Being a West coaster and an Islander, it's not often I get to experience a traditional Canadian winter. I had this opportunity with a quick four days in Ottawa where I spent the days in a conference, and the evenings enjoying the cold and snow. I missed the big freeze by a few days, but minus 15 was fine and an opportunity to play on the frozen Rideau Canal was well appreciated. I also had the opportunity to pause at the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider - a truly humbling and solemn experience, as well as view the seat of Federal power in Canada, our Parliament Buildings. In general it was a pleasant time and gave me, as a writer, a few days away from the computer while also reminding myself, through experience, what the cold and snow was like. As an Islander, I can speak well to rain, wind, and mud, but since several of my books take place in snowy environments, I enjoyed the reminder of what those snowy environments were actually like. Cold, crisp, and hard work to live in.