Ask A Wench: Where Do You Write?

Pat here:

This month, the wenches are all under the gun and chose an easy fun question to discuss: “Do you find that the seasons or weather or time of day can affect your creativity or productivity? What is your favorite place to write?”

Nicola's gardenNicola: I’m writing this sitting in our living room with the view in the photo. This is a problem because on the rare fine days we have had this summer I would prefer to be sitting out there enjoying the garden. I generally find this time of year quite soporific, especially if it’s humid weather; by the early afternoon I want to take a nap which could go on for several hours! It doesn’t help that August in the UK is holiday season and so there’s a sense of putting your feet up and relaxing. Sadly this isn’t on the cards when, like me, you have a 1st September deadline!

I’ve always been a bit of a lark rather than an owl so I will start work early, flag a bit in the early afternoon but get a second wind between about 4 and 6pm. Most of the time I work in my study at the front of the house which, because it’s a Victorian cottage, has thick walls and is cool in the summer and warmer in the winter. Autumn always feels an energising season to me which is odd when the trees are losing their leaves, but I love the colours and the sense of a crisp chill in the air. I’m definitely not someone who responds well to the heat which I think may come from my North European genes!

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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 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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The turning of the seasons

I love the turning of the seasons, that moment when you see the first flush of autumn color, or the first white frost that blankets the ground and etches the world in shades of grey, the first precious buds of blossom or new leaves spouting from bare limbs, or the appearance of little green fruits that tell you summer is almost here. We each have different markers of the season, depending on where we live, and even though for so many of us who live in cities and maybe have no garden, still we mark the seasons. 1Philadelphus

My home town (Melbourne, in the south-eastern corner of Australia) is famous—infamous?— for having four seasons in one day, and I have to say, it's pretty true. Our weather is very changeable.

But in any case, I constantly juggle seasons — in my imagination it's one season (whenever the story I'm working on is set) while outside it's usually a completely different season — and then on social media, friends in different parts of the world are in a different season again. I must admit I sometimes have to check which season I'm actually in.

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