Winter is coming

The instant I stepped out of the house this morning, I looked at the sky, sighed, and said, “Winter is coming.” (And, yes, that was a deliberate George RR Martin reference.) You see, I live in Seattle, and the sky above was a gloomy gray. It wasn’t raining right at that instant, but my car was dappled with raindrops from a recent shower.

Contrary to what the rest of the country seems to believe, it ISN’T always like that here. The weather gods console us for eight months or so of annual gray gloom with the best summers in the world. It hardly rains at all between July 4 and sometime in mid-September. Most days the highs are in the 70’s, maybe the 80’s, but even then it’s comfy in the shade because in keeping with our nonexistent summer rainfall it’s a dry heat. And because we’re so far north, we have long, long days to savor the perfection of our summer.

Summer in my city

And this summer? Arguably the best weather we’ve had in a generation. So you can understand why this morning’s cloudy reminder of what my city looks like the rest of the year made me want to weep a little:

Winter is coming for YOU.

That’s what my morning commute looks like in early November. In late December it’s still pitch dark, even though I don’t get to work till 7:45 or so.

Our local weathermen faithfully promise our sunshine will be back, maybe as soon as tomorrow. But I still can’t escape the signs of the changing season. We’re starting to get mail from the school district with logistical info for Miss Fraser’s fourth grade year, which starts in less than three weeks. We’re planning our holiday vacation time at work, since we have to juggle our schedules to make sure someone is in the office. The spam in my inbox is giving me great offers on new fall fashions.

But throughout the seasonal rhythm of the year, my writing remains a constant. Now that A Dream Defiant is out, I’m hard at work on my proposal for its sequel, which is set mostly in America in the aftermath of the Battle of New Orleans. And I’m already busy researching my next manuscript–one with a French hero, set during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. The winter that’s coming for Jacques Gordon (yeah, he’s French, but he’s also half-Scottish, and related to the Gordons in my earlier books) is far more dire than anything Seattle is likely to throw at me….


What does the changing season have in store for you?

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12 Responses to Winter is coming

  1. Elena Greene says:

    Ack! You’re scaring me. I’m not done with summer yet. This week, I’m busy converting Fly with a Rogue into a bunch of different formats, for release next week. I’ve also been on a whirl of college visits with my oldest daughter. Once FWAR is out I will need to think about how to refill the well and what to work on next. And very soon we’ll be embarking on the college application process!

  2. Elena Greene says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say, I visited Seattle once and loved it. Now I have a cousin living there, so I would really like to go back, visit the city and see her. I don’t know when that might be possible again, but I would love to meet you in person, too.

  3. Karenmc says:

    Here’s an echo from Portland. We’ve had the same summer (of course), and this week I’ve noticed how it just isn’t that light out when I crawl out of bed. And don’t get me started on holiday coverage at work! Lucky me, though; I always have a good book at hand to keep me going.

    • susanna says:

      The good side to the days getting a little shorter is that now if I wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 AM, I can get back to sleep! We have very dark curtains, but a little light still peeks through, and if I see that June or July early morning daylight, it’s hard to persuade my body that it ought to sleep another hour or two.

  4. We have switched suddenly from 100 degree heat every day here in Alabama to gray skies and rain – lots and lots of rain! Today was the coolest August day we have had in thirty years. And believe it or not it was my day off so I got to enjoy it with my dogs.

    The thing about seasons here in Alabama is that they change suddenly. We could end up with 90 to 100 degree days well into September and then one day it will drop to 70 and stay there. When winter does come we will go from a 70 degree day to a 50 degree day overnight and that will be winter for us!

    • susanna says:

      Louisa, I grew up in Alabama, so I know those seasonal shifts well, though it seems like those 100-degree days have gotten a lot more common than when I was living there in the 70’s and 80’s. I can remember only a handful of 100-degree days in my entire childhood, but on one visit to my family home around 2007 or so, it was around 105 all week.

  5. diane says:

    Forget all this weather stuff. The new books you have planned sound intriguing already!!!

  6. Susan/DC says:

    Having spent most of the summers of my youth in Seattle I know what you mean when you say the weather can be glorious. When Paul Allen, despite his billions, didn’t want to pay for a retractable dome on the Mariners baseball stadium but wanted the citizens of Seattle/King County to pay for it, someone pointed out that Boston is rainier in the summer than Seattle and the Red Sox do not have and probably never even thought of asking for a retractable dome. An example for me of boys and their toys (and when you’re dealing with billionaires, the toys get to be very expensive).

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