Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Writing Season: Which is yours?

Zoë Sharp

This year, winter seems to have passed into summer almost overnight. Very little by way of Springtime, just snow one day and a heatwave the next. At the moment, for the May Bank Holiday here in the UK, we are stunned to be enjoying good weather. Let’s hope, after the endless Game Of Thrones-style winter we’ve endured, the sunshine is here to stay. (For a little while, at least.)

winter went on and on this year...

I like writing in the winter, I have to admit. When the weather’s cold and (usually) either raining sideways or snowing, there’s something rather nice about curling up on the sofa in front of a wood burning stove, trying to juggle lap space between a MacBook and a sprawling cat.

Besides, the temperature and the early darkness of the winter does not encourage other activities, so a somewhat sedentary existence is no hardship. I make lists of jobs about the house ‘for when the better weather arrives’ without feeling a desperate urge to get on with them right there and then.

But equally, the winter brings on a kind of lethargic hibernation that no daylight lamps or extra doses of Vitamin D seem to shift.

Lulu, squeezing herself in alongside my laptop.

Summer, on the other hand, encourages me to get out and walk more, or finally tick off those jobs I was busily listing To Be Done over the winter. I’ve just finished plastering one of the upstairs bedroom walls and making a new window sill. Painting and cleaning and mowing of grass all calls to be done. There are fences to put up and veggies to plant and even though I’m sure I weeded the garden last year, damn me, it all needs doing again.

Not what most people have in mind when they
admit to being plastered at the weekend, I'll bet...

So, although I love nothing more than to bask on the veranda in shorts and flip-flops, with my laptop open in front of me, the bees buzzing nearby, and the cats sunbathing in the long grass, there are just too many other distracting things going on.

The winter may be more restrictive, but I think on balance I get more books read and more scribbling done. What about you? Are you winter or summer?

This week’s Word of the Week is eponym, which is a person after whom a discovery, invention or place is named, such as a malapropism, meaning the mistaken use of a word, usually to comic effect, named after the character of Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan’s play The Rivals from 1775. A proprietary eponym, on the other hand, is a trademark or brand name that, due to its popularity or significance, has become the generic name for a general type of product. Examples are Kleenex rather than tissue, Q-Tip rather than cotton swab, and Escalator.

Zoë’s upcoming events:

Thursday, May 10th @ 2:00pm
Author talk at Ellesmere Port Library
Civic Way
Ellesmere Port
Cheshire CH65 0BG

Thursday, May 10th @ 7:00pm
Author talk at Upton Library
Wealstone Lane
Cheshire CH2 1HB

Saturday, May 19th @ 9:00 – 9:50am
Marriott College Green
‘W Is For Woman – Something To Prove?’
Sharan Newman (Moderator)
Jane Casey
Niki Mackay
Christine Poulson
Zoë Sharp

Saturday, May 19th @ 2:00 – 2:50pm
Marriott College Green
‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: Classic Thrillers’
Jake Kerridge (Moderator)
CJ Carver
Lee Child
Mike Ripley
Zoë Sharp

Sunday, May 20th @ 9:30 – 10:20 am
Marriott College Green
‘The Indie Alternative’
Zoë Sharp (Moderator)
Ian Andrew
Karen Millie-James
Alison Morton
Debbie Young


  1. Interesting about 'writing seasons'. The weather is usually pretty decent here, so no great encouragement to stay indoors. Currently 'writing season' is the period directly before the latest deadline...

    1. Yes, there's nothing quite like a deadline for sharpening the mind, is there? Still being able to sit outside and write is always a pleasure, providing you can see the screen!

  2. I’m definitely the veranda, shorts an flip flops type as I do most of my novel writing during the summer months in Mykonos literally on a veranda. My winters are generally taken up with doing tasks around the farm, snow falls permitting.

    By the way, your plastering skills rock. No sheet.

    See you in week, oh eponymph.

    1. I love being able to write outside in the summer, but there's something rather nice about doing it sitting in front of a log fire, too. All in all, though, I'm a warm weather person, I think.

      Thank you for the kind words. Workmanlike rather than pretty, is how I'd describe my plastering skills. But it does the job.

      Yes, looking forward to seeing you in Bristol, also! Not long now...

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  4. Define summer? I went to the 10 year Stretch Launch in Edinburgh on Thursday wearing a duvet.

    1. Ah, but at least you could wear a 10.5 tog summer duvet instead of a full winter 13.5 tog duvet, Caro!

      Hope the launch went well. Can't wait to read all the other stories in TEN YEAR STRETCH.

  5. I will be taking a short hiatus after this coming Thursday’s deadline. I only wish I were able to spend it at CrimeFest with you and our miscreant friends. As for my writing season, I write wherever, whenever. Otherwise, I am a summer girl. I love the heat and the light.

    1. Sounds like your time off will be well deserved, Annamaria. We shall miss you there!