Writing in the holidays

Share

The holiday season is well and truly upon us. The next few Monday Musings will be all about how holidays and seasons of inspire bestselling authors—or don’t. 

Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

By Scott Bury

Long, dark nights. Cold temperatures. Deep snow. 

Thick sweaters on my shoulders. The feeling of leather gloves on my hands, of leather on my skin. 

The scents of wool, mandarin oranges, of cinnamon, hot chocolate and nutmeg.

The flavour of rich food, thick gravy, dark beer, heavy red wine. The taste of pimento, nutmeg and cinnamon. 

Noontime sunlight slanting through the window, and a big cat basking in it.

The holidays are the setting for so many stories, books, movies and TV programs. A very few are entertaining, like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, or truly charming, like A Charlie Brown Christmas. A smaller number are truly meaningful, like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Unfortunately, most are ridiculous and clichéd, and if not laughable then cringe-inducing. Like the Hallmark movies on the W channel—many of which are filmed only a short drive from my home. 

Inspiration?

Many writers see the Christmas/holiday season as inspiration. I have to admit, I I wrote one Christmas story for my family when my first-born son was a baby. Since then, though, I just have not been able to find any inspiration in today’s year-end holiday season.

On the other hand, this season does bring inspiration. My first book, The Bones of the Earth, began on the summer solstice, and the solstice continued to play an important place in the rest of the story. It’s the hero’s birthday, and in the just-published sequel, The Children of the Seventh Son, the summer solstice is also the birthday of the same hero’s first child, his daughter Andrina.

In other words, seasons do provide a lot of inspiration. Actually, I think I get most of my inspiration from the natural environment.

Photo by Brenda Godinez on Unsplash

Long, dark, snowy nights

The season around the winter solstice, when nights are long, the daylight is  almost parallel to the ground and illuminates things we don’t see at other times of the year. It awakens childhood memories of stomping through waist-deep snow in a pine forest under the moonlight, or of snow kicked up from the sidewalk by my boots and catching the headlights from cars coming up behind me. 

Of yellow-orange sunlight glistening across prairies covered by snow that has been polished by winter winds.  

So maybe, I will set the third and final book of the Dark Age trilogy around the winter solstice. Filled with long, dark nights. Cold temperatures. Deep snow. 

Thick sweaters on my shoulders. The feeling of leather gloves on my hands, of leather on my skin. 

The scents of wool, mandarin oranges, of cinnamon, hot chocolate and nutmeg.

The flavour of rich food, thick gravy, dark beer, heavy red wine. The taste of pimento, nutmeg and cinnamon. 

Noontime sunlight slanting through the window, and a big cat basking in it. 

I can’t wait to work that into a story.

Scott Bury

can’t stay in one genre. After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. “Sam, the Strawb Part,” a children’s story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, “Dark Clouds.”

The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.

He has several mysteries and thrillers, including Torn RootsPalm Trees & Snowflakes and Wildfire.

Scott’s articles have been published in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the US, UK and Australia.

He has two mighty sons, two pesky cats and a loving wife who puts up with a lot. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Learn more about Scott on his:

Website   |   Blog    |  Facebook    |   Twitter


Share
Connect on social media
Stay in the know and get a free e-book

For January 2021, it’s D.G. Torrens Tears of Endurance

Tune into the BSR Podcast
Tune into the BSR Podcast

Get the latests posts by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Categories
Archives