Torrents of rain lashed against the window of Starbucks as the customers inside watched and waited for a chance to run to their car. It was a normal winter day in Portland… two hours later it snowed and then two hours after that the sun came out briefly.
It is interesting living in a place with such changeable weather. My husband would say it is much better than shoveling piles of snow off our driveway. My daughter would say at least we don’t get blinded by sun light. Most
others would talk about SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I just think, gosh, how would weather like this affect my
The new story I am working on is set in Portland, and weather plays such a strong role here, it would be difficult to describe Portland without it; (plus, you sign an agreement when you move here to always present Portland as a dreary place to live so that others don’t move here as well:>)
In many stories weather can be a useful way of setting time. Snow in Boston means winter, whereas hot and humid with mosquitos clearly signifies summer. But in Portland, to say it is raining is to say it is any month in the year other than, perhaps, August. Unless I constantly want to tell the reader what month my character is in, I will clearly need to find other ways to represent season.
For example… we do have all the normal holidays here; Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, etc. The leaves fall in autumn and the Japanese Gardens are only open in the summer. People ski on Mt. Hood all year around, so that won’t really help me. But I am pretty sure most sledding only happens in the winter, so I could use that. I noticed someone driving around in their old MG car with the top down a few days ago, so convertible use won’t tell me much, but… snow tires are only allowed in the winter months, so that crunching sound on pavement could be useful.
Do you have other sounds or sights that bring to mind a specific season for you? I’d love your ideas so please
In the meantime, it is winter and it is sunny, so I am going to walk my dog up the hill…. maybe the frozen yogurt place will be open early.