here, in the aftermath of a divorce and the loss of numerous friends and family members to distance and death. I'm looking forward to getting back to basics-and to writing--so I can put that all behind. Just like the tough times—the winter ends and the trees come back to life. The brooks run fast from melting snow and the lakes welcome kayaks and canoes instead of snowmobiles and cross country skiers.
Things have changed here, with far too much development including strip malls replacing general stores and high priced resorts and country clubs commandeering precious mountainsides.
I can only ski at Haystack now if I am a guest of a member. And I will only ski at Mount Snow, mid week, in the morning, before the hordes arrive. Forget about the over built and developed central Vermont ski areas that sell lift tickets to more people than the mountain can safely accommodate.
But I can still leave my cross country skis on the porch, step outside into a winter wonderland with my dog and bushwhack through the trees, catching a glimpse of deer, beavers, and it is rumored, bears. I prefer this to the urban jungle of New York City—any day, anytime, any season.
Gianna Bruno writes science fiction and fantasy with such a light touch you might not even notice the witches, ghosts and fairies. Aliens, well, they stand out. Her writing is usually romantic, often wicked, sometimes mainstream, and always experimental.