Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Writing in Season
What season is it for you?
Here in western Canada, it is the dead of winter, though I know some of you are in the heat of summer! Winter may be my favorite season to write. I can cozy up to my laptop near the fire with a mug of something hot – I'll be honest; that's usually a homemade mocha! – and dream of happenings in other places. There's no need to worry about outside work on the farm, because we no longer have livestock. A walk on the country road most afternoons is all the 'outside' I need.
It's just me and my story world, day after day, and that suits me pretty fine!
In spring, outside is rather enticing, at least once the mud dries up and the daffodils poke out of the ground. The flowerbeds need a good weeding, the yard needs a back scratch (ie: rake) and, later on, it's time to put the garden in.
Still, my thoughts are often having adventures with my imaginary friends, and I scurry inside to record what they are doing.
Summer brings heat and the ever-present balance between the need to weed the garden and the incessant buzz and bite of mosquitoes. I'm not a lover of heat, so I do the minimal amount of yard work and spend most of my writing time in the living room rather than my too-hot upstairs office.
Summer might be the second best season for me to write, though. Or at least it would be if we didn't go camping so many weekends. By camping, I'm not talking about the local KOA with electrical outlets. I'm talking about sitting by a creek, miles from the nearest current (or currant) bush. I get a lot of reading done when we're camping. Sometimes character building and other story planning, but actual writing is a bit tricky when the laptop runs out of juice so quickly.
Autumn weather pulls me outside again with cooler temperatures and fewer bugs. Also the garden harvest is in full swing with tomatoes and other produce to can and freeze. It's definitely the busiest season of all on the farm. The first frost of the year is welcome to end the bounty so calmer schedules can prevail.
In 2015 I wrote in all seasons, but I got a good start in the first five months by writing three novellas and one novel. Two more novellas and then most of a novel followed in the summer and fall – a novel I finally finished the first draft of last week, though I'd intended to complete that stage in 2015.
Writing in season means something else to me, too. I wrote a Christmas novella in August, listening to carols stream from iTunes and pretending it was ten below (Celsius) instead of thirty-five above! It didn't always work. The novel I just completed, Berry on Top, the final installment in the Farm Fresh Romance series, takes place from mid-December through mid-February, and I wrote it in October through January – a much better alignment.
What about you? Do you tend to read stories that take place in the season you're currently in? As a writer, how hard (or easy) is it for you to immerse yourself in the opposite season in your story world?
Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.