The seasons affect my writing in different ways, mainly to do with my mood and activity levels. Needless to say, writing is most difficult in the hot sultry days of Summer when I find it very difficult to do anything after 10am. I never thought I’d long for a cloudy day, but extremes of anything, including sunshine can be wearing.
My favourite season has to be Autumn. When this falls, depends on where you are in the world, like any season. For me here in the Northern hemisphere it starts this weekend. The main reason it’s my favourite is a very visual one. I just love the colours as the leaves change from green to red to gold and yellows eventually falling like a blanket at the foot of the trees. The thought of preparing to go into hibernation is very attractive and it produces images of a dozy dormouse and sleepy squirrels.
Here are a few more interesting facts about Autumn:
- Apparently, squirrels don’t just get sleepy, they get smarter. While it’s busy collecting hoards of stuff to bury studies have shown a 15% increase in the size of its hippocampus – the part of the brain that controls memory and emotions.
- In Greek mythology, Autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. Persephone’s mother, Demeter (the goddess of the harvest), in response caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was allowed to return, which marked the start of Spring.
- Some of the chemicals that turn the leaves from green to amber to gold, including Flavonoids, Carotenoids and Anthocyanins, are also the same chemicals which give carrots and egg yolks their colour.
- According to superstition, catching leaves in the autumn brings good luck. Every leaf means a lucky month next year.
Finally, to satisfy my fascination in all things Pagan, the Autumn equinox is know as the Mabon festival in the Wiccan world. It is a time to honor the changing seasons and celebrate the second harvest. A time of plenty, of gratitude, and of sharing our abundance with those less fortunate. Rituals include the collection of food for the alter but also an acceptance that things are dying off, an air of dormancy.
For me, it’s probably one of my most productive times in terms of writing. During the month of November, I take part in a challenge, NaNoWriMo. And if you don’t know what that is, watch this space…