When I was a kid, a family member had an old log cabin up in the Rockies. It made a big impression on me. It had a big wood burning cook stove on which delicious breakfasts were made in an iron skillet. The fireplace was big enough for a kid to walk into and built from genuine fieldstone—rocks found in the pasture a hundred years ago. The logs had been peeled and chinked by hand. The “facilities” were outside—yeah, an outhouse. The seat ring was kept inside by the back door to allow for a little warmth out in the cold.
Navajo rugs occupied some of the floor space; there was lots of old wooden furniture, and oddly, a sleeper sofa.
As I thought about what to write as a holiday story, I decided I wanted to revisit that cabin—at least in my mind. I’d never written a “stranded together” scenario, and wanted to see how that might play out.
The idea for Joe came from a charity calendar full of firemen. It was a short jump to “what if one of these (hot!) guys were offered a modeling contract because of this project? Likewise, Joe’s tragedy naturally grew out of his job—no spoilers here! As in my family, Joe’s cabin had been passed down from generation to generation.
Errol materialized after I read an article about copyrighting written works. What if someone wrote a play and an unscrupulous colleague stole the play? What if an innocent bystander got caught in the fallout? The costume shop where Errol works is modeled after an old theater that had become a secondhand store and costume venue in Colorado.
At some point I would like to continue the story of Joe and Errol—they still come back and whisper in my ear from time to time.
AND that’s what’s behind Midwinter Night’s Dream.