Friday, November 15, 2013

Seasonal Writing & Commercialized Holidays By Alix Richards

Who tends to write within the season? You know holiday stories during the actual holiday season and so forth. I know I do. As writers, we’re supposed to be able to imagine and create. However, what I’ve learned over the years is I find myself unable to fashion a winter/holiday themed story in the middle of July.

In my (small) defense, I live in Eastern Central Wyoming (four hours from the Nebraska state line), a state referred to as a desert plateau. In other words, you can die from heat stroke and hypothermia during the summer. Insane right? We can be roasting at 120 degrees and drop to 50 when the sun sets.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all the seasons and each holiday within. I’m one of those who love to decorate and bake. I truly enjoy the smell of fall and the vision of winter, even the life in spring. Shoot, my favorite season is summer with the beach going and heat. I can cloister myself away in subzero air-conditioning and still can’t create the elusive winter themed storyline in July. It’s the same with the other seasons, which leaves me wondering if holiday stories are just not within my grasp.

Holidays and daily life…I’ve written horror and the spine tingling mystery for Halloween and have tried really hard to maintain a certain distance in between the scary and the holy. By that I mean November is my catch up month. I’ve tried doing NaNoWriMo, didn’t work. Fifty thousand words in one month is nothing when you can shoot that word count off in seven days. No, not bragging, just explaining.*smile*

I use this time to finalize the works already started, the issue is my second daughter loves Xmas so much she snags the remote and before I’m able to say anything she has holiday movies on. *groan* I’m all for Xmas movies and music, but I’d rather be the one to decide when to start watching them instead of retailers and channel execs. Example; after Thanksgiving, you know?

I am the type of writer that snatches an idea from what’s happening around me. What I’m listening to, reading, watching, real life, so on. Television’s Christmas in July plays havoc with that ability. Not saying I don’t like the movies, I do. Just give them to me when it’s their time and not before.

I will say this though, with the weather being as crazy as it’s been recently, I’ve learned to hop around and work on whatever is happening outside. Another example is the winter weather we got the last Friday in September and the first massive winter storm (Winter Storm Atlas) one week later on the first Friday in October. Ye-ah, I started a couple winter themed stories…and then the snow melted. *frown*

See my issue? How about you? Are you a seasonal writer? Does the commercialization of said holidays give you a battle? Please share, or am I the only one?


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Anonymous said...

Alix, I always enjoy your guest posts, but my favorites are when we get a little inside on you...thanks for sharing what it's like around your house for this season...and what happens to your writing.

I have absolutely no time for watching movies...and I've been taping Christmas movies from a well-known station;) I don't even decorate anymore...but I do love those movies;)

Thomas Briar said...

Hi Alix. Nice post! It's good to know I'm not the only writer who is influenced by the changing seasons. In fact, last week I started a new short story and the weather in the story suddenly needed to be cold--we've recently had our first frost down here in South Georgia. Also, two days ago Christmas insidiously sneaked its way into the story. Arrgh! It's almost enough to drive a writer to drinking. Ha!Ha!

Have a great weekend!

Alix Richards said...

We did talk about that didn't we Kay Dee. :-)

Thank you Thomas. It's nice to learn when you aren't the only one with those writer issues. :-) I've had that happened. lol Instead of the story just being seasonally it turned into a holiday. I just shook my head. Of course AFTER I grumbled a bit first! LOL

Have a wonderful weekend!