I truly enjoy this quiet space of time between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Nothing’s happening. There is no stress to get anything done or meet social obligations to attend—just quiet winter days in which I can sit by the fire and read or sit at my desk and write on my work-in-progress.
It’s a good time for me to reflect on spiritual matters and what I’d like to change as well as what things I’d like to keep or remember.
Some may think my idea of quiet is boring. It is certainly not boring to me. It’s like a rejuvenation period before the hectic buzz and chaos of life begins again.
Here are some things I enjoy doing in this peaceful interlude.
I used to believe naps were a waste of time. Shoot, I thought people who took naps in the middle of the day were just lazy. Now I realize short naps of 30 minutes to an hour can renew my spirits, get my creativity flowing again, and help me regain my energy as well as get me back into a good, positive mood.
Now bubble baths used to be my first choice for relaxing and meditation. I made a ritual out of them by placing candles around the tub and room, lighting incense and playing classic or peaceful music. Now that I’ve had knee surgery, I can no longer enjoy my midday meditation baths, but they were wonderful for all the years I was able to enjoy them.
Going through old photo albums and slides.
As well as bringing back pleasant memories of days gone by and quieting my mind, looking at old pictures has been quite inspiring for me because of the memories they arouse in my mind. Story ideas spring up in my imagination driven by my memories of earlier days.
Staring out the window.
I know many of you who are writers understand that what looks like idol daydreaming is us at work in our heads. No matter the season or the weather, a good period of time spent staring out the window can generate many story ideas, solutions to story plots and plot twists for months to come.
As I mentioned in the beginning, there is nothing quite as delightful as sitting by a warm fire in a comfortable chair or lounge and reading a good book.
This is also a time of year when I find I am ready to get going on a writing project with renewed enthusiasm and ideas.
In this space after the hullabaloo of celebrations including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the big finale of New Year’s Eve, and before the next celebration of Valentine’s Day, I have found my favorite place in time where things are quiet, restful, and renewing.
Is this peaceful time something you find appealing, or do you miss the excitement of the holidays? What things do you like to do best during this pause between holidays?
HOME FOR THE HEART
Love doesn’t come easy…for some, it may never come at all.
Though Hank Wilding and Lucy Thoroughgood have been lifelong friends, Lucy has managed to lose her heart to the handsome rancher. But Hank’s a sworn bachelor after a soured engagement two years earlier. His heart begins to thaw when Lucy introduces him to the orphans she cares for, but a Lakota premonition threatens the happiness of the inhabitants of Hazard, Wyoming, and may end in tragedy for Lucy Thoroughgood.
After the instructor left them to instruct another couple, Hank guided Lucy back to the floor. He mimicked the instructor’s accent. “And now I will lead you into the dance of love—or into Hell, whichever comes first.”
She couldn’t help but laugh at Hank’s antics. “You have a terrible French accent.”
“Maybe, but watch this.” He managed to step to the music without crushing her toes, and when the music drew to a close, he dipped her low over his arm and leaned over her so close his lips almost touched hers. His pine and sunshine scent with just a trace of cologne, filled her senses. The light from above the ballroom glinted through his golden hair and illuminated it. The urge to reach up and smooth the lock of gold that fell over his brow was almost over powering. He inhaled a ragged breath. His eyes darkened. Lucy held her breath for what might come next.
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Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media: