Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rain and Darkness

There's something about an early-winter rain: it's not cold enough to snow, but the leaves are all off the trees and you can't pretend there's any vibrance or color left in the world. It's a damp cold, too, with numb fingertips and foggy breath and dripping bare trees.

Perfect for staying inside and writing!

I've been trying to figure out why coziness appeals to me as a writer so much. (And I'm not the only one.) There's something about a crackling fire, the raindrops frizzing a wool sweater, water beading down windows, the early dusk of fall ... it makes me want to sit down and imagine.

Maybe it's because there's so little stimulus coming in from the outside world, so there's less to distract me from hearing the high, thin, quiet music singing faintly on the edge of my awareness.

My writing desk (a quarter-sheet of 3/4" marine plywood) faces the wall, after all: a short angled space where the roof hunches down toward the floor. And I keep the blinds closed most of the time: I don't want to see the world outside, I want to see the world inside.

I think the appeal of a rainy day is more than just shutting off the outside world. I think it's days like this when we like to tell stories, or hear them. When we gather around the fire or the dinner table, or even a TV screen, to get pulled into a story. It's the sort of weather that makes it easier to huddle closer to the storyteller. Closer to the story.

Storytelling weather.

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