Greetings, Karen.   

News:  Another Goodreads Giveaway!
From 12:00am PT on Sunday, February 14 to 11:59pm PT on Monday, March 15, you can enter a Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Book One of the Enemy Glory trilogy. Goodreads will select five winners at random, and I will mail each winner a signed copy of the book. Enter here.

This Giveaway runs from Valentine’s Day to the Ides of March, so from Romance to the assassination of Julius Caesar. Which nicely offsets the trilogy’s tag line: “Beauty knows no laws. Neither does justice.”

Creative Life /New England History: I don’t know of any New Englanders who still do this, but apparently the Winter Picnic was a popular community activity as recently as the 1940s, particularly in the northern states. The meal was held at midday, often in February, and always among snowdrifts. Participants carried rucksacks stuffed with kettles of soups and stews, pots of baked beans, griddles for hotcakes, and firewood. Hot maple syrup and coffee were popular. 

I like to think the point was to create life-giving warmth, good food, and good fellowship as a form of defiance in the face of winters so cold they could—and did—kill. A lovely concept that can be applied to many situations.

Reader Question:  “Did any of your Imbolc celebrations involve Pourra?” -from Jen

No. Pourra has much better sense than to brave our winter, Groundhog Day notwithstanding. He’s staying safely fictional. And warm.
Karen Michalson