Tag: seasons


Seasonal Inspiration

 I tend to set my stories with the backdrop of the season that I am in. Part of the reason is laziness. It’s easier for me to think of ways to describe the way a place looks in a particular season when I am surrounded by that season.  Fortunately, I tend to write most of my drafts in the summer and winter (editing in spring and fall). The two seasons are the best for thrillers, IMHO.  Why? Winter enables me to write characters under the inherent pressure of being stuck indoors. I can use that sense of being trapped to create tension. It also enables me to write about being cold, the symptoms of which evoke fear.  Summer let’s me write about characters struggling with heat. When you’re too hot you can feel angry, upset, frustrated. The need for hydration and relief can become overwhelming. Maybe I prefer these two seasons simply because my favorites are fall and spring. I guess I can see how the metaphors of death and renewal could come out in autumnal books. Spring is too full of life for me, but could make a cool contrast if the character is stuck inside despite the beauty outdoors. Missing out.  What is your favorite season […]

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The Small Pleasures of Coziness

As the days get shorter, I feel the irresistible draw to everything cozy. Last year, book lists were dominated by anything about the Danish practice of hygge. Since I speak no Danish and have never lived in Denmark, I can, of course, speak with great authority on the topic because I read Helen Russell’s The Year of Living Danishly. The take away, for those of you who haven’t read the book, is that because the Danes face long, dark and cold winters, they buy more candles than any other nationality on earth and they have raised the art of coziness to a high art form. As I write this in my little attic writing room in upstate New York, I am staring at trees that have mostly shed their leaves. It’s raining hard enough for me to hear the constant drumbeat of raindrops on the roof. The leaves on the ground are soggy. Drops of water cling to the window panes. In short, this is perfect weather to snuggle in soft, warm clothes and drink something warm. I’m already thinking of baking cookies this afternoon.  I have never lived any place without seasons. I was born in Scotland, then moved to northern Utah. My family moved to France, just across the […]

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Seasonal Writing

I wrapped my favorite gray cashmere scarf around my neck this week. Sure, the autumnal equinox may technically have occurred on September 21st, but depending on where you live, the seasons do (or do not) change in their own time. I live where sweaters replace light cotton tops. Robust Cabernet takes the place of crisp Sancerre. For me, there’s something about the seasons that makes a difference in my approach to work. Cool falls in New York and our (sometimes) frigid winters provide plenty of excuses to stay inside, curled up next to a roaring fire reading and writing. Cooler weather makes me want to spend more time dreaming up murders. I wonder, though, do others feel that same seasonal affective writing syndrome? So, I asked my fellow Miss Demeanors whether changes in the seasons influence how and what they write. This is what they had to say: Paula: I’m not sure if what I’m writing changes with the seasons, but certainly my output changes with the seasons. I write best when it’s raining or snowing or otherwise inclement. I love winter. As long as I have heat and wifi and Earl Grey tea, I’m good. I’m off and writing until Spring! Robin: Definitely. I look forward to winters as a block of time to make serious […]

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