Well, here it is; #4 on the countdown! Ooh, not many sleeps left now! 😉
So, today, I have for you a very rare treat. The ever elusive, but strangely brilliant, Mark Williams (you might have heard of him before? He’s the quiet and least best looking half of the Saffina Desforges duo) has graced us with his presence. Even if it is the first time ever! 😉
Now, for those of you who know Mark, you’ll be well aware that he wouldn’t just write a normal post. Oh no, not him! So, in true Williams stylee, he’s set you a comments challenge!
Let’s see what you clever lot can come up with.
And, there’s a prize for the best description! We’ll give the winner a FREE copy of our next anthology, just to say thanks! Here’s Mark to explain in true teacherly fashion, what he wants:
It’s nearly Christmas. Even here in sunny West Africa.
And while I’m enjoying the weather reports from “back home” of grey skies and fog, howling winds and torrential rain, icy roads and blizzards, I sometimes find myself looking enviously at those lovely winter scenes of fluffy white snowflakes, cottages laden with snow, deep and crisp and even, with the Christmas fairy lights twinkling, and colourfully-wrapped children building snowmen with twig arms and carrot noses.
In the UK, of course, a white Christmas is a rarity, and as Bing Crosby knew all too well, it’s something most Americans can only dream of, too.
Here in West Africa snow is quite simply unknown. I can show the local people pictures of snow – both the delightful Christmas card idealized image, and the cruel reality of blizzards, ice-storms and hypothermia – but explaining it…
How do you explain a snow flake, or a snowman, or a blizzard, to someone who has never experienced snow? It’s white, and it falls from the sky. It’s made of water, but it’s not ice and it’s not rain. It’s soft and it melts in your hand, but in the morning it will be crisp and crystalline.
We all love stories about Christmas, and we all love snow scenes. But we take the snow for granted. We write about it with the clear assumption everyone knows what snow is. We describe it without ever explaining it.
So here’s a Christmas challenge to all you lot out there who like to think you’re writers.
Explain snow to someone who has never experienced snow before. Go on, do your best. And I’ll try your efforts out on local people who have, literally, never experienced snow.
If you can explain snow, even as the flakes float gently down about you and the children build snowmen in the yard, then you’re a better writer than I, Gunga Din.
Ok you lot, get on with it! 😉