Forever Autumn?

IMG_0416by Mary Jo

Today's topic was inspired by a back room chat among the Wenches in which we extolled the delights of autumn: crisp air, vibrant colors, the recharging of energy after summer languor.  Several Wenches said they'd like it to be autumn all year round.  

But do we really want that?  So I asked: What  are your favorite seasons? Are there any you'd like to see all year round?


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Ask A Wench – The Influence of the Seasons

The other avenueNicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench topic, which was sent in by Valerie Moore, who wins a book from me as a thank you. Valerie asks:

“How do the seasons affect your style of writing, if at all?” 

It’s an excellent question and gave us all much to ponder on. Do the seasons affect our actual writing style or is it more that the seasons affect our moods and this affects our writing? Certainly in my case, I find it extremely difficult to write about a season that is very different from the one that I’m in. At the moment I’m writing a book set in July whilst I’m in an English winter. I’m trying my best to remember the heat of the sun and the scent of roses whilst stepping out into the stinging rain and the cold wind. Winter can sometimes bring my mood down as well; that definitely affects my writing if not my style, and makes it more difficult. So here are the Wenches’ thoughts on this ever-fascinating topic, some lovely “hygge” ideas and some wonderful photography of the seasons from around the world.

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The Four Seasons

What’s your favorite season, and what are some of the special things that you love about it?

Autumn2017 As March is here, and bringing with it the first change in season of the year, the Wenches decided to use this month’s Ask-A-Wench feature to wax poetic on the above question: 

Anne: In the Southern Hemisphere, specifically in Melbourne, the worst heat of summer is, I hope, behind us and we're gradually slipping into autumn, which is my favorite season. The days are sunny and bright and nicely warm, but not roasting, and the nights are blissfully cool, sometimes with a refreshing nip in the air. Already I have bulbs nosing their little green shoots out of the earth, while the summer flowering plants keep producing.  It's a fruitful time of year and as well as eating lots of lovely fruit, I've made jam from the produce of friends' fruit trees and berry bushes.

2018Maytone2March is also the time of year I head a thousand miles north to Queensland, to attend my annual writers retreat. It's not a big event, nothing like a conference, just eight or nine writers meeting for a week, to reflect on our year, to plan our writing, to brainstorm, talk writing and publishing and, of course, to write. We've been doing it now since 2007 — that's the year I first met Mary Jo, Pat and Jo Beverley, well before I became a wench.

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The Dog Days of Summer

Ethel hotNicola here. Yesterday, September 1st, was the official start of autumn, at least according to the meteorologists. Here in the UK the days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler and there is a misty haze lying over the fields on fine mornings, and dew on the grass. It's back to school, back to work, after the long hot days of summer. The harvest is being gathered in; it doesn't feel quite like full blown autumn yet but you can feel the change in the air.

For me this summer will always conjure memories of my two hot dogs, Angus and Ethel the guide dog puppy, lying on the cool stone floor as they slept away those sultry summer days. Often I found the heat made me sleepy too. The "dog days of summer" seems a perfect description for those weeks even if originally it didn't derive from dogs at all, except in an astronomical sense.

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Jo3rwablueJo here. Welcome to autumn.

Where does the word come from? I'll just quote wikipedia. Autumnleaf

"The word autumn comes from the ancient Etruscan root autu– and has within it connotations of the passing of the year. It was borrowed by the neighbouring Romans, and became the Latin word autumnus. After the Roman era the word continued to be used as the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French), and was later normalised to the original Latin. In the Medieval period there are rare examples of its use as early as the 12th century, but by the 16th century it was in common use."


What did they call it in English before the 16th century? Apparently, harvest, which makes sense. Especially when I think of my bountiful crop of tomatoes at the moment!  If I were in France I might be harvesting grapes, and I'd certainly welcome a bumper crop of them. We used to have a vine in Canada and we did make wine. Tomato wine? We tried it once. (We've experimented with nearly all fruits.) Nah. 111

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