Currently listening to Sting's new CD, If On A Winter's Night... and my brain, perhaps aided by the cover art, is drawn like a magnet to the woods behind the house where I lived until I was nine. Maybe it's the image of a man and a dog walking in the snowy woods that does it. Maybe it's that, like Sting, I count winter as my favorite season. An unpopular choice, it seems, but there's something beautiful and special about winter and it pains me when someone feels they have to smash that flat.
If I could go back there, and have it still be mine/my family's, I would build a fire in the family room hearth and throw pinecones into the flames, drink hot chocolate and alternate between staring at the flames and staring at the snow falling outside. In the morning, there would be deer tracks and bunny sproings (our family's word for rabbit tracks) and the dogs would want to go romp. I am a snow bunny, unable where I currently live, to indulge in my leanings. Not skating (weak ankles) or skiing (seriously, stand on waxed boards with the goal of sliding down the mountain as fast as possible? No.) but sleds are love, and if I could get my mitts on a snow saucer, there's hours of fun right there. I have even been known, in my misspent single-digit youth, to use a heavy duty garbage bag for this purpose.
From the first time I saw the cover art of this CD in Starbuck's, the image arrested me and seeing the words "Sting" and "winter" in the same sentence, it became a need. Add in that it's largely composed of traditional music of the British Isles, and all I can say is, "mummy's home!" Absolutely gorgeous, and I've had it playing for much of the day.The photos of Sting and company on the booklet inside are gorgeous, too, and make me want to slip into the frame and join them. As I saw So You Think You Can Dance last night, I also renew my wish to be a twentysomething professional dancer, so smush both urges together and I'm right at home working on my current time travel ms.
The two songs that stick with me the most are "The Hounds of Winter" -not new-new but it fits with the rest of the album- and "You Only Cross My Mind In Winter," which could have been designed specifically to make me squee. It's got angst, it's got winter, it's win-win. Sting describes both songs as "ghost stories." I don't do ghosts, but I can do gothic and will get a goofy faraway look if someone mentions Wuthering Heights. I've been listening to these over and over and either they will provide the undefinable something I need for this part of the current ms or they will settle into part of an idea that's in its early stages. (No ghosts there either, but I always have angst.)
This coincides with the stack of Christmas and wintry romances that I have as a special seasonal TBR pile, forbidden until December first, and then time to dive in whole hog. I fully admit that I will be running on candy canes and (nonalcoholic) eggnog for the season. The Christmas monster has been awakened. She has a computer and is not afraid to use it.