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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Writing Seasons


I can never quite decide which season is better for a writer. Winter can be good. When the temperatures drop below freezing and the winds are cutting, it's pleasant to simply hunker down in the warm at the desk, looking up only now and then to watch the snowflakes drifting down outside my window. Winter is the most quiet season and that's conducive to tending to business - no roaring motorcycles, no thunk of the baseline from rolled down car windows, no kids lollygagging and laughing as they make their way home from school. Even the birds are quiet in the winter except for an occasional outburst from the Cemetery Crows. Still, falling snow can be mesmerizing and sometimes I have to pull myself away from the spell of white silence to get back to work.

Spring can be inspirational, particularly if you're ready to start a project. Spring is the perfect time for beginnings. It makes you feel as if you're in sync with Mother Nature. Buds are opening into yellow and pink and purple blossoms. Eggs are hatching so that tiny heads peer above the nest to beg for food. In the pasture you see gamboling lamps and stilt-legged colts and a Joseph's coat of kittens following their calico mom. But sometimes spring can be hard for writers because your inclination is to be outdoors where the musky smell of fecund earth beckons you to add a new thing to the multitude of spring babies, not a piece of writing, but a lilac or a rose.

Ah, summer - my least productive time. A bright sun and steamy temperatures make me lazy. I'd rather lounge indolently and read someone else's writing than do any of my own. I'd rather sit on my shaded front porch and watch my world go by - little kids with chocolate-ice-cream-smeared faces, happy men on Harleys, the feral cats from Charley Creek park, lying on the sidewalk toasting themselves, but with one eye open, ready to bolt at a moment's notice. Like me, Charley Creek is giving it the least amount of effort. In places, it disappears completely, forcing the minnows into smaller and smaller puddles. I sit at the computer and write a paragraph before deciding to take a nap.

Fall is my favorite season. I find new energy when the air becomes as crisp as bubbly champagne and Mother Nature dolls herself up for the Harvest Ball in golds and crimsons and coppers. The roadside stands begin to feature pumpkins and squash, Indian corn and chrysanthemums. Giant machines rumble across the fields bringing in the harvest. Great piles of yellow corn sprout beside the elevators. There are flowers that revel in the fall. They are mostly jewel tones. The pastels of spring are long gone. Autumn is nature's season of abundance. There is too much of everything, even fresh tomatoes, which I would have killed for in April. Now people are trying to pawn off all their extra tomatoes and zucchinis. It doesn't necessarily follow that I'm an especially prolific writer in the fall, no matter how much I find the season exhilarating. I'm too conscious that I'd better enjoy it while I can since winter will soon drive me indoors.

The upshot of all this is that it really doesn't matter what time of year it is, the writer herself must find the self discipline to write consistently regardless of what may be taking place outside her window.

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