by Carolyne Aarsen
In my latest book, Her Cowboy Hero, it’s wintertime. In one scene, my hero and heroine pull a little girl on a sled through the snow. It was a fun scene to write because snow and sledding have been a huge part of my childhood and my children’s. Many good memories have been made on the hill just outside our house.
There are lots of other good things about winter. Snow covers up plants I haven’t pulled out of the garden and masks dead spots on the lawn. It is the great yard-equalizer. In winter I stay close to home by my computer, working, cozy and content in my comfy office. I go outside to haul firewood for our wood stove, go for a walk, take a few pictures, shovel some snow off the deck and then go back inside to my office with my cup of tea waiting for me, feeling refreshed and renewed.
My husband doesn’t share my view of winter. To him winter is not a friend that comes for a visit, it is an enemy that won’t go away. Winter means extra work for his road maintainer, snow that needs to be plowed, log truck drivers calling him on his radio or his phone to tell him that he needs to be on the B-road pronto. It means heading out in the early hours of the morning, fighting driving wind at times and lousy roads.
So which one is right? Both and neither. Winter is fun, but it is also challenging.
These two different points of view of the same situation can create tension between my hero and heroine as well.
In Her Cowboy Hero, the hero has one viewpoint of his brother. The heroine another. Both are right and both are wrong, and yes, this is a teaser that will hopefully get you to find out how this plays out.
But these differing points of view are what create sympathy for both characters and a strong conflict and ongoing tension. Hopefully, the reader can see both sides of the situation. In the end, they need to find a way to reconcile their differing views, which creates its own story challenge.
As for me and my husband, it depends on the situation as to how we feel about winter. When I have to venture out into a stormy day and plow through snow, hoping I won’t hit the ditch, I get his.
And when he’s home, sitting in his chair and the wind is howling, and the fire is going in the stove, he gets mine.
Carolyne Aarsen learned to write while raising children, fostering others, handling cows and gardening. Since selling her first book she has published over forty books to date. Her stories show a love of open spaces, the fellowship of her Christian community and the gift God has given us in Christ.