Ice Sun Wind

Posted by @ 5:04 pm on February 1st, 2010

…a cold, blue light enters the window I feel enveloped in sap, or as if a clot of sap but also down the throat, into the lungs, sludging along tributaries, cold sap, and I was going to write–jacked on Coffee3–but now I will write little.

How does the weather affect your work?

An anecdote: One year Norman Mailer decided to winter in Provincetown. While this locale is famous for authors and their doings (and undoings), most everyone agrees you do not purposely winter in the region. Mailer knew this, but wanted to be alone, to focus on a novel. He got no writing done. Why? As he put it, in a bit of word-play: “You must watch your drinking.” He then explained that he found himself miserable, unproductive, and eventually reduced to sitting in front of a tall mirror, pouring bourbon into a glass, and staring into his face–In a phrase: watching his drinking.

Annie Dillard thinks the spring will actually enter your words, that, “The desk and chair float thirty feet off the ground, between the crowns of maple trees.” She opens her writing room to breezes through French doors. She seems to see the weather as conductive, the warmth driving the words on the page.

Hemingway, in A Moveable Feast, says a cold, blustery day in Paris helps him write about a cold, blustery day in Michigan. (He then orders rum.)

I have heard others say the opposite. To actually remove from the situation, in all ways, to write about the situation.

But doesn’t the cold somehow seep into the Russian writers? And heat in the South American? But now I talk generalization, or some attempt at analysis, denotation versus connotation, Place, really, and I wanted to ask about craft. Mid-summer I would order beer A, light, golden, crisp. Midwinter, I would beer B, dank, murky, dark. But I would drink beer. And I think the weather affects the activity of writing.

Or maybe all of this happens inside, the walls, the room, the room of the skull, so who cares the weather?


Tags: ,