Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Fricassee

I'm a summer gal, but I've got to say that the vibrant orangey-greeny-gold effusing through the windows has filled me with a sort of autumnal bliss.


Now that I've morphed into a dedicated, uber-scheduled writer, I'm going to face the test of Writing Through the Seasons (sounds like a boring literary piece). In other words, I'll be stretched to survive winter.

Yes. Survive.

I grew up in a cold house with high ceilings and a piddly heating system. I spent winter nights curled up in front of the hot air register, blocking the heat from the rest of my family while we watched TV. I went through college winters wearing gloves to class to keep my fingers warm after having practiced my scales and arpeggios early in the morning.

The pianist and the writer in me both hate winter.

It's the gray light, too, that gets me. As the years pass, it gets worse. Ugh, the gloomy cloud cover, the damp hanging in the kitchen when I make the coffee each morning. The endless string of dull, cold, dull, gray, dull winter days.

I'm determined to bottle today's autumn brilliance and sip it slowly while I write through the winter. I will be untouched by the season I hate most.

My writing will prevail. And so will my attitude.

I mean, who wants to live with a grouchy female for three months of every year?

So that my autumn pledge. What's yours?

Oh. And all you jubilant, I-love-snow-and-frosty-windows-and-ice-cold-steering-wheels types? I love you, anyway. And if you can share one truly redeeming thing about winter, I'm all ears.

Christmas doesn't count. It's the only thing that NEEDS winter. Once it's over, I'm ready for April.

I'm all ears!


  1. I'm a sunlight girl, myself.

    What are my tricks for surviving winter? I love real hot chocolate, made with real chocolate and milk with maybe a swirl of heavy cream and just a touch of vanilla or cinnamon. Sometimes I like to stir it with a candy cane for a taste of peppermint. I also love hot comfort foods like home baked mac and cheese, good beef stew, slow roasted chicken with fresh smashed potatoes...

    Ok, and a lot of my writing includes cameos of dogs. I love to watch my dogs run around in snow and have a blast. They make me smile and chuckle as I stay inside wrapped in a cozy blanket sipping my hot chocolate.

    So I embrace those things in the winter to keep me happy and comforted, then I keep writing. ;)

    My autumn pledge?

    To keep writing and get out there once in a while with the dogs so that I can burn some calories and not add too much insulation for the winter. :P

    After all, I don't plan to hybernate. >_<

    (edited: because the pooches 'helped' me typ)

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  3. Every winter I try to get to someplace warm at least once. Somehow that one weekend in the middle of January or Febraury in Florida makes all the difference. I'm not sure I could survive otherwise.

  4. When I was a child (as in, before I became a driver and daily commuter), I LOVED winter. I loved the fresh wet-heavy type snow, all the better to build fancy snow castles and forts outside my home. Powdery snow was pretty, especially when it left a fluffy sparkly veil over the pines and aspens surrounding my home. Walking out after a snowstorm immediately transported you to a completely different dimension, silent and mystical; the snow having transformed your familiar yard into a different place altogether. Some days I was an explorer hunting for new hiding places, shelters from the wind and private enough where I could sit down in the snow and daydream without anyone finding me. Other days I was a tracker, skulking after animal tracks in the snow, learning which track was which, and figuring out where the animals lived in the woods judging by those tracks.

    The only thing about winter which I hated was when it grew cold enough to coat the thick blanket of snow with ice. Which meant that I couldn't go out into the hills and fields, because I couldn't maneuver without my feet slipping out from under me. Then of course, the iced over chunks of snow was sharper than a knife if you fell on an exposed knee.


    But that's all past. Winter needs to be one month only, and preferably during the two week period when I'm off from work and do not need to drive in the snow.

    Judging by the fact I went to work in 25 degree temps this morning and felt them keenly right to my bones, I'd be PERFECTLY happy if winter was also warm as well as snowless, except for that two weeks of Christmas. :P

    Writing in winter - Uhm. It's only difficult because I seem to have some kind of bearsickness. As in I feel sleep deprived and want to hybernate. It must be the darkness. <- I will prevail and write, nevertheless. Staying inside as much as possible helps. :)

  5. I'm totally with you. SUMMER all the way. I do like your pledge, though. Why not use the time trapped indoors to hone the craft? Good call.

    Guess we'll see how it goes!

  6. On the bitter cold days of winter . . . hot chocolate, perhaps with a touch of Bailey's, and the afghan my mother made for me draped across my body for warmth, and a good book to read.

    Luckily, I live in the south, so the bitter chill days are normally few and far between.


  7. Hills, sleds and kids give winter a redeeming quality. So does hoarfrost.

    But I know how you feel, Authoress. I have Raynaud's in the worst way and rarely escape a winter without frostbitten toes.

    I'm trying something different this year and will be taking a Vitamin D supplement. I deal with that winter lethargy even if it's cloudy for a week in the fall, and think it has to be sunlight related.

  8. Authoress, I'm one of "those" types who actually feel inspired and rejuveniated by the cool days since my body temp is so hot otherwise. But redeeming factor of winters? For me, it's snuggling close with my significant other and my Shih Tzus without burning up. It's the only time of the year closeness is possible. Otherwise, I'm just too dang hot. Bring on the cold! :D

    But, we'll be here for you - to cheer on you sun-lovers to make it through the winter.

  9. I used to hate the winter,too. And then i move to Florida for college. No more winter for me until Dec 20th when I head on home for some greatly missed family time

  10. On a winter evening, when the sun goes down, the snow turns blue, yellow light appears in windows along the street, a pan of homemade soup boils on the stove and loaf of bread bakes in the oven... ahhh... sigh...

    Give me a good book, a cozy blanket and sit me in front of a fire... Ahhh... bliss...

  11. I grew up in Florida, so there's still a bit of novelty in winter, even though I left over 20 years ago. Hot weather makes me lethargic and cranky.

    I enjoy nothing better than being snowed in to my house with my husband, watching the dog romp in the snow, and then coming in to hot chocolate and a snuggly cat by the fire. And some kind of stew on the stove. Plus, snowed in is a perfect excuse for writing time, although here in Virginia, we don't often get big snows.

    I'm doing NaNoWriMo. That's enough of an autumn pledge for me.

  12. The only good thing about winter is that, here in South Texas, we only get a day or two of it every year. Cold air and snow on the ground are great...if you're on vacation and the sun is shiny ;-)

    I grew up in St. Louis, where the snows were few and far between, but the bare tree branches reaching through the grey sky, above the dead grass...

    Turns out I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It's real and many creative folks have it. You may too, Authoress, so get yourself a full-spectrum light and sit under it, maybe while you write. Might help you fight off the dark and dying winter seeping into the soul.

    Come on, Winter Solstice! A few days after that, I can feel myself perk up--even here in the subtropical desert South.

  13. Give me 45 and blustery over 90 and humid any day. I sincerely dislike summer and wait in anticipation all year for those first true winter days. I find much solace in the stillness of winter, and tend to do my best writing in these times. Perhaps I can hear my thoughts better when everything else is frozen.

  14. Dude, I just want to know where you live that winter only lasts 3 months!

    I grew up loving winter -- the crisp cold air! the bright blue sky! the sunshine! the sparkly snow! the snowball fights and snow forts and tobogganing! -- but now live in a different part of the country where winter is uniformly damp, grey, un-sunny, wet, windy, slushy, and generally foul. Actually, come to think of it, fall is about the only pleasant season around here, and it's pretty much over. Sigh.

    My autumn pledge is to *actually write something*, because I've been doing nothing but revising and procrastinating for months, and I know that writing always feels so much better than not writing :)

  15. I am totally a summer girl as well, that's why I am glad I live in the desert. Yep, sunny Arizona.
    Don't hate me.

    BUT, I DO KNOW winters (born in Fargo, ND & raised in Minneapolis, MN) Yeah, then lived in Colorado! So, I know snow and cold. LOL.

    I'll stick to Arizona thank you very much. And you don't even need winter for Christmas. Seriously, it's just as fun out here in the desert cuz you actually get to just wear jeans and a sweater to walk around and look at lights.

    Autumn pledge?

    Great post. Have a fantastic weekend, everyone.

  16. Oh, Authoress, I am so with you! I live in upstate NY where winter is supposed to be a wonderland and I'm surrounded by people who love winter. They love snow and skiing and skating and hot chocolate. Well, I guess I loved those things as a child, but this adult used to live in the south and in Africa and I don't like winter.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one! We'll get through this together. Just keep writing, and blowing on your fingers. I will, too.

  17. Authoress, I can relate as I live in the NW Pacific, but what helps me to get through winter is to imagine what it would be like to live in a hot climate all year round. Sure it would be wonderful at first (ok, maybe for a few years), but after a while I would miss having an excuse to bundle up inside, listening to the rain pelting down on the roof, feeling gratitude for being cozied up to a crackling fire. Wouldn't you?

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  19. I absolutely hate the cold, and living in a 180 year old farmhouse with high ceilings, a horrid heating system with zero insulation makes winter pretty much unbearable.

    The only thing good thing about winter is figure skating at the local arena every Friday night :)

  20. The best thing about winter - no pressure to go out and do something fabulous to enjoy the sunshine. It's perfectly acceptable to curl up with your coffee or cocoa in front of the fire with a good book, your writing, or your tivo remote. :)

  21. What is truly redeeming about winter? I live in Chicago and feel your pain of cold, dull, gray. However, after a snowfall when the sun is shining, I dress up in my gear(try not to forget the hand warmers), grab coffee and bring my Lab to the park to romp around in the undisturbed snow. It is in these brief moments that the city seems still and there are fewer people on the streets. After I get inside, I peel my layers of clothing off feeling the cold/warm sensation, climb my stairs and look out the window wondering if anything can look more beautiful. Also, it's a good workout and I feel younger after playing in the snow!

  22. The one and only redeeming thing about winter is that without it, we would not appreciate summer, spring and fall as much.

    I hate being cold, I hate the cost of heating oil, I hate shoveling snow, I hate driving in it, and I'm one of those people who is affected by too many overcast days in a row. I need my sunshine.

    Still, I don't think I'd ever move out of New England. I haven't been anywhere yet that I like better.

  23. Come to the Southern Hemisphere. It's heading into summer here! And I agree with Lynnrush that you don't need winter for Christmas. Carols and looking at lights are lots of fun in shorts and t-shirt while eating ice-cream. I've had a white Christmas, and it's lovely, but it's also nice going to the beach on Christmas Day :-)

  24. I have a sun-lamp in my room for gloomy days and nights. Yes, I am a spring/summer gal. I need my sunlight and warmth!

    My autumn pledge is to write 25,000new words on my main work in progress. So far I've written 1,285. I'm gettin' there.

  25. I have learned to love and embrace the changing seasons. I find that as the seasons change, so does my writing. On cold, blustery days, I find myself deeper in thought and able to access an authentic voice that inspires my writing. On warmer, sunny, picture-perfect days, a different voice shines through onto the page.
    My advice...embrace the changing seasons. Go with the feelings the weather pulls out of you. Relax and see where it takes your writing.

  26. I lived in the northern-most community in North America, Barrow, Alaska for fourteen years. The sun sets in November and doesn't rise again until January--and that's when it gets really cold. Windchill temperatures of -60 for days or weeks at a time are common.

    I moved to the south a year ago and have yet to wear a coat. People walk around bundled up and I wear a sweatshirt. I actually find myself depressed by all the pretty days. I feel guilty for not going outside to enjoy the fabulous weather.

    Give me the cold and dark any day. Your creative juices have to flow to keep you warm.

    My winter goals are nanowrimo and polishing the synopsis for my brilliant and funny romance that I'm entering in contests in Dec and Jan. If I say they are brilliant and funny will the judges believe me?

    And even though it doesn't count, Christmass pretty darn fun!

  27. I have an idea, move to the sunny desert where it's a balmy 75 degrees in late November and even Christmas time it's a stretch to wear a long sleeve shirt. No gray light here, just yellow golden sunshine. {True story.}

    My autumn pledge? To stop eating all the garsh darned left over Halloween candy.