When is it time?

From the moment the days start to shrink each September, I look forward to winter’s darkness. Like Andrew Wyeth, I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole structure doesn’t show.

To me, winter is the season of mystery and wonder, ideal starting points for any story.

Maybe this is why NaNoWriMo is such a successful annual event: as days shorten and shadows lengthen, we are reminded of nature shutting down. Plants die. Birds disappear from the garden. Food becomes scarce for the animals that do stay around. Imminent death is always an excellent theme for fiction.

In February, when the days stretch again and the first flowers of the year start to struggle out of the ground, the increased sunlight will energize me with new ideas. I’ll decide that spring is my season and let the vigorous growth inspire me. When the darling buds of May have blossomed into summer’s beautiful flowers, I’ll probably be persuaded that summer is the very best season to write. By the time autumn creeps in on the morning air in September I’ll be reminded just how much I love the fall and I’ll take long walks in the forest to enjoy the rich smells of the trees shutting down for the year.

However now it’s winter and I’m convinced this is the best season of them all. I loved the snow this week and I’m enjoying the long nights. During the day I look out at the barren garden and imagine what is going on just beyond the limits of my hearing and sight. There is a story brewing out there, I can sense it.

Do you have a favourite season for writing? Or can you sit down any time and work the words?


Picture from Wikimedia Commons: High Park Toronto by paul (dex) bica