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I’ve mentioned before that I live in Alberta, Canada, where the winters are a long deep freeze, and the summers are short. Spring and Fall last about a week here, each. In fact, we once had a pile of snow (admittedly one of those huge ones from clearing streets all winter) that didn’t completely melt away until late August. For a little bit of perspective, we get our first snow again in October.

The view from our first apartment in Alberta--and our first winter!

The view from our first apartment in Alberta–and our first winter!

We moved here for my husband’s work, and we stayed for the same reason. He loves what he does, and he enjoys the job security out here. On a completely selfish note, if we moved to a warmer part of the country, my husband wouldn’t be paid as well as he is here and I wouldn’t have as much freedom to pursue my writing.

Starving artists learn to appreciate poverty. Not that I’m in any rough shape now, but when I was a single, starving artist in downtown Toronto, I made friends with a mouse in my wall and kind of liked that drip from the kitchen ceiling every time it rained. Why? Because living on the cheap meant I could spend the rest of my time working on book manuscripts. My first published novel was written in that tiny room, listening to the sound of my neighbors below, beside and above me.

As a writer, I feel fortunate to be able to write–whether that be in a dumpy little bedroom in a city, or in a freezing cold province. I’ve just learned to be cheerful about my surroundings. I love the howling wind and falling snow from the right side of the window. I bought the mother of all winter coats to keep me warm when I have to venture out.

And when you have the right attitude, winter looks more like this:

800px-Church_Rabbit_Hill_Alberta_Canada_03A

It’s beautiful, when you stop whining long enough to just appreciate it.

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