After enduring subzero temperatures for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to carry the Olympic torch in her native Canada, Shania Twain is warming up in the Caribbean – and it's doing wonders for her creative juices.
"The sunny weather gets me into writing mode," the country superstar, 44, tells fans in a letter posting on her Web site. "Many of the songs from The Woman In Me and Come On Over were written in the tropics so it's a good place for me to be creative.”
Twain takes fans further inside her private world, sharing a video montage shot over the holidays by boyfriend Frédéric Thiébaud.
The footage includes Twain making an early morning visit to a Canadian radio station to host a show on underprivileged children. Despite the serious topic, Twain is in good spirits as she picks at a complimentary fruit plate while laughing about junk-food cravings like donuts and popcorn, talking about "blotchy skin" and joking that she is, in fact, 34.
The footage also gives fans an audio introduction to Thiébaud, her constant companion of more than a year, whose French-inflected voice is heard bantering with her from off-camera.
Twain, whose marriage to Robert "Mutt" Lange fell apart in May 2008 over his relationship with her then-friend and employee Marie-Anne Thiébaud, took to her site last summer to write about her romance with boyfriend Frédéric, who is Thiébaud's ex-husband.
Another highlight of Twain's holiday season? "Sitting by the tree singing old songs with family, hanging around in comfy clothes and doing nothing but enjoying a relaxing evening by the fire," she writes. "It was cold and snowy outside, warm and cozy inside."
Twain also reflects on her experience carrying the Olympic torch on New Year's Day in her hometown of Timmins, Ont.
"I was worried about the length of the run as I didn't want to embarrass myself by arriving at the cauldron out of breath … When Eja [her son, 8,] saw me after the run, he said, 'Mom, it is called an Olympic torch run because you are supposed to RUN, not WALK! ' " writes Twain. "The temperatures were pretty low so running the whole way would probably have, ironically, kept me warmer. In any case, it was an awesome 300 meters and I will cherish the honor forever."