oh, the weather outside is frightful, but it’s so delightful

Do you ever have so much on your mind that you don’t know what to blog about? Well, that’s been me lately. I feel like there’s a snow storm in my mind and I’m waiting for it to settle so that I can see the landscape. I love these moments of creative introspect, because they tend result in growth.

I’ve been reading On Writing, by Stephen King, but I’m not quite finished so I’ll save that post for another day. I just had to let you know that it’s set my gears knocking (I’m certain he would be most disappointed by this uninventive comparison, but hey, it’s all I that comes to mind right now.)

I have one child developing his french writing skills and learning to write expanded stories, another child learning to read, and a baby exploring sounds and speaking his first words, all making me remark on the wonder of language and my love of literature.

My eldest child is 7 years old and experienced “school yard” (’cause it’s not really in the school yard) angst for the first time, leading me to think of characterization, but the snow storm is at its apex over in this court.

December is a month of holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza. And in my family also a month full of birthdays. As always, life brings me to my writing, and my writing brings me to life. I haven’t fictionalized holidays and birthdays. I’ve been thinking about that, particularly the potential Halloween holds.

A little challenge to self: Write a short that’s set during Christmas. It’s only a setting after all not, not a situation. That will have to be developed. (I’ve just decided this now as I write – see what happens when you write a post on the fly? But I accept the challenge, and I’ll post it once the story reveals itself to me. It’s good to write outside the comfort zone sometimes. Any other takers?)

And, just the other day I was listening to an explanation of Brahms’s mind frame when he composed a particular piece (sorry, I don’t remember which.) He was mourning a failed engagement, and you could really feel the hope and anticipation in the musisc, followed by the disappointment and sorrow. This led me to think about my own writing situations.

I had always thought that I wrote quite apart from my real life. In one sense I do, my settings and scenarios are certainly not my life, but my situations, I realized, are often parallel.

When writing my first novel, I had recently given birth, and my grandmother (whom I was very close to) passed. Story situation: Man trying to scientifically prolong life. Yes, it’s a speculative fiction novel, but clearly contrived by my emotions. And here I thought I was writing free of my emotions, occasionally even to get away from them.




10 thoughts on “oh, the weather outside is frightful, but it’s so delightful

  1. Yes, I have had times when there’s so much on my mind I don’t know what to blog about. But you’ve managed to pull it off despite the snow storm.

    Great insight into how your speculative fiction drew from your life without “being” your life. That’s one of the endlessly fascinating parts of writing, how it takes pieces of the writer’s subconscious and transforms them.

    Have you read Writing Down the Bones? Natalie G has a great piece on composting life.

    On Writing is great book, it’s one of a few that I’ve read multiple times.

    1. I don’t know that book, Cathryn, I’ll look it up – thanks.
      “That’s one of the endlessly fascinating parts of writing, how it takes pieces of the writer’s subconscious and transforms them.” It certainly is 🙂

  2. I think sometimes people take that, “write what you know” to mean that we should write about experiences and places that we are familiar with, and that’s certainly good advise. But we can also write about what we know from an emotional level. I think it would be challenging to keep it out of our writing completely. Perhaps we are what we write. Maybe we’re more transparent than we think.

    1. Laura, this is one of the very things that STephen King talks about in his book! People are the heart of a book, for me, and emotion is the driver of people (mostly) so it makes sense.

  3. Jennifer, this reminds me of the post I wrote about the same time you wrote this one. The holidays don’t leave room for much else, do they? Some days, all we can do is show up. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  4. I relate to your thoughts in this post a lot.

    “And here I thought I was writing free of my emotions, occasionally even to get away from them.”

    Yes, I’ve had that realization too! 😉 But I think it’s good–recognizing the emotions we all share is what makes any read, regardless of genre, an impacting one.

    And hey, I’m writing a Christmas story this year too! How is yours going?

    1. Definitely, Ev! I’ve been more adventurous in recent years, reading everything and anything, and finding I’m enjoying most of it. People are people, no matter the setting. It’s all about real characters. good luck with your story, and merry christmas!

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