Winter Is I-Cumen In

It’s the time of year where writers are almost done preparing (if they prepare at all) for NaNoWriMo, and I, having done it last year, know what it’s like and I’m not calling them crazy (though perhaps some of them have mixed up priorities). But school prevents me from doing it this year too.

My stories are seasonal, by which I mean the season during which I write creeps into the story itself, and then afterwards I associate the season with the story during which I wrote it. Lily’s story is winter through May, and all of September. Rose-Tinted Arrows is unquestionably summer. I wrote the first half of the first book, which is a complete story in itself, between May and August, you see, and anyway something about Robin Hood is hard to separate from summer. Wind Age is the exception, being mainly autumn, even though I wrote it from the end of winter through July.

This time of year, when the harvest is slowing down and the nights are cold (or colder, anyway) and fields are brown instead of green and gold, when people start preparing for winter in earnest, and some of us begin to think about Advent, I remember Of the North.



Since I’m not doing NaNo, during November I’m going to be writing about the novel I wrote for it a year ago. Fair enough? Do the seasons affect your work as they tend to do mine?


About Nolie Alcarturiel

Creative Writing major and Philosophy minor, contemplating a Master's degree in Medieval History. I enjoy practically anything to do with medieval history, including the domestic arts, with an especial emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon Era. In my spare time I read endlessly, do medieval living-history, hold philosophical debates at the drop of a hat, and write books on even slighter provocation.
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9 Responses to Winter Is I-Cumen In

  1. Olivia White says:

    Definitely fair enough!
    (And we need to make a new cover for OTN.)


    • noliealcarturiel says:

      Hmm. . . maybe in a week or two when the landscape looks right again, we can go out with me in *proper* garb and see what we can get?


  2. Definitely the seasons influence my writing (and reading, for that matter). The changing light is a part of the difference in how, and what, flows from pen to paper. For that matter, a sunny day brings a different output than a cold and rainy day. Helpful are your thoughts here expressed.


  3. thegermangolux says:

    So this is interesting, because I was just recently thinking about how I think of poets in terms of seasons. This is usually unconscious association, but it makes sense. I think of Yeats as an autumn poet, both because of what he writes about and how he writes; of Donne as a spring poet; of Thomas Hardy as a winter poet; of Robert Frost as a summer or a winter poet; and et cetera. You can see in their poetry a certain way of writing that was appropriate to a certain season. Yeats writes with the peaceful sadness of fall, Donne and Shelley with the joy of spring, Hardy with the moody, dim mumbling of an old man in winter, and Frost sometimes with the ruddy, frosty air of a woodsman in winter, sometimes with the sweat and dust of a laborer in the summer.
    Whether seasons affect the way I write is another matter. I write about what I see, which usually has to do with the season. Fall does bring on reflection, and spring encourages exuberance. I prefer writing in the evening, because we rest in the evening and I like the feel of looking back at images and writing about them, not writing as I see them.


    • noliealcarturiel says:

      I find I do most of my writing either in the morning — I’d say “first thing in the morning” except that in strict truth it’s more like “first thing after getting up and doing chores outside and eating breakfast and doing chores inside and sometimes school too” — or in the evening after my bath. There’s something about that time in the evening, when all the work is done and there’s nothing else in that block of time, after I’ve taken a bath, that lets my imagination wake up and go at things with more enthusiasm than at most other times (except the most inconvenient times such as ten o’clock at night). Not having the pressure of deadlines or lists of things to do helps, and so of course does a lot of hot water and steam.


    • thegermangolux says:

      I ran across this poem by John Keats which expresses nicely what I was trying to say above. Credit for “The Human Seasons” goes to

      Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
      There are four seasons in the mind of man:
      He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
      Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
      He has his Summer, when luxuriously
      Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
      To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
      Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
      His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
      He furleth close; contented so to look
      On mists in idleness–to let fair things
      Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
      He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
      Or else he would forego his mortal nature.


  4. Christine says:

    Yes, NANO IS COMING. And I am ecstatic! But I totally understand not being able to do it because of school. You have your priorities straight and that’s wonderful!

    I like this season discussion! Mom has actually asked me that question before. The weather doesn’t affect my writing at all for some reason. Since I tend to write all year round, and all sorts of stories, I just don’t think about the seasons. Maybe I get so swept up in my story I completely ignore the real world…? Lol. Strangely though, almost ALL of my stories are set during spring/summer. I have no idea why, they just end up that way. More White than Stars (my 5th NaNo book) was the first time I can remember writing in a snowy place. Actually, that book was like in an arctic wasteland, so I guess I made up for never writing about cold places. XD

    So…yeah. I don’t even know what’s up with my brain. Because fall and winter are my favorite seasons, and yet I never write books set in them. My stories just do what they want, I seem to have no say. >.>


    • noliealcarturiel says:

      If I had been writing a series for the last six years and this month could be the final book, I’d probably make an exception and let school slide. Another reason I’m not doing it is that I haven’t any ideas, which makes it hard. But have fun! Each NaNo is different, and this one is bound to be unique simply by virtue of being the last book.


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