Monday, May 30, 2011

5 Ways Writers can Regard the Inclement Weather

1. Julia Cameron begins all her writing work with a paragraph about the weather. To quote her from her WD interview, "I always start everything with the weather, because the weather is the first thing that I notice when I wake up in the morning," she says. This goes against all writerly advice  Don't begin stories with the weather, a dream or an alarm clock. Ha! Hasn't stopped her from selling millions of copies of books. Nope.
It was a dark and stormy morning. I sat at my desk full of trepidation. How would I get my garden in if it wouldn't stop bucketing down?
2. Yay! It's raining out - just perfect for getting a thousand words done on Earth Bound - no gardening to do, no laundry to hang, no dog to walk (even Hoagy echews this kind of rain).

Kitty MacDonald reached for her patrol jacket Damn the RCMP for their stupid uniform code.Sure it was goretex but it was bucketing out and she knew she'd have to stand around for hours in the garden interviewing anxious people while a slow but persistent stream of water drizzled down her neck. Didn't they know in Saskatchewan, where these policies were mysteriously written, that the weather in Nova Scotia was different?
3. Mood - I can write all the blue, despairing bits that are needed. I can feel for the characters as they struggle with existential questions while envying the corpse, who was at least dry if not warm.

Sam wondered why Kitty was so short-tempered with the young town cop. Sure it had been raining constantly since the body was found in the heather at the Historic Gardens, but did that mean she had to snap at everyone? Kitty's head swivelled on its wet neck and she glared at him. God, he wondered, could she read his mind? "Constable Carson? Unless you want to be sent back to Halifax in disgrace, I suggest you find an umbrella."
4. Our muses don't mind bad weather. Mine loves it. Of course, she is an alcoholic party girl who only stops by now and then to complain that I don't put enough 'fun bar scenes' in my books but still. She thinks weather is entirely beside the point. "You have a desk, the roof doesn't leak, what's your problem? Get to work so I can't be famous!"

Kitty sneezed. Great! Just what she needed. A crummy cold on top of an impossible investigation. Why couldn't she catch a break instead of influenza? She muttered under her breath and reached for the Hall's. The Pilate's teacher she was interviewing chirped, "You should take echinacea for that." Kitty supposed it would be premature for her to arrest the twit. But she thought about it.

5. And finally, we can pretend it isn't raining. After all we invent whole worlds. Why not some nice weather after forty-four days of nothing but grey drizzle, fog and rain? I'm going to pretend it isn't raining and go work in my garden later. I'm going to pretend it isn't raining when I go to town to pick up the kids and Sweet Patootie to go to a barbeque at the Lake Banook Boat House. (dragon boats for us to try!) I'm going to plaster a 'isn't it lovely that the farmers don't need to worry about rain this year' look on my face and sally forth. Yep, I am. Or maybe just settle down on the couch and read Wuthering Heights which is FULL of lousy weather. yep.

Kitty stopped with her pen barely touching her note pad. "Your name is Heathcliff? As in Wuthering Heights?" The dark, broody man flashed her a look of savage anger. "I mun, I don't know what you're on about? My name is Heathcliff and I don't know anything about a subdivision called Withery Heights. I'm from Pinedale Estates." Kitty, sighed and went on with the interview. Would this bloody rain ever stop, she wondered.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those are excellent! My book that's set in NM was full of weather references since that area boasts such a variety of weather. And it was fun writing those parts, too.

Talli Roland said...

I quite enjoy hunkering down inside the flat when it's raining outside. I feel all cozy and warm!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If it's raining I can write instead of mowing the lawn...