Friday, January 23, 2015

Thriving in a Canadian January...

...rather than just surviving it.

(It's kind of funny that I chose this topic for my first post here at the blog - I chose it a while ago, but am just coming to the end of a two-week bout of the flu! So, I definitely haven't been thriving this January, but that doesn't change my perspective.)

January can be a grim business in the upper third of the planet. Many Canadians take their cue from the wild and go for the obvious choices to get through the winter: hibernate or migrate to warmer climes. I like to stay home, and actually winter has become one of my favorite seasons. (Not the favorite, though. Autumn steals that prize every time!) Here are some of the things I do to thrive in winter months:

1. Embrace the weather.
Yes, honest and true, it's easier to deal with winter's cold temps if you get outside regularly. Go somewhere every day, even if it's just to shovel the drive, and take a deep breath of that Arctic air.

2. Learn something new.
Darker days are the perfect time to explore a new obsession. Last year, I took a course on creating handmade books. We worked out way up to making a little hardcover book, like you'd use for a journal. (Of course, I don't want to write in mine!) It was interesting, and also compelled me to head out on a weeknight for the class. This year, I'm experimenting with beads and making some jewellery. Shiny things created under bright lights are just the thing for chilly winter evenings.

3. Indulge your senses.
Every December, I buy an amaryllis bulb when they have them at the grocery store. It's wonderful to watch that plant grow—they grow so fast!–and the vivid blooms make me think of summertime. Mine are just about ready to burst now. Alternatively, buy a blooming plant and set it in a window. I usually buy a new kalanchoe cactus in the winter, too, because they don't mind if I forget to water them, plus they look like desert heat.

4. Eat well.
Another December ritual for me is finding a new cookbook and experimenting with new recipes. I love to cook and so does Mr. Math–it's fun to find new things to make. This year, I've been using The Fast Diet Cookbook, which has a lot of delicious recipes (and even better, they don't taste like diet food). Lots of vegetables and lean meat, plus now I know what to do with eggplants. (Ha.)

The Warrior's Prize by Claire Delacroix
5. Read! 
You knew I'd get to that one—and probably guessed that I'd have a couple of suggestions for you! My current historical romance release is a Scottish medieval romance called The Warrior's Prize, by Claire Delacroix, and is the fourth (and final) book in my True Love Brides series.  I also have a couple of bargain reads available right now: Highland Heroes, a boxed set of my Claire Delacroix Scottish medieval romances available for a limited time, and Border Brotherhood, a multi-author boxed set with Kathryn LeVeque and Suzan Tisdale, also available for a limited time. You can also pre-order a copy of Kinfairlie Knights, a boxed set of Claire Delacroix first-in-a-series medieval romances coming out in February, OR download the first chapter of The Crusader's Bride in EPUB free from my online store.
Firestorm Forever by Deborah Cooke

On the Deborah Cooke side of my writing life, there are dragon shape shifter heroes starring in my Dragonfire paranormal romance series. Serpent's Kiss (which is Thorolf's book) was published last May, so now's the time to catch up because Firestorm Forever, the final Dragonfire novel, will be published in March. Follow the link on the title to learn more or pre-order it from Apple, KOBO or Amazon. You can also download the first chapter of Firestorm Forever for free from my store: here's the EPUB and here's the MOBI. (The downloadable excerpt is longer than the one posted on my site.)

6. Stay Warm
And if you've been reading romance novels, you'll have some  inspiration as to how to best manage that!

How do you deal with a Canadian January? Do you hibernate? Migrate? Try to make the most of it? Or do you just love winter?


  1. Great post! Very informative. I love quiet afternoons with a carafe of hot chocolate, my fave fleece blanket and a good book. I need afternoons like that every day!! :o)

    Welcome to the blog!

  2. Wonderful post, Deb! I hope you are feeling a bit better now. I take my dog for at least one walk every day, and try to do yoga during the week, too. This weekend, we'll be taking the kids to Winterfest. :)