Winter Rewards


It feels like a tea day today, and I’ve only had one cup instead of my usual two or three. It was clear and sunny earlier after some morning snow flurries, but now there are dark clouds blowing in. I’ve also knocked out all of the non-writing tasks on today’s to-do list, so tea would be a nice reward while I work on the writing things that are left on the list. The last load of laundry is in the dryer, dishes are clean, and dinner foods for today and a good portion of the week are in the oven and crockpot, so the house smells really good, between the soup and the mac & cheese. I expect the boys will come get some of the macaroni, though, which is okay, and I plan to put some of the soup in the freezer to replace a couple of quarts I have pulled out in recent weeks for quick, easy lunches or dinners. I’m not really a plan-all-our-meals-ahead person. My problem the last couple of years is that I’ve been cooking for four people for more than twenty years, so I haven’t quite figured out how to adjust that to cooking for two since the boys aren’t here for dinner with us. So we have a lot of leftovers, which means I generally only cook on the weekend when I’m not working. That isn’t adjusting to cooking for two, is it? I’m actually okay with that, since it means I have my weeknights for other things, like writing or reading, or the occasional movie or tv show I enjoy.

Though to be honest, I haven’t watched much tv since I got back into my writing groove in the fall. We have been doing some movie watching on the weekends, at least one evening, sometimes something we’ve seen before or movies we’ve had and just not watched, or something on Netflix or Vudu. Those are winter activities, even in a normal year, aren’t they? Hibernating at home where you can stay cozy and warm. Since last winter, hibernation seems like a year-round activity, doesn’t it? I have to be honest and say I’m okay with staying home for the most part. I’m not one of those extroverts who needs lots of contact with other people or I’ll be miserable. I am perfectly happy staying home. I have plenty to entertain me here if I need it, and occasional forays to booksignings and necessary outings are fine. But I really do miss my monthly writing group. I’ve known some of the women in the group since my kids and theirs were little, and a couple of others are more recent friends, but it’s good to get out and talk with people who understand you, isn’t it? That one night a month was a real treat: dinner followed by writing time, though on occasion, if something really big had happened, sometimes no writing, just talking the evening away. I think this month on our writing night, we’re going to set up a chat so even though we can’t go to our usual restaurant and spend the evening, we can still chat while we work. Not quite the same, but definitely a treat since we haven’t been able to meet since last February.

Before I go put new words on pages, I have a little snippet of story for you from the third Medusa story, Freeing Medusa.

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Katharine sighed and shifted her shoulders, trying to loosen the tight muscles there. She turned her gaze over the crowd one last time, and her breath caught in her chest.

He was gorgeous, in a rugged sort of way. His nose had been broken at least once. A dimple dented his chin, and he had the brightest blue eyes she’d ever seen, black hair dipping over one of them. His green shirt stretched taut over strong shoulders and a wide chest, then tucked into a pair of jeans that fit nicely on narrow hips.

Her heart beat faster in anticipation.

Then he glanced up from his conversation with a shorter man and caught her eye. A slow smile curved his mouth as his gaze slid down the front of her, making her skin warm in anticipation, then back up, lingering on her mouth.

Her lips tingled hopefully.

She took a drink from the cup she still held. Whatever frozen thing Ramona had given her was melting and slushy, but she could still taste the bite of alcohol as it hit her tongue.

He moved away from the couple he was with, toward her, and her temperature rose a couple more degrees. His long-legged stride was confident and unhurried.

No, damn him, he made her wait, pausing once to greet someone along the way.

She tightened her grip on the stem of the plastic cup and took a quick breath.

He finally stopped about two steps away, and she could smell his cologne, something musky that made her pulse race even faster.

Her nipples tightened inside her vest.

“Hi.” The low tone of his voice raised goosebumps on her arms despite the warm evening air.

“Hi.” She put out her right hand. “I’m Katharine Vardos.”

He smiled again, that slow curve of his lips that made heat spread in her belly, from the inside out, until her panties were damp when she shifted her weight from one foot to the other.

Then he wrapped his long, strong fingers around hers. “Hunter Phelps. Nice to meet you.”

Heat shot up her arm from where he held her hand, rising into her face. “Are you a friend of Ramona’s?” She left her hand in his, her brain already imagining his long fingers elsewhere on her body. The mental images made her breathing quicken.

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So, what kind of rewards do you treat yourself to after knocking off everything on your chore list? Or just to make you feel better on a gloomy winter day?

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