Farewell long hot summer, winter’s icy breath has been making itself felt in the Land of the Long White Cloud this week. We’ve had a dusting of snow on the Tararua Ranges, a southery blowing straight off the South Pole, and I’m pretty sure I turned blue during the school run the other day.
However one of my favourite things about the change of season is it really wakes you up to the world around you. And today was one of those rare days when despite the frosty start, the sun came out and we had clear blue skies and that gorgeous soft winter light that makes everything glow.
Sometimes the stars do align in your favour, because this morning was the first day in months I didn’t have anything scheduled. So I dropped the kids at school and headed out onto the walking tracks. I didn’t see a soul. Just a couple of hours of me, the birds and the view. And it was amazing.
Back in February, Kate Frost posted about Taking Inspiration From Nature. It reminded me that as writers we sometimes need time and space to blow out the cobwebs, take a breath and really look around us. I’d like to say I came home and wrote up a storm, but real life was waiting. A meeting at the Rest Home (my mother-in-law has advanced Alzheimer’s), the children had sports and scouts, and tonight I just had to watch the final episode of the latest Dr Who Series (yes we’re a bit behind here – but major, major kudos to Steven Moffat!!!).
But word count aside, I have a bright new colour palette ready to mix into my story. The sound of footfalls on a dirt path; the unrelenting sting of thorns catching in your clothing; the feel of a light breeze against your skin. And I know precisely how one character feels when she is able to get away and find that exact solitude.
There’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to stir the soul and freshen up a story. Even if it is blowing straight off the Antarctic!