January - The Novel

We've had a run of spring-like days for a week or so, and it's been wonderful. Some birds are building nests. And I know for a fact what some of the doves are up to. But the grass is still brown. And no buds are poking out on any tree I've seen.

But yesterday, the winds blew in. With a vengeance. And this morning our temps are near freezing, but it's supposed to be sunny and reach the mid-sixties today.

I just looked at the ten-day weather forecast for San Antonio. By the end of the week, winter will have returned. At least for a few days. So much for spring beginning in January.

It dawned on me that our recent weather pattern is a lot like the pacing of a novel.

Back around the first of the month, we had a few days where the temps stayed below freezing all day. That would be the inciting incident. The beginning of your story. The event that changes everything for your protagonist, Suzy Sunshine.

This isn't normal winter weather here, so people were unprepared. Some had broken water pipes. Others wouldn't go outside. Lots of things. So this is when Suzy suffers problem after problem. She fixes one, two more pop up.

Then it rained. Like crazy. At one point it rained about 24 hours straight. That's when you really dump on all your characters, especially Suzy. By the bucketful.

Then came spring. We thought. Ms. Sunshine has a plan! It's a good one. She's positive it will work.

But the W-I-N-D! This plan of hers suddenly doesn't look so good. In fact, it seems to be heading in the wrong direction entirely.

Winter is back. Suzy Sunshine is huddled in her boots and parka worse off than when she started.

But what's this? A bud on the pear tree! Suzy has a much improved plan. She'll see to it that this one will work!

And what do you know. That old pear tree is loaded with beautiful white blossoms. And Suzy Sunshine overcomes the odds, accomplishes her goal, and lives happily ever after.

The End.


Arlee Bird said…
Well, that's an interesting way of looking at a novel but really quite true. Since a novel represents life, and in real life weather is one our main topics we talk about and consider, weather is as important as settings.

In one of my works on the back-burner, weather is almost like a main character or part of the theme. I've read other books that have worked in the same way.
Terry Odell said…
As they say, "Only Trouble is Interesting."
Carol Kilgore said…
Arlee - When the weather takes a turn for the worse, your novel should, too. Unless you're aiming for contradictions.

Terry - Exactly!
Mason Canyon said…
Very interesting post. I know the weather has an effect on my reading.
Anonymous said…
A writer can draw inspration anytime, anwhere, from anyone. They just have to be aware of their surroundings. Great blog.

Stephen Tremp
Carol Kilgore said…
Mason - Not sure if the weather affects my reading, but it does affect my mood. I love sunny days. And I love days when there's precipitation, whether it's rain or snow, although not every much snow here, if any. But I have lived in colder climates. And I really love a good storm, as long as I'm inside and it doesn't linger. But I get all sorts of cranky on overcast days with nothing going on.

Stephen - Thanks. I'm glad you like the blog and keep visiting.
Arlee Bird said…
In response to what Mason said, I would totally agree. Perfect example is over the last week in So. Cal. with all of the rain, I was in no mood to go outside and finally deceided to tackle Stephen King's massive UNDER THE DOME and really covered a lot of reading ground. The bad weather certainly had an effect on increasing my desire to read.
Elspeth Futcher said…
The saying around here is "If you don't like the weather, wait for 5 minutes. It'll change." I've driven for 2 hours and gone through at least 3 different types of days.

All the same all the time would be incredibly boring, whether it's the weather or writing. Imagine a book where it's sunny all the time and everyone's happy all the time. That would be dull.
Hi Carol! Hooray I am now following a San Antonio blogger! I went there a couple years ago when the Spurs beat the Utah Jazz (not to the game, to visit my son lol).

Back to topic...I write best when the weather is bad, cold, snowy, rainy, and the house is cozy and inviting. So as much as I have complained about our very cold winter this year, it's been good to get me focused on the novel in progress.

Look forward to following your writing journey!

Carol Kilgore said…
Arlee/Mason - Keep talking!

Elspeth - Texas has weather like that, too. I agree about the boring part.

Karen - Welcome! I love new readers and friends. Hope you enjoyed San Antonio.
Marisa Birns said…
Just today, it was a grey cool morning with drops attempting to group into rain but just gathering enough cronies to be only mist.

Then at noon, the sun came out! Everything bright and warm (60 degrees). Yay. Off for a walk and breath of moisture-free air.

Now, late afternoon. There was a coup. The clouds have taken over. The mist is back. Still trying to convince the other droplets to become torrential bullies.

All this. One day.

Loved your story. Do enjoy happy endings!
I adored San Antonio, wish we could move there. I'm hoping we can go again this summer. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting....spiders huh? I'm not the least afraid of spiders actually. But my husband is.
Conda Douglas said…
Interesting allegory, Carol, and you're right, it does mirror the progress of a novel.
Carol Kilgore said…
Marisa - Hope you survived the bullies. Don't you hate that?

Karen - Most definitely spiders.

Conda - Thank you :)
Angela said…
You are really inspiring to me, Carol! I would like to read a real book of yours. Can you tell me a title?
Being Susie Sunshine myself today, I`ll post something about OUR weather! Put on your mittens while reading, though!
Carol Kilgore said…
Angela, I wish I could give you a title. I'm still waiting to find a publisher for any of my novels. One day.

However, if you'd like to read some of my short stories, please visit my website:

There's a listing of all my short stories there with links to the ones that are available online.

Anonymous said…
I love this post. Totally feeling that- although in New England it's a bit weirder for us to not be suffering under a foot of snow and below freezing temps (like today) than vice versa. I keep looking at the calendar and going, "But we're not safely out of the snow fall period until mid-march! Stop toying with me!"

As for how it's like a novel- I totally agree and love your comparison. Not to mention it gave me the opportunity to kvetch about this strange weather.
Southpaw said…
What a great comparison and you are so right. It’s interesting what normal everyday things can inspire writing.
Carol Kilgore said…
Kimberly - Thanks. I think we're all getting more winter or more weather or more of both this year than we have in a long time.

Southpaw - Thanks for stopping by. Comments are always open.