Monday, March 19, 2018

The Author's Dilemma: The Immorality of An Online World

As an author I’m constantly reminded of my dependence on Amazon and Facebook. My books are available through Amazon’s KDP Select. CreateSpace printed my trade paperbacks. Facebook keeps my friends and readers informed of these blog posts, my books, and my interests.

My sons, who grew up on the Internet, continually remind me we live in a digitalized world. They also enlighten me just how deep this goes; this from a generation who saw movies like The Matrix ―machines living off humans.

Controversy over Amazon “taking over the world” seems to have intensified. Comedians/social critics like Jimmy Kimmel comment on national television that “Amazon won’t be happy until every brick and mortar store is an abandoned warehouse teeming with raccoons”; this after Toys R Us went bankrupt.

Facebook and Twitter are responsible for rigging the 2016 election, allowing hackers and trolls to use propaganda through social media to elect Donald Trump president. Now we read that the Trump campaign harvested data about millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. Facebook changed the world and the world is angry. Privacy is invaded. “Facebook is evil,” wrote one New York Times commenter.

Still, I remain on Facebook and Twitter and sell my books through Amazon. I admit I find it de-energizing as an artist who understands (accepts?) the element of immorality that permeates a world online.

In a church pew, a woman, who is an acquaintance, turned to me and shared her story. “Maybe I just put off the grief, trying to stay busy, work a job. Today’s his birthday. He’s been gone twelve years, but I’m really a basket case today. It’s hit me all at once.”

Never being loved again … “never again being special” in someone’s eyes, as she was with her husband … she felt lost, she said. Alone.

I, too, spent so much time working, raising my children that I put off grief. And, like her, I feel no one will ever again love me the way he did. I wrote Again in a Heartbeat thirteen years after John’s death.

I shared this with her. I also shared my feeling of how lucky we were to have found true love once. Some never do. This is why I wrote my memoirs, I said. This connection with others going through a similar journey, as well as writing as a way of healing and finding closure are things you just can’t put a price. You’re not alone.

When I was married and the kids were small, I loved going to the mall, my time alone, shopping for that new blouse, getting out of the house. I still love going to the mall. The woman at the Macy’s Estee Lauder cosmetics counter knows me. Over the years, we’ve talked about our lives. She asks about my latest trip. She tells me she and her husband take a place in Ocean City, New Jersey every June. Sometimes, they stay at the Flanders Hotel, which is where John and I spent our honeymoon, I tell her.

These small encounters are important in a day which might, otherwise, be void of personal interaction. Will Amazon put Macy’s out of business? It’s just a matter of time and it saddens me. I feel I'm losing a world I once knew to that dystopian reality of The Matrix.

The days of bookstores as the prime avenue to sell your work are gone. Bookstores sealed their fate when they insulated themselves, tied to “profits” of traditional publishing. I've written about this before. Over eight years ago, I chose the independent publishing route. I saw Amazon reaching readers; offering hope that my books, unknown author that I was, might connect with an audience ... either that or my work would never reach readers.

With one new book published on Amazon every five minutes … or about 1.1 million new eBooks and 365,000 print books published a year, I’d like to say if you write great stuff, your work will stand out. As we drown in the cacophony of social media and Amazon publishing, it’s doubtful. People use and chose the ease of shopping online, the hope of going viral.

Yesterday when I spoke to another widow in church I remembered why I write and give interviews about writing and post to Facebook and Twitter ... why I sell myself and my books online. If one positive relationship or conversation comes out of it; one blog post on Facebook sparks community or a new relationship, then so be it. It’s worth it. Or, at least, that’s what I’ll keep reminding myself.

How do you feel about Amazon and Facebook and an online world? Please share your thoughts and comments.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Writer's Practice: Finding Time and Space to Write

At our January gathering of the Women’s Writing Circle we talked about creating a safe writing space. Then, at our March read around a woman shared that the conversation spurred action. She began clearing out her home office to create a new writing space.

The task felt daunting. “What should I keep, what should I donate?”

A “collection of remembrances” … a flamingo feather; twenty years of programs facilitated and sermons preached. Keep this, toss that. The desire for a new beginning. A new world unfolding in the retrospective of life’s rearview mirror. “I want a space for reverie,” she wrote. The office becomes "a container," a metaphor of one woman's life journey.

It is in this sense that writing moves us forward. We “clean house” and discover ourselves along the way.


Leaving behind a sudden snowstorm that dumped six inches on Chester County, I boarded a plane for Denver with a connection to Tucson. The economy ticket meant no overhead bin space. No laptop. Can you imagine?

Each morning I wrote in an apartment I rented through HomeAway. Artificial orange flames from a small electric fireplace warmed the modestly-decorated living room. A window afforded a glimpse of the Catalinas. No Netflix, no laptop, just a pen and a notebook ... a space for reverie.

I had packed a novel, Factotum, by Charles Bukowski. A keen observer of human quirks, his own included, this is one man telling his life story as he works a variety of jobs. A simple "container" for  the story, the structure built around one theme of changing jobs. His characters reveal themselves primarily through dialogue.

I met with friends in Tucson I hadn't seen in two years. Over lunches, dinner, wine, we shared life experiences.

She talked about other men; a first husband. “The most dysfunctional man in the room and I’d make a beeline to him trying to fix him. I treated them well, too. For my efforts, I’ve been abused. Slapped around.”

Annie and I got into it thenforgiveness, love, how nice it would be to share again with a man, a partner who understood us, offered intellectual stimulation, a soak in a hot tub talking about politics, love and life. Fantasyland at our age. It felt like a billion years since I lathered Jay with soap in the shower, my hands running down his firm stomach to his thighs where the dark hair caught in swirls in the hot water.


“I’ve written stuff on Kleenex boxes,” one woman said in the Women’s Writing Circle.

“I find an hour to write … and I’m motivated by my writing partner,” another said.

For still another, retirement beckons in four months. She feels joy at jettisoning the two-hour commute and concentrating on her writing.

As Louise DeSalvo says in Writing as a Way of Healing, Writing is cheap. Writing doesn’t need to take much time. We can write during tiny pockets of time throughout our day if that’s all we have … we can continue to "reap the benefits of writing while we keep at it fairly frequently."

Like any "practice," we keep "cleaning house," finding that space and that time to write while remaining open to discovery along the way.

Monday, March 5, 2018

On Writing a Memoir: Brave or Brazen?

For those of us who have written memoir, we know it's a pretty wild ride from beginning to end. Whose name to change? Whose permission to seek? How much do we reveal, not just about others, but ourselves?

In this essay, Anne Becker discusses writing a memoir and the ramifications of going public. Is memoir brave or brazen? Please welcome Anne to the Women's Writing Circle.

Footnote: Anne and I have more in common than writing and publishing memoir. We both have experienced Women Writing for (a) Change, the Cincinnati-based community of writers. It was there that I first sat in a circle of women and read aloud what would become my memoir Again in a Heartbeat. Women Writing for (a) Change was also the catalyst for the Women's Writing Circle.


When I first held my published memoir in my hands in late 2014, I noticed how small it was. Infinitely smaller than my three babies at birth, and without their prospect for growth. I couldn't make the connection between this minuscule papoose and the twenty long years it had taken to bring forth Ollie Ollie In Come Free.

Having survived a whole array of altered states since publication, I now see that my initial sense of disconnect was utterly on-the-mark. There was no way this modest creation could in itself be responsible for all my dizzying flashes of both abject shame and expanded consciousness. No, only an explosive energy event could have created such a strong electric current.

My memoir was born out of the tension between two opposing energies. To feel or not to feel. To reveal or not to reveal.

One such energy was passed on to me with great love by my parents and grandparents. The very ground on which my family walks is marked by a horror of too much personal revelation or emotional "gushing." It has given rise to inviolable rules. As my child narrator muses, "Where these rules come from, I have no idea."

The opposing energy, expressive and open, unrelentingly beckons me. But what a struggle to embrace it! Over the years, when I’ve encountered such a spirit in groups, I’ve become immediately cautious. If people grow too effusive, I retreat inward into a safe but lonely space.

I recognized the expansive energy in the writing group I joined in the mid 1990's, Women Writing for (a) Change. I was just finishing up seven years in psychoanalysis, exploring the emotions I had kept under lock and key as a young girl. The circle of women helped me to capture in my child’s voice my buried grief over the early losses of an older brother and sister, and to gradually shape my vignettes into a memoir.

Years later, after my mother died, I readied my book for self-publication. By that time the writing circles had been crowded out of my life by other activities. I doggedly set about executing this monumental act of courage "all by my own self," as I used to declare when I was a little girl. Unfortunately I quickly learned how easy it was to be sucked back into the old, familiar energy field.

For many months after publication, a voice inside my head kept booming, "How can you be so brazen?" A huge part of me was ashamed and appalled by what I had done.

Theo Pauline Nestor writes in her memoir Writing Is My Drink, "While memoirists might get portrayed as the brashest sort of exhibitionists ...braggarts overeager to share their most intimate secrets -- I've come to believe that's really not the case. Some -- perhaps most--of us are, in fact, drawn to memoir because ...we've never been sure how to come clean about who we are..."

I know that my own life-long shyness was both the reason I needed to write an intimate portrayal of my girlhood, and the catalyst for the internal backlash. But my penchant for secrecy did not get healed by publishing the story of my penchant for secrecy.

Much to my consternation, my book turned into a wild thing, interacting unpredictably with other living creatures, its readers. For those who were shame-based like me, my hard-won honesty made them prickle. Those who were nostalgic for the fifties and sixties found my narrative a fun trip down memory lane. For ex-Catholics my story confirmed their decision to leave the Church. Those who valued religion were sure that it had pulled me through. Those who had grappled with tragedies in their own families either froze up or wept. And friends who were very private suggested to me euphemistically that my memoir was "brave." I interpreted this remark as: “What the hell were you thinking?"

I got tossed around endlessly in other people's energy fields. Writer's remorse opened the floodgates to all the scruples that I thought I had left behind. All the questions I'd stopped asking lest I lose the nerve to publish now teased me mercilessly: "What are the rules for writing a memoir? How much self-disclosure is allowable? Whose permission does one obtain ahead of time? Which names does one change?” There was no consensus around the answers, since, like readers’ responses to my book, they depended entirely on one's field of reference.

The expanded vista that had opened up for me as I’d written my memoir often felt like a mirage. In moments of clarity, of course, my sense of calling buoyed me up. I knew I had done exactly what my soul needed to do. The act of publishing, horrifying as it was, was exhilarating. Yet how to make my home in that transcendent shame-shattering reality?

After a couple of years, I found my way back by some grace into the writing community that had midwifed my memoir. And my soul breathed a startled sigh of relief. How had I lost sight of the need to participate in such a community? Through re-immersion in women’s writing circles, I have come to understand that my life as an author only thrives amidst the air and light evoked by the medieval mystic Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

Please share your thoughts here. Has writing your memoir felt brave or brazen?

Anne Bernard Becker works as a learning specialist and facilitates workshops that blend her interests in history and psychology to examine the impact of inherited trauma on families. Her essays and memoirs are informed by insights from psychoanalysis, family systems work, parenting under challenging circumstances and her spiritual practice. She enjoys exploring the intriguing responses of the human heart to movements within the family and society. Anne studied at Indiana University (B.A. in French), the University of Pennsylvania (M.A. in French) and Fordham University (M.A. in Religious Education). Anne lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Gerry and is the mother of three adult children. Her website is:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Musings of a Memoir Writer: Memoir or Autofiction?

Is memoir truly a memoir if not everything in the story actually happened? Does the memoir writer have the leeway to use invention in storytelling? And, if we do, is autofiction, a genre term used to describe fictionalized autobiography, more accurate?

In this post, Diane Pomerantz, author of Lost in the Reflecting Pool, poses questions about accuracy, fact versus fiction and the use of literary techniques in memoir.

As a teacher, writer and editor of memoir, I know every writer of the genre has at one time or another asked the questions Diane discusses in this post. Please welcome Diane to the Women’s Writing Circle.

From the first draft of Lost in the Reflecting Pool I struggled with whether this story should be presented as a memoir or a work of fiction. Not only was I concerned with protecting the people I was writing about, particularly my children, but I also worried about legal liability issues and my privacy as a professional in the community.

I’m a storyteller and I love stories, listening to and telling them. Childhood memories of stories grounded me and made the earth solid beneath my feet.

I’m a psychologist and through my work I’ve learned that through personal stories we touch the emotional core of others.
In my professional life, I’ve seen precisely what I experienced as a child. I knew that if I wanted my story to be meaningful to others, no matter what I called it, fiction or memoir, it needed to read like a story.

I read countless memoirs, and as I put pen to paper, another belief I had became stronger. Once a writer puts her words out into the world it is never again just the writer’s story. The story is forever transformed by every reader. No matter what the writer has written, the words are always seen through the lens of the reader and thus it becomes a translated story.

The writer sets out a canvas upon which the reader can project whatever emotions or issues he or she needs to derive meaning. The work no longer belongs to the author; the author bequests it to the reader to do with it what he or she needs to do for personal meaning. The writing is for the author, the finished work is for the reader.

As I wrote I did decide I must take full ownership of my story and thus I made it a memoir.
I put aside notions of using a pseudonym and only changed details to protect privacy. My writing style though remained the same.

The question about my choice of genre came up again, several months after my book’s publication. I was in a Facebook memoir writing group when someone posed the question, “When writing a memoir, how far from actual events can you stray before it turns to a work of fiction?” I made several comments in the discussion. I commented on several of the changes I had made in order to be more “factual.” All was well until I then commented on an instance of my storytelling technique where I had introduced a kitten running in front of my car as a way to introduce a memory. The scene I described from my memoir was this:

I made my way down the winding road, passing a beagle farm and a small sign marking the entrance to a vineyard. A black kitten ran across the road, and I had to make a sudden stop. The kitten sparked a memory of one of the other things that Charles had shared as we’d spoken on the phone earlier in the week.

“I guess I was a mischievous little kid. When I was about three, I found a little black
kitten. I put him down the sewer because I wanted to see if he could get out.”

“What happened to him?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

Didn’t he think to get some help? I asked myself, feeling a fleeting twisting in my gut.

I rounded another bend, passed a red barn, and saw the 1890s fieldstone house that
Charles had described. That unpleasant feeling in my gut gave way to excited anticipation and to readjusting my blinders as I saw Charles wave from the porch. 

Everything important here is factual, except that black kitten who ran in front of the car. I used that as a literary technique.

“If you made up the kitten it is not a memoir, it is fiction.” The response was intense, immediate and unanimous. I was astonished that no one was even willing to consider discussion. This was an irrelevant detail. The important event was the memory of the kitten being placed in the sewer. It was important because I start my memoir with another horrible incident committed against a cat. This response to an irrelevant detail made and continues to make no sense to me. In fact, for me it negates my understanding of what the genre of memoir is about. Memoir writing is more than presenting facts. That would be autobiography. Memoir writing encompasses self-reflection. It also provides a meaningful message for readers. Therefore, an irrelevant detail used to tie the real events together, continues to be an irrelevant detail.

Perhaps had I been aware of the genre called autofiction, a term coined by Sergio Doubrovsky in 1977 and associated with contemporary French writers, I might have considered that my writing fell more accurately into that category.

The French novelist and literature scholar, Catherine Cusset (2012) writes that autofiction differs from memoir. She states that, “A memoir tells the reader what happened. The writing is usually clear, simple, factual, and descriptive.” Autofiction, on the other hand, brings the reader inside what happened. It is the active way language is used that is different. Her words mirrored my intent when she wrote, “The author of autofiction actually doesn’t address the readers, but seduces them with language.” Having the kitten trigger the memory was a way I was attempting to lure the reader further into the story, I was seducing him.

It was this that I wanted to do …write the real events in an experiential way so that readers could derive their own meaning. With that in mind, perhaps the label or genre was really inconsequential.

What do you think? Is a memoir truly a memoir if not everything in the story actually happened? Does the writer of memoir have the leeway to use invention in storytelling?

Dr. Diane Pomerantz is a clinical psychologist who has been in practice working with children, adolescents and adults in the Baltimore, Maryland area for over 35 years. She has done extensive work in the area of trauma and child abuse and research in the area of personality development of abused children. She currently runs Healing Through Writing groups in her practice. Writing has always been part of her personal and professional life, but Lost in the Reflecting Pool: a memoir is her first non-professional published work. She is a breast cancer survivor and she has two wonderful grown children. She and her shaggy dog, Rug, live amidst tall trees on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Reading In Front of an Audience: The Writer's 'Portfolio'

Susan and Flo Shore

There’s always a touch of nervousness before a writer gets up to read her work. There’s excitement, too. Audience reaction is immediate … laughter at a funny line; stillness when a moment in the story or poem captures special attention.

Yesterday I attended a reading by an author from our Women’s Writing Circle, Flo Shore. Flo has contributed to both our anthologies, Slants of Light and The Life Unexpected, with beautifully evocative memoir and insightful slice-of-life poetry. She read from both books, which I had the pleasure of contributing too, as well. In this blog post, I outline what goes into creating and collaborating on an anthology.

Writer and poet, Ruth Rouff, read with Flo. A freelance writer living in Collingswood, NJ, Ruth introduced her new book Pagan Heaven: Poems and Stories.

The readings were short, thirty minutes in total, enough to keep an audience engaged without losing them. Light refreshments of green tea, cheese and crackers and purple grapes added to the ambience of the event, held upstairs in a room with shelves brimming with books and a window view of treetops. It’s marvelous when authors decide to team up, approach a venue and offer a reading. In this case, it was the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. I’ve written a "memoir moment" about Mt. Airy and Germantown where my parents grew up in this blog post. 

Reading our work in front of an audience or attending readings is all part of the writer’s “portfolio”. She learns by watching and listening.

I took a class last summer through  IWWG, taught by Mel Ryane; it included some of these pointers on reading aloud in front of an audience.

Ruth Rouff
  • A certain element of acting goes into it 
  • Don’t worry if you’re nervous
  • Project your voice
  • Pause for effect
  • Get into the rhythm of the passage; in other words emphasize your "voice"
  • Wear something that doesn’t detract from the work (no t-shirt proclaiming GO EAGLES!)
  • Anchor yourself to the podium as your prop
  • Pace yourself
  • Scan the audience without concentrating or “eyeballing” one person 
  • Practice before you read. (I have to say, though, this doesn’t always work for me. Sometimes, I like gauging an audience and venue, since each one is different, and might decide to read something else than planned.)

    I hope my work is real; an audience knows a put-on when they hear it. Go for that aha! moment that the writer’s experience and the audience's are at one, or, at least, familiar. Select passages from your work that offer that connection to your listeners.


    As Flo writes: memoir not only preserves our individual stories for those who come after us, memoir serves as an adhesive that keeps pieces of social history intact. She believes that as memoirists we have the opportunity to expose varying perspectives and to drive attitude change.

    I believe that, too, which is the essence of why we write in all genres.

    Readings are a terrific way to get audiences interested in YOU. Offer an introduction before you read that gives your readers a bit about who you are and why you wrote the book. Sell books at a signing afterwards; pass out your business cards and invite bookstores to sell your work on consignment. It's all part of the writer's portfolio.

    How about you? Can you share your thoughts or an experience on reading your work?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Forgoing 'What Ifs' and Creating a Safe Writing Space

I try not to live the ‘what if’. What if people don’t like what I say or what I write?

Confidence isn’t always a breeze, even for the most experienced writers. For example, I spent a few weeks away from my church study group. When I returned yesterday, one person said, “We’ve missed your contributions … your input.” Instead of saying ‘thank you,’ I felt a disclaimer coming on. “You mean my outspoken input?”

I have to address this underlying issue―stop “chiding” my voice.

As I wrote last week, I love the silence of snow
, a frozen landscape outside my window. Winter saps my physical, but not my psychic energy. I was challenged to write a story with the theme “a fork in the road.” The challenge: keep it at 350 words or less. The exercise, I suppose, proved fruitful although, like flash fiction, I find it somewhat tedious. One word building on another with concise economy just like my days as a journalist. Cut the extraneous. It's about two women; there's a bite to the story. Nothing feel-good about the takeaway. I wrote it sitting in my favorite living room chair with Lily by my side. If it’s not published, there are other avenues: rework it, put it in a larger framework. 


In the Women’s Writing Circle, we create a safe writing space ... a communion of the written word … a leap of faith. We shut out the distractions of the outside world, the disturbances from those who might undervalue the creative process, or choose to ignore it. (You know who they are.) We light the candle and call in the writing muse.

We talked about:

5 a.m. stolen writing time at the kitchen table.

A five-minute free write to flex our writing muscles.

Think in scenes. Try not to map the whole thing out at once.

"My challenge," one woman said, "is quieting my mind." 

Stay focused … not easy with the rapid-fire (and often meaningless) words we spend time posting on Facebook, Twitter.

Keep the writing space simple … a clean desk and a small window in a private place. That was key for playwright George Bernard Shaw, who once confessed: “People bother me. I came here to hide from them.” 

A room with a view
of English countryside sparked Virginia Woolf's creative muse.

For J.K. Rowling, a coffee shop humming with voices and activity helped bring Harry Potter to life.

Sometimes, a 'nontraditional' creative writing space/time
serves a purpose. Take cooking, for example. Preparing and making dinner offers time to jot down thoughts, stir the pot, jot more thoughts.

When I cook, I keep the laptop on the kitchen table, a candle burning; after dinner, a notepad and pen on the coffee table near the television.

Check out this board on Pinterest for writing space and room ideas.
Twinkle lights in a writing space create ‘hygge’, the Scandinavian word for coziness and well-being. 
Convert an outdoor shed and create an artist’s studio/craft room. Isn't this one adorable? Haha! You'd better be handy.
Find a comfortable chair. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Forgo the 'what ifs' in your safe space.
How about you? Can you share your writing space?

Monday, January 8, 2018

'Bomb Cyclone' and Solitude: The Writing Life

I’m writing this as the sun sets, the sky cast in a wintry peach-red glow, like so many evenings before and in my childhood. It looks like a moonscape out there, delicate ridges of wind-whipped snow, the stillness, no birds, except a brief echoing call of Canada geese.

The May Sarton life ... my own slice of quietude, maybe not the wilds of New Hampshire or Maine, but it will do. I like solitude. I'm happiest when I can go home, shut the front door and think. A couple of years ago I probably would have been too embarrassed to admit this. 
This past week as temperatures dipped into the ridiculous and beyond frigid, I didn’t step outside the house for two days. I’d heard about the so-called “bomb cyclone” and stocked up on wild-caught salmon, rice, arugula. Put some vodka in the freezer. After writing and emailing information about the Women's Writing Circle all morning that first day, I took down the Christmas tree. It's surreal but I even washed the baseboards in the foyer. Then I watched the Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu on YouTube perform his perfect salchows and triple flips during his short program at the Sochi Winter Olympics. I watched it several times, astonished at the beauty of perfection in motion.

I kept writing and muted the cell phone. I wrote something about sex and a woman in her sixties. I like it. It's going in my new book.

On Day Three of the Deep Freeze, my sons stopped over. We got to talking about the weather. I mentioned that “inertia” won over buying a second home in Arizona, not in a way of regret, as a matter of life and circumstances. My younger son said, “I’m worried about you, Mom. Staying in the house alone like this. Not doing anything with your life.” They asked me to join them later for drinks and football, but the thought of braving the cold kept me indoors.

The 'not doing anything with your life' stung a bit. But unless you’re a writer, you don’t understand. We're working all the time. It's just that the results aren't always immediate. We need time alone; the story or stories we want to write always playing as background music in contemplation.

As women we realize how much we have lost by trying to meet the demands of others and not ourselves.

A dog is easy companionship. Your will and hers are one ... until soulful brown eyes beg a walk. Luckily, I have a fenced-in backyard. Lily runs in ridiculous circles in the snow, dragging small tree branches that have come down in the wind between her teeth. I don’t know how people with large dogs, or even small dogs, manage without a fenced-in backyard. I love watching her run with abandon.

There’s a sense of contentment that temperatures are moving up into the thirties and even into the fifties later this week. It means I won’t be too cold to get into the car and drive to my exercise classes and see people, some of whom are not just work-out participants, but friends. A mid-week conference on women's issues and the Women's Writing Circle read around this weekend are events I look forward to for stimulation and conversation.

Meanwhile, I’m happy here … Lily dozing at my feet. I'm writing and relishing solitude. I'll remember the 'bomb cyclone'. Goodbye to a 'perfect' winter scenario for the writer.

How about you? What do you enjoy about writing in winter?