Please consider a donation to help fund Vision: A Resource for Writers

Lazette Gifford,
Publisher and Editor

Margaret McGaffey Fisk,
Senior Associate Editor

J.A. Marlow,
Assoicate Editor

Issue # 57
May/June 2010

Table of Contents

Questions for Authors

By Lazette Gifford

Copyright © 2010, Lazette Gifford, All Rights Reserved

Welcome back to more questions for authors!

Does the change of the seasons affect how you work? Here, a few authors give their answers Below are the list of questions:

1. Do the changing seasons affect your writing? Are there times of the year when you seem to write more or feel more creative?

2. Do you change your writing routine or location at different times of the year? How about the location where you write or do any pre-writing work? 3. What are your favorite books?

C. J. Cherryh

1. I like winter when we have snow. I like to get up at 5 am with snow falling and get to work. On the other hand, in summer, we have breakfast by the fishpond--we grew tired of grass and dug a pond---ourselves---with a Mantis tiller---and when I get frazzled I can go out by the pond and sit and listen to the water. Very therapeutic. 2. That doesn't change. I have a chair by a window, my little working pit of an area, and I work there, period, when it comes to keying anything. Thinking is often done at 5 am, by the window watching the streetlights go out, or by the pond in summer.
Wave without a Shore (RSS feed blog)
A Closed Circle
With Lynn Abbey and Jane Fancher

Julie Czerneda

1.I do ramp up during spring and fall, but I'm not sure I'm more creative, just energized and busier at a wider array of things. That carries over into the writing. Spring is my favourite time of year, but also the most frustrating. Typically, I'm heading for a deadline when I'd rather be heading outdoors to turn over the gardens, admire nature, etc. Though the longer days are great. It's about balance. Some days I have it, others I throw my hands in the air and go with the flow.

2. Previously I hadn't changed my writing routine or location by season but The laptop and I move outside, as much as the blackflies allow. There's a bench by our pond I'm fond of for writing. Plus walking in the woods or gardening are wonderful ways to stretch stiff muscles.

Julie Czerneda's Website

Michelle Hoover

1. I love all the daylight and always find I can work much later into the evening, and therefore be more productive, in the warmer months. Of course, if it's too nice outside, I feel like a bore staying in with my computer. Isn't that always the choice? To live or merely to write about it? .

2. The seasons don't force this change, but my teaching schedule at Boston University does. During the semester, I often hide away in my apartment to write. Though I love my students, all the "on" time with them draws out the hermit in me. During my weeks off, however, (primarily in the summer) I usually write at a local cafe (my favorite: 1369 Coffee House in Central Square, Cambridge). Otherwise, I would feel like an untouchable, perhaps not seeing anyone all day save for my obese feline. In the cafe, all kinds of people are tapping at their computers (Cambridge is full of studious students, even in summer) and the sound keeps me working. There's an awful lot of energy in all those brains.

And of course, I run more in the summer. Plenty of "pre-writing" goes on then.
"The Quickening" due out June 29, 2010
Michelle Hoover's Website

Kasey Mackenzie

1. The changing seasons don't affect my writing too much directly, but I am definitely in a much better mood generally speaking from spring to autumn. Winter is just not one of my favorite seasons--stupid cold weather and short days!!!

2. Interesting question. I don't really change my writing routine that much based upon the time of the year, it's more of a cyclical weekly or monthly type thing. I write for the most part in my office or in the living room (always on my laptop), and when I need a change of scenery I head to the local Panera because it can recharge my creative energies to be around other people. I am completely and totally the opposite of the stereotypical introverted writer. While I enjoy my alone time, I thrive on being around other people and am not in the least little bit shy. To which the people who know me would reply--Thanks for the heads-up, Captain Obvious!
Debut urban fantasy, Red Hot Fury,
coming from Penguin/Berkley on June 29, 2010
Kasey Mackenzie's Website

Lazette Gifford

1. There is something about the start of winter that makes me feel as though I have more time to write, probably because of the limited access to other things for a few months. As a photographer, sping and autumn are far too distracting with bright colors and comfortable weather. Summer seems to be the worst of the seasons for me. I don't like excessive heat and humidity, and combinations of those seem to sap all my energy for writing and just about anything else.

2. I have an office at the back of the house and that is where I do most of my writing. However, this spring I have set up an older computer in the dining room with a view to the bird feeders (with tripod and camera beside me), and with no Internet connection. Even with the distraction of the birds and several hundred pictures a day (I love digital cameras!), I still manage to get more writing done there than I expected. Unfortunately, it's the location where the window airconditioner goes in, so I will have to give the spot up by summer.
Zette's Site
Farstep Station, Available at

Lee Killough

1.No the seasons don't affect my writing. At least, there's no particular season when I feel more creative. But it is easier to stay inside at the computer when the weather outside is inclement. I used to blame nice weather for making me lazy about writing. "How can I sit inside when the porch is so comfortable and calling me to come out and READ a book?" And I used to say I couldn't use the laptop on the porch because the light was too bright to see the screen. Well, I can't do that any longer. I've now discovered that I CAN see the screen. So this spring I am enjoying my porch and writing at the same time. The one drawback is that if I need to consult reference material, I have to either haul it all out with me (and then back in again later) or keep jumping up to run inside to my office. Maybe I need a new office accessory...a little tea cart so I can wheel everything out and in at one whack.

2. Previously I hadn't changed my writing routine or location by season but I'm thinking that from now on, when the porch is comfortable, I'll be working out there. My pre-writing tends to be a kind of doodling, which works best using a pen and notebook...jotting story ideas, playing with character names, sketching out there's nowhere I can't doodle-write, and nowhere I don't. On the porch, watching TV when the show is of more interest to my husband than me, in the car, in waiting rooms, on planes, in hotel rooms., sometimes waiting for our order in restaurants. I wrote by the hour a couple of winters ago when the power went out and for a week we lived with what light nature provided by day and candles at night.

Books We Love: Killough
Coffee Shop Writers
Checking on Culture, an aid to building story backgrounds
The Leopard's Daughter, a fantasy of ancient Africa

Margaret McGaffey Fisk

1. Since I have participated in NaNo for years and always managed at least 50k, I don't know if I can say the winter affects my creativity, but my energy level dips with reduced sunlight and everything takes that much more effort to get done in the winter. Since we moved to a high desert, though, I get decent sun almost year round barring cloudy days, so it's not a huge issue. My favorite writing place, though, is somewhere with dry heat, almost to sauna level, so summer is definitely my most creative time.

2. I enjoy writing on the back porch as the sun is coming up. This is a habit controlled by the seasons since I can't do it when it's raining or snowing, but I also can't when the sun comes up at 4am, because by the time I'm awake, it's too hot. Besides that, though, and writing down at the park, my writing places are non-season specific.
Curve of Her Claw
From the Ashes
The Author's Grimoire
Quality Writing Tools

Jim Hines

1. Nope. The seasons can mess with my mood a bit. Michigan can be a very dreary state, particularly in the winter, which leads to SAD-type issues and such. But I've never seen any real change in creativity/writing from one season to the next. To be honest, my deadlines mean I don't have time to worry about whether or not I'm feeling creative on any given day.

2. Nope again. The words must flow. And since I do most of my writing at work on my lunch break, the seasons don't really matter. I can't see any windows from my cubicle anyway. Nothing but the bland, bland walls of my cubicle. Please, won't somebody remind me what the sky looks like? I haven't seen the sun in three years. I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with rickets. Wait, what were we talking about again?

"These princesses will give Charlie's Angels a serious run for the money and leave 'em in the dust."" -Esther Friesner
Read the first chapter at Jim Hines Website

Jack Scoltock

1. I suppose Spring does. As the sun appears and the stretch of summer approaches I feel in a mood to write bright happy pieces. But I feel creative every season, not necessarily in Spring or Summer.

2. I don't write as much when the sun is out. I can't wait to get outside and enjoy it. I write in my garden quite a lot- in the sun. By now you know I love the sun.
The Meltin' Pot From Wreck to Rescue and Recovery, published by the History Press is to be launched on March the sixth, and already released by the Inishowen sub-aqua club who found the B 17 bomber.
Challenge of the Red Unicorn is out in March aswell. Published by

Jane Toombs

1. Changing seasons don't really affect my writing. But because we live in a cold climate and I've reached an age where I no longer ice skate or ski, I tend to get more writing done in the winter, just because the temptation to be outside isn't actively prodding me.

2. Since I have the wonderful freedom of a complete room for my writing, I do everything in it. Sometimes on the desktop, sometimes on the laptop which allows me to send documents that I can't send from Vista (which I hate) on the desktop. I often do prewriting--that is ideas--at the desk in longhand.

But the weather has nothing to do with any of this because my room has a view of Lake Superior, which allows me to have a lake breeze when needed in the summer. Plus a radiator in the winter to keep me cozy. And the view sometimes helps me get into the "zone." Also the cat often naps in here on whichever chair I'm not using (I actually have three different desk chairs), so I usually have silent company--the best kind for writers.

Jim Burk

1. For me, at least, writing isn't seasonal. If I've got a hot story, the weather outside is irrelevant.

2. I really don't have a writing routine. I'm either writing or I'm not. I got almost no writing done when I was visiting family but wrote rather more while I was on the plane to and from. Since I do all my first drafts in longhand, I can write anywhere but generally do it at home, lying on the bed. When I'm out of the house, I generally have something else that needs to be done, so don't write then.

Home is the Hunter

Words like winter snowflakes.
-- Homer, The Iliad