Weather in my writing
I often neglect weather in my stories. I usually say something like “It’s nice out” and maybe talk about the sun for a sentence of two (if it’s disappearing), but in general weather doesn’t actually exist. It’s strange, because “No Chinook,” “A Record Year for Rainfall,” and “Skypunch” are titles of my books, all weather-based titles, and all have some kind of weather-related incident, but outside of the phenomena, weather doesn’t really factor into my description. This is introspection, caused by looking out the window and seeing a cool cloud formation while thinking about what to write this morning.
My dad always likes talking about the weather. And early suggestions about what to write about often focused on it. I remember him telling me to try writing a story about some frozen hellscape that happened to an otherwise dry part of the planet, and people have to figure it out. He basically predicted “The Day After Tomorrow.” Maybe that did inspire me to write a part of No Chinook, where a weird bit of weather that only happens in Alberta changes the moods of the characters for two chapters. But I remember bristling at the suggestion at the time, thinking, I like to write about relationships, not events. And I still mostly think that, which is why Skypunch probably didn’t work too well. There’s too much plot that isn’t informed by relationships, but by mysterious outside forces I kept vague on purpose. Not everyone can pull of a “mystery box” plot, and I don’t think I can. But I can have people kiss and make that complicated. That’s my wheelhouse. Maybe I should just also remember to have it hail when it happens.