Michaeline: The Pathetic Fallacy of Weather

A triptych with an outdoor winter storm, two birds, and three children enjoying the warmth of the hearth in front of the fireplace.

Winter weather captures a whole lot of story settings: the frigid cold, the hopeful life hopping around, and the coziness provided by our human technologies. We can create our own bubble of warmth even during the coldest winter. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

“It was a dark and stormy night” has been mocked throughout the 20th century, but I think it’s time to bring back the pathetic fallacy of weather for the 21st century.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about using weather in a story to help boost a mood in a scene. Tragedy accompanied by fog and gloom, horror to the tune of a thunderstorm, and an idyllic love interlude accompanied by sunshine and roses. Some people call it cliche, but I call it a device from our writing toolboxes that can be useful and fresh, depending on how you use it. (-: Perhaps the roses are overkill.

I very deliberately set a short story in February, just so I could take advantage of the weather. In the northern hemisphere, we start seeing the very first signs of spring – in my area, the ice begins to melt during the day, and pussy willows start to bloom. The earth is getting ready for new life, and my characters’ hearts were getting ready for a new season in their lives.

That said, almost every place I’ve lived, February is still the battleground for winter. I took advantage of a wild blizzard to do several things for my story.

First, it symbolized a cold and lonely past. Second, Continue reading

Michaeline: Prime Results

An 1890s man in a dressing gown tells a harem girl stories about her eyes.

Oh, I think I could tell you a story about his eyes! Image via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, I had a good writing week, and I’m afraid I’ve been squeeing about it in several places. It’s the first time I’ve written “The End” since the end of November 2014, so I’ve been ridiculously happy and maybe somewhat obnoxious about it. I could put a lot of qualifiers on it – it’s just a draft, it’s not even 7,000 words, there’s probably some big and gaping hole that I can’t even see in the creative afterglow – but I don’t care about that. I just want to do it again. And again. And again!

So, I’ve been searching for something I’ve done differently – something that I can adapt into some sort of talisman or ritual, something that doesn’t involve blood sacrifice or extra housework. Something that would be a pleasure to do every day.

Well, I’ve reviewed the week, and there are three things that are different.

Continue reading