Summer is here, bringing with it a sultry heat that can be stifling. Sometimes the air is stagnant and it feels like trudging through soup. Or it can be blistering and each gust of wind is a blast from an oven. It is at times like this that I find myself dreaming of fall, and my writing often reflects that yearning. I sit, somewhat content, in a chair near the air conditioner and lose myself in imagining autumn. Not all the way content, since they sky outside my window is a burning shade of blue and the sun still beats down, scorching the grass to a crisp brown, but content enough and that will do.
And the same happens when winter’s frost patterns the window with frigid, crystalline branches. I huddle, nestled in my layers of clothing as the wind howls and rages outside. Cup after cup of steaming coffee is needed, both to warm me and to stir the creative juices of my frozen mind. I write of summer then, the sapphire waters kissing white sand beaches, of family barbeques, and drowsy days under sprawling shade trees. I can almost taste lemon iced tea and sunshine during those moments.
Spring arrives and the world melts, shedding her mantle of ice and snow. Everything is fresh, green, and growing and at these times, I find myself renewed. I love the wind, cool and fragrant, of March, the thunderstorms of April, and the splashes of color that comes in May when spring flowers are in bloom. I am distracted in spring and my writing suffers. I want to be outside, walking under the fledgling canopies of the trees or tending to the flower garden. So much needs to be done, too. Fallen branches from the inevitable storms of January and February need to be picked up out of the yard and leaves of the willow need to be raked. It is the time that projects are started, the lawn ornaments emerge from dusty hibernation and return to their homes among the flowers or on stumps. Windows are opened to dispel the last ghosts of winter, and the heavy sweaters are packed away.
Fall. My heart belongs in autumn. It takes wing and soars through the crisp, spicy air and up into the slate colored sky. Pumpkins are orange moons, cradled in clouds of trailing green in the fields and apples are blushing, sweet and tart to the taste. Dead leaves scuttle across asphalt with a rattling, ticking sound that is music to my ears. My thoughts and writing turn to the darker aspects of fiction. Haunted houses, sinister, grinning masks and dancing skeletons. October, especially, inspires me with the Halloween decorations and once more I am a kid, eagerly awaiting candy and scary movies. All the while I type away, writing of ghosts and monsters.
Always a season flavors my writing, in one way or another. By subtle strokes or broad sweeps, it helps me paint the background of my story, and sets the stage for my characters to play.