“Summer Days, Drifting Away, to Those Summer Nights”

Or, Writing seasonally.

I put a question to my friends when I conceived the idea to write and publish multiple novellas a year instead of just, say, one novel, namely, would it be a good idea for me to try and time my stories to the seasons–for example set a story at a summer house party if it was to be released during the summer?  They all said that while it might be fun, it probably wouldn’t make a significant difference in appeal to anyone with the sole exception of Christmas stories which, obviously, need to be released between October and January.

While I might eventually get into that rhythm with my storytelling and deliver to my readers seasonal offerings, what I actually see as more likely is that I will write seasonally to the season that I am living with.

Right now the full heat of the Southern summer is still building, and already I have slipped into the routines of my childhood–not leaving the house between 11 and 6 in the day, moving as little as possible, and eating less than usual because it’s just too damned hot to each, much less cook.  This is my climate.  But the stories I am writing currently are all set in the winter or the spring, and I find myself having to consciously include descriptions of frost and banked fires and gloves.  It is not second-nature to do so when my reality is dew and sweat and sleeping in as little as possible to stay cool.

Just as I don’t know whether readers prefer to read with their seasons or against them–to escape the oppressive heat of summer with the winter snows, or to ease the relentless chill of icy winds with the smothering sun of August–in the end I am not really sure whether I as a writer prefer to write with them or against them.  Because, for all that I might describe the summer heat with more empathy while I sit awash in it, I might also be more prompted to describe the weather at all when I am reminded that it is not the same in my story as what surrounds me in reality.

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