I woke up this morning and new that summer was over. It didn't take more than opening my eyes. I could feel the change immediately. Granted, it's been happening gently over the last few weeks. Some days have been characteristically warm and sunny and some have been blustery and fall-dim. We even had the mother of all storms last weekend. Still, it felt like we might get a summery day at any moment...until today.
There was just a fall feeling, a chill that hadn't been there before, even on the cooler days. It had happened, any way you looked at it. The season had shifted.
And as a writer, I immediately went, hmmm, am I using this properly in my fiction?
Because there is a power to that feeling of seasons changing, and I want to incorporate anything with that emotional force into my written words. Weather has its own effectiveness, though most agree not to open with it. (Thank you, Grapes of Wrath) It can lend a mood here and there, certainly. But seasons are bigger. They stand for something. Maybe its the poet in me (I know, I keep trying to kill her.) but there's a symbolism to a seasonal change that I can't not notice.
I took inventory of my novels, and more than one of them are set with "winter approaching." It's possible this says something about me aside from the fact that I love the fall. It also says something about the tone of the books, the dark encroaching, worry on the horizon. Fading light and something ominous ahead.
If I wrote a lot about spring, I suspect the books would be different. I do use it here and there, but that winter looming feel seems to be a favorite. It also tells me I could use to stretch a little. Maybe try spring next book and see how it comes out. Maybe the height of summer next time...
Who knows. I think I'll pay attention to it now, as a reader too. Can you think of a book that uses seasons or seasonal changes well (aside from the obvious Christmas stories)? Do any specific authors use them intentionally? Well?
I suspect, like anything, like weather, it could be overdone, but I also suspect that its there more than we notice, an underlying theme, that the seasons affect us more than we notice, even in our modern world.
At the very least, today, I'm trying to remember where my sweaters are.