July has been a wet month so far here in Alberta. Walking my little rescue pup, has left us often soaked, but when we do manage to escape a thunder storm and finally catch a break in the clouds, we enjoy the sunshine to the fullest. Sammie is an enjoyable addition to my life – my step count have gone through the roof! Another good point in our writing life – bum off seat for exercise.
The weather can affect our writing too. Sunny days draw us out into the warmth away from our usual writing spot. A patio or deck, balcony or beach or mountain retreat become our new inspiring spot. Cold weather has the opposite effect – cozy in front of a fire, huddled in blankets and fluffy socks. Whatever the weather, our writing changes ever so subtly. We may not even realize it.
Do you write more in the colder months or does creating outside in the sunshine increase your word count?
Do your character’s situations reflect how you feel? Frustrated not to be outside in the warmth? Or happy not to have to trek through snow drifts?
Are your characters experiencing your weather or climate? Does it change how you write the scene? Or does it inspire you to accelerate their situation to extremes of weather?
With the effects of COVID19 across the world, we have either found writing to be an escape or a block on it. Maybe, we cannot find the inspiration for a narrative but our journal writing has increased. A record of our experience for future reference.
Have you written a scene a certain way because of the weather you were experiencing at that time? There are ways weather can be used in a narrative. It can give a mood or be symbolic, or even complicate the character’s situation.
I have currently returned to a manuscript, where the main protagonist escapes into the wild and the current storms helped set the mood. I could feel the intense foreboding, the expectation, the fear of the next thunderclap.
What weather inspired writing have you experienced in 2020 so far?
This blog subject started as a ‘tweet’ back in October, I had not thought about exploring it until one of my followers – Melissa McPhail replied with ‘I love that idea, Mandy! Do you expound on it in a blog anywhere?’ To be honest I meant to get to it much sooner than this but as we all know life has a habit of throwing stuff at us and changing our direction. So on this Christmas Eve with a little time on my hands – at last – I will expound as Melissa kindly asked.
Firstly, I looked at what the definition of fantasy was:
The faculty or activity of imaging things that are, impossible or improbable.
The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy.
A capricious or fantastic idea.
Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements.
Each of these definitions gives us the perceived idea of fantasy in a nicely tailored clarification putting it into a neat genre box. However, I have a personal interpretation one that looks deeper than the surface and trite pigeon holed explanations.
I believe that fantasy is our alter ego expanding our consciousness.
Just think of your dreams – they are fantastical in nature with obscure meanings and imagery. We have tried for decades to interpret them and give them meaning. Every vision has been given a ‘symbolic’ implication or significance in an attempt to harness them into something easier to understand, but what if these visions are something else entirely? What if it is another part of ourselves struggling to be acknowledged, a part of us that uses our subconscious mind to explore beyond the normal daily perceptions?
There are numerous theories about spiritual memory, trace elements of ancient wisdom and reincarnation and all of them are fascinating. What links them together though? All of them are the result of a deep seated belief that there is something more within us. There are few of us who can say ‘what you see is what I am through and through’ because we all have an alter ego. As humans we are subjected to pigeon holing ourselves – parent, manual laborer, manager or celebrity – the list is long. But the ‘badge’ does not define the whole person. You will have come across people in your lifetime, who have surprised you with an aspect of their personality, which was totally astonishing. A case in point, a surgeon I knew. He was a huge man with massive hands but his surgical technique was excellent. He came to visit me after my operation and watched in total fascination as I carefully French knitted with an old cotton reel. He asked if he could have a go…yes I was shocked but I let him. As he looped the wool over the pins he told me he would have to get one, it was so much better than his normal knitting or crochet. He explained that the intricate movements helped keep his fingers nimble. To look at this man crochet would have been the furthest image of him you could imagine.
All of us are multi-faceted not just with the experiences our lives have given us and the roads we have followed but also another part hidden deep within us. The only way I can describe it is, as if we all have an inner twin, one that wants to be heard, and one that can enrich our lives if we let it. There is so much to imagine and experience so let your ‘twin’ loose. Imagination doesn’t have to be only a child’s prerogative. There are depths within us all that truly can expand our consciousness.
This quote by Albert Einstein give us food for thought: ‘When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” If such a great man can see the advantages of fantasy shouldn’t we?