Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Talk About the Weather (Natasha Sinel)

I was excited when winter first began. But then my kids had nine snow days (in addition to multiple two-hour delays that I didn't keep track of). I didn’t exercise, I ate like crap, I let my kids log in way too many screen hours, and writing? Well, I didn’t do enough of that. Winter just lasted too damn long in the Northeast, and by the end, I hated it.

But it's not just winter. I have this love/hate relationship with every season.



I love WINTER: When it starts, cozy down jacket and sweatpants, pretty white snow falling, crackling fire, hot chocolate, comfort food, excuse to stay inside

I hate WINTER: When it refuses to end, holiday stress, dirty snow, slushy roads, muddy clothes, too many snow days, pale and lethargic, can’t go outside

And then spring comes, yay!

I love SPRING: Crocuses, daffodils, green grass and leaves, birds chirping, walking outside, that uplifting feeling of new life, fresh starts, the sounds of kids running around outside, basketballs bouncing in the driveway

I hate SPRING: Allergies. Sleepy, sinus-y, need to get back inside, constant media reminders that it’s time to get a bikini body

But then summer comes and oh my!

I love SUMMER: Massachusetts beaches, warm sand, fried clams, soft-serve ice cream, white shirts against tan arms, sun-highlighted hair, relaxing on the deck, drink in hand, barbecues, thunderstorms

I hate SUMMER: Packing and unpacking the pool bag, applying sunblock, emptying and repacking camp backpacks, wet towels, sweat, thunderstorms

Fall!

I love FALL: Crisp air, orange and red leaves, jeans and long sleeved shirts, school supplies, pumpkins, October, Thanksgiving dinner

I hate FALL: Transitioning back to school, buying school clothes, October (too busy with Boy #2 and Boy #3’s birthdays, wedding anniversary, Halloween)



And the seasons sometimes force my imagination to work overtime to write. This winter, while blizzard-like conditions raged outside my window, I wrote several sweltering beach scenes. Now that spring is coming, of course it’s time to write cold, dreary, windy days into a different manuscript. 

And in novels, weather is an excellent tool to help writers show unpredictability, depth, even plot twists. Sometimes, weather can almost be its own character. It’s been weeks since I read Jody Casella’s THIN SPACE, but I can still feel that slushy ice on Marsh’s bare feet, and the constant chill from Maddie's too-thin coat.

So, in the words of a journalist from the early 1900s:

“Don't knock the weather. Nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while.”



Natasha Sinel writes YA fiction from her home on a dirt road in Northern Westchester, NY. She drives her kids around all afternoon, but in her head, she's still in high school, and hopes that no one near her can read minds. Her debut YA novel THE FIX will be out from Sky Pony Press on September 1, 2015.

2 comments:

  1. This is so true, Natasha. Every season seems to hang on at least a couple of weeks too long. PS. Thanks for the TS shout out : )

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  2. It IS true! There's something about sameness that can drive a person nuts...

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