Winter, Reading and Story...
Hello folks, Mark here!
My post this week is a short one because I'm neck deep trying to please my editor and finish what we both hope are final major edits to King's Gambit. If my head doesn't explode, I promise to have something different for January.
In keeping with the season, I had a number of questions running around in my hind brain regarding weather. In
Snow is really cool when seen from the inside of a clean picture window...
Let me be clear: I don't like the cold. If I am ever able to retire from teaching and can afford it, I will find a place with desert colors and heat. No question. I love my seasons, but my body functions better in the heat. I don't care how old we get, shorts are still cool and most of us appreciate a good tan. :)
But I will say this for winter, in addition to Terri's excellent comments about food last week, I think the season is ready-made for reading. In fact, I think in my life at least, there are two such seasons: summer and winter. I read all the time, but as an educator, those are the times when I can really dig into multiple books, great movies, and great meals. We start break in a week, and I have several tomes waiting my down-time attention. Teachers use such breaks to grade papers and make plans, but we also use that time to treat ourselves to reading stuff we don't teach. These are guilty pleasures times. I'm talking about the full pot of coffee, slippers and the cat and a stack of great books. I'm thinking of those late-night-can't-put-it down-and-gee-no-school-tomorrow-so-go-ahead-and-read-three-more-chapters kind of moments.
I could ramble on forever, but I would rather have your responses to several questions:
When do you read the most? Do you tend to read certain kinds of literature according to season?
AND, on a seasonally related front: What are some of your favorite works that use winter as a prime component in the story-line?
Martin's use of the cold in his huge epic is well-documented. Tolkien treated the seasons with the deft skill of a Raphealite artist. Williams used it effectively in his first trilogy. LeGuin made winter a prime motif in Left Hand of Darkness and other early books. I'm sure there are others; post here and let the rest of us know.
AND, on a writerly front: how hard is it to use the cold/winter as an element in one's prose? What challenges confront the writer trying to allow weather to dictate the exploits of his characters?
Questions, questions, questions...ok people...how about some answers!
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