Fire and ice #mfrwauthor

Once again, here’s the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. For  week 38, the writing prompt is:

The Best Parts of Each Season

As an adult, I’ve lived in two very different climates. I decided to compare the southern Arizona desert with British Columbia’s cold Canadian Rockies. That’s two sets of seasons for price of one. What a deal!


AZ — In a word: nirvana. Winter is by far the best season here. True winter is rainy and perhaps two weeks long. There’s a chance of frost once or twice a year and snow every few years. The best part is Christmas, because the whole family is almost always together despite being scattered across the globe. Last year, the clan flew 9157 miles, per Google — one way! And that’s not even counting spouse and significant other. You know what I should as for for Christmas? Airline company stock.

Snow, everywhere snow

BC — In a word: endless snow. Yeah, that’s two words, but one word doesn’t do it justice. Winter in the northern Rockies (northern even for Canada, that is) is looong and snowy. The best part is when it gets really cold. Cloudy, snowy Pacific air is replaced by clear, dry arctic air. Believe it or not, 20 or 25 below zero is the best weather for snowshoeing, skiing or driving. (Christmas was great too, but not quite so special because the kids hadn’t left the nestyet.)


Most of the year, ocotillo plants look like dead sticks

AZ — In a word: ominous. There isn’t a separate spring season; it’s winter at the beginning and an oven at the end. Pleasant temperatures keep getting hotter. And hotter. And hotter. The latter half of spring is hotter than most place’s summer. By the time summer officially starts, I’m thoroughly sick of it. The best part is March, when the sun won’t yet fry eggs on the sidewalk. That’s some of the best walking weather, and the plants haven’t yet shriveled to brown.

BC — In a word: late. Winter extends well into spring. One year, the snow didn’t disappear from around the house until the end of May, though March or April was more common. The best part was when the snow was gone from everywhere except the mountains, where it belongs. A close second was Victoria Day in late May, when it was safe to start planting the garden. No vegetables taste as good as those you’ve grown yourself.


AZ — In a word: endless hell. Yeah, that’s two words, but like the BC winter, one word just isn’t enough. Since I’ve lived here, every summer is the hottest on record. (That’s an exaggeration, but not by much.) When I moved here, the all-time heat record for Tucson was 111. That record’s been beaten 16 or 19 times since, depending on which source you believe. My brother-in-law used to say northerners came here in the winter and thought they’d gone to heaven, but if they returned in the summer, they realized they went the other way. The best part is that it’s a dry heat. Sweat evaporates almost instantly, so you don’t feel damp and smelly. Sweat by itself doesn’t stink, you know — it’s the microscopic thingies that grow in the sweat when it lingers on your skin.

The author at Lake Louise

BC — In a word: short. Spring’s cloudy weather extends well into official summer. True summer is perhaps a month long, with dry, sunny heat. We reached 100 most years, though only for a day or two. The best part was when school let out in late June. You see, I went straight from being a student to being a teacher. Northerners often break out their shorts when it’s still cold, trying to rush the beginning of glorious summer.


The author’s front yard at sunset

AZ — In a word: late. There’s no clear break between summer and fall. Temps gradually cool , with the emphasis on gradually. I wrote this in mid-September’ we’re hitting 100 every day — and yesterday was 106, breaking yet another record. The best part is when it’s cool enough to exercise outside again after months of walking around and around the mall. If it’s in the high 80’s, the air feels great because the low humidity .

BC — In a word: colorful. There’s a clear break between summer and fall. In September the birch and aspen trees turn golden and the nights get cool(er). The dominant evergreen forest stays dark green, of course. The best part is the first snowfall on the mountaintops. Between the gold and dark green down below and white on the mountains, it’s camera time.

What about you?

What do you like about your seasons? Check out the weather-wise writers taking part in this blog hop.

On the writing front, I have two nuggets of news.

  1. I learned last night that my WIP, Rescuing Prince Charming, is a finalist in the Rebecca Contest, run by the  Land of Enchantment Romance Authors. (For easterners, Land of Enchantment is the license plate motto of New Mexico.)
  2. Two of my books are included in the Sci-fi Romance cross promotion (below). Alien Contact for Idiots is free and Newborn is on sale for 99c



  1. Congrats on being a Rebecca Contest finalist! I remember passing through AZ in May once and the waitresses in the restaurant were all atwitter because “it’s ONLY going to be 90 today!” I don’t care what they say about a “dry” heat – 106 is hot in ANY heat. Stay cool!

    1. Like a Canadian winter, an Arizona summer will kill you if you aren’t prepared. From what I’ve heard — though not from personal experience — dying of thirst is a particularly nasty way to go, while freezing to death is merely like going to sleep. Make of that what you will!

  2. Sherry Lewis · · Reply

    Congratulations on the great writing news! Loved the comparisons between north and south. We’ve experienced the same “hottest summer on record” phenomenon here for the past several years. I’m ready to stop receiving extreme heat warnings on my phone!

    1. Climate change is very real. It’s impossible to believe now, but back in Wyatt Earp’s days, southern Arizona used to be good cattle country because of tall, luscious bunchgrass.

  3. Congrats on your news! Awesome! You really have experienced fire and ice. 20- 25 below? I froze into a piece of ice just thinking about it. Brrrr!

    1. The first time I visited my sister after she moved to Arizona was at Christmastime. We had Christmas dinner outside — 65 degrees. When we flew home, it was 40 below — over a hundred degrees different within a couple days. 20 below is, as I said, rather pleasant, but forty below? Yikes.

  4. Congratulations on the contest, Ed! My son lives far north in California. They’ve been breaking heat records this summer. I like the way you shared two sets of seasons. Stay cool.

    1. The nights are starting to cool down enough to open the windows. Nights like that are another highlight of fall.

  5. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Congrats on being a finalist! I loved this post especially the Summer being Hell it is here too. wish it was short tough!

    1. Thanks for the congratulations, Cathy!

  6. Woohoo! That’s awesome news! Best of luck in the contest! And of course, great post!

    1. Thanks, Trevann. The finalist judge in my category is a woman I’ve known online for years; she won a Rita this year. It’s a good thing the entries are have no names on them.

  7. LOL Ed love your two for one deal! I’ve never been to BC but I’ve been to AZ many times. Only at the two extremes though, winter and summer. So I understand all too well what you mean on both of those.

    1. Next time you’re in AZ, shoot me an e-mail.

  8. Well, that was a fun and interesting read! Thanks for sharing, Ed, and congrats on making the finals! Good luck!

    1. Glad you found it interesting, Raine.

  9. Congratulations on finaling! That’s great news. And the only place I can tolerate in Arizona in the summer is Prescott. What a wimp I am!

    1. To final is better than not finaling.

  10. ‘Endless Hell’…..that’s what my BFF now says about Phoenix! I would love to visit her in winter, ha ha!

    1. In all fairness, there are people who like the Arizona heat, and not all of them are in asylums.

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