Some readers might consider my topic for today’s blog a bit on the boring side. It’s a common topic -something that usually no matter how famous or infamous we are, no matter where we live, whether we are rich or poor, we talk about it a great deal. Often it puts a smile on our face, other times a frown. I’ve even heard an occasional cuss word used in describing it. It can amaze us, thrill us, or frighten us. It can make our life pleasant and it can take life away from us. What is it? Well, you probably guessed – the weather.
Does the weather play a big part in writing? In my mind, it does. What would Snoopy say if he didn’t start with, ‘It was a dark and stormy night’?
Have you ever read a complete book and not known what was happening weatherwise, or what season it was? What would you do if about three quarters through a suspenseful mystery, your protagonist who you thought was driving down the highway at top speed in the dead of summer, suddenly hit a patch of ice, slammed into a snow bank, and was seriously injured? Suddenly the dead of summer has turned into the dead of winter. In your mind, she was wearing a sundress and now suddenly you have to re-dress her. Can a person’s brain grasp such a change without suffering a meltdown? I know mine could not.
Believe it or not there is a reason for my wandering thoughts. I just finished reading a mystery by one of my favorite authors, Martha Grimes. I realized she hadn’t specifically mentioned the weather in the entire story; however because she is a great writer she didn’t have to. For example, Superintendent Jury wore an overcoat so I knew it was a cool evening. The children ran through the woods and climbed a tree – obviously not winter. Perhaps early fall? In my mind, that is a good enough conclusion. I can wrap my brain around it.
I find I write about the seasons and the weather quite often. In one of my cozy mysteries, Frozen Identity– the murder victim is discovered frozen in a fishing shack. In Calamity @ the Carwash, Bernie Bernstein’s body lies on the beach, right smack in the middle of a heat wave. As Flori told Mabel (my two main characters), ‘it seems we have a murder a season.’
Hmmm… it appears I may have more in common with Snoopy than Martha!
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