Writing Moods: The Seasonal Edition

It’s a long time since I wrote by mood. Before I took this thing seriously, I’d limit my writing time to those moments when euphoria and a thirst for fantasy caught me up, or when I needed escape from deep despair or some disappointment. Now I know better and write whether or not I’m feeling it.

But still there are times when happy circumstance sends me running to pen and paper. Seasonally speaking, fall always does it for me. This past Tuesday was the first where Los Angeles deigned to dress in shades of blue and gray and gift us with a taste of the chill. When I walked into my apartment all steeped in blue light at 6:00 p.m., I only wanted a cup of tea, my beaten, ruled notebook, and one of my reliable hotel pens.

It has to do with staying home because it’s cold out and with becoming immoveable under a layer of building winter blubber I’m sure. But it’s also the implacable crackle of the colder seasons–the strange energy of cold, dry wind; the smolder and romance of wood smoke in the air. You don’t often get that in Southern California, much less the city, but when it comes, it does captivate and compel.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d be a better writer had I listened to fourteen year-old me who read Witch Water with zeal and thought a quaint, somewhat spooky life in the woods picking blackberries for tiny Mabon pies and doing funny things with dried roots sounded about right. Would I constantly be touched by inspiration then?

What is it about black crows huddled against a gray sky and crisp, brassy leaves? And there is something to playing piping hot coffee against a foggy, drizzly morning that calls up other worlds and imagined strangers.

As the cold drives me into my home, it also drives me inward and rather than setting up distraction, the world outside toys with my imagination. I’ve always found fantasy in the wildness of an autumn wind. It sweeps by, disrupting everything and carrying it away. I get caught up in it. Maybe autumn is the seasonal manifestation of escapism.