Friday, June 18, 2010

Writing Weather

The summer months have always been my favorite time of the year. Days are long, I personally don't mind the heat and sometimes even the humidity. It's like the sweating lodges of Native Americans, the bad inside us just oozes out our pores. Air conditioning is nice, but for the most part, I like bright blue skies and hot sunshine. Salads, eating light, ice cream in the evening, large glasses of ice filled with tea, hamburgs on the grill, summer tomatoes and corn on the cob--summertime trips to anywhere are the best.

On the flip side, I can hibernate in winter with the best of the bears. Tons of snow and ice, stock pots of soup on the stove, reading by the fire-curled up with my favorite blanket. I love looking at cold weather, I don't like driving in it. So working from home fits into winter for me. Blistery, snowy days can be heavy work days for me. For some reason, my mind flips into high gear on a day everybody else stays home to keep off the roads. I enjoy winter, as long as it's from my warm, snuggly house.

And who doesn't love a good thunderstorm? (I'm not talking about tornadoes, hail, hurricanes, and floods.) I'm talking about the storm that rolls in, bangs around a little, waters our gardens, and then floats away. Great stories have been written during thunderstorms, I am sure!

My point about summer/winter is this: As a writer, I pay attention to the weather. By itself, it is a great motivator. It can stir imagination, memories, and provide lines of prose for your readers, dropping them into season you want them to feel.

Can a writer make you feel the cold, the heat, a gloomy day even if the sun is bright outside your window? Too much talk about weather will cause a reader to skip to the next paragraph or close the book. But just the right amount, here and there, will keep a reader in the season you want them in. Even if it's July and they're reading about a Christmas blizzard.

Writing weather is a talent unto itself. It's all about paying attention.

Blessings to you and yours.

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