The Joy of November

Every fall or early winter, life takes a different turn for me. The air starts cooling down and the weather changes, sometimes drastically. Living in Austria, a place with four seasons, I am reminded why people have gone crazy from gray days. The first year I was here, I read that the winter had the most days without sunshine since World War II. All I could think was wow.

Today, I look outside and see the clouds gathering because it’s supposed to rain. It’s another gray day and frankly, all it makes me want to do is grab a good book and curl up on the couch. Or for me, I grab my tablet and curl up on the couch. LOL!

Still, being a writer makes these days hard as our observation skills are not as tuned as normal. When I write setting, I try to make the weather a living thing. It is really when you think about it. I remember a line once from the movie Twister that I always thought fascinating; Jo’s talking and she says, ‘You’ve never seen it miss this house, and miss that house, and come after you!’ Weather is like that and one can use it in stories as character when needed.

Everyone remembers the famous first line: ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ from but how many of us really remember what novel it’s from. I didn’t and had to look it up: it’s from the 1830 novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton called Paul Clifford. While you might not remember the author or book, you most certainly do remember the weather of the opening.

You’re probably wondering just why I’m talking about the season and the weather this way. While this is my favorite season of the year, it is also one of the hardest for me. During fall and the beginning of winter, I’m moody, I write dark things that I normally wouldn’t write and all I want to do is laze around, not doing much at all. Hence the above sentence telling you about curling up on the couch and reading.

Some people have what’s called Seasonal Affect Disorder and it was noticed in places that are dark for large portions of the year. In Alaska and other places around the world, people use special lights, like grow lights, to give them back what they are missing from the sun. Now, I wouldn’t say I’ve gone that far but I can certainly commensurate with those people. I will go days without even wanting to do something productive then a switch is flipped and I’m baking up a storm. Believe it or not, it is also one of the reasons lots of babies were conceived during this period as there wasn’t much else to do when the world got dark.

I’m better around lots of people doing things like writers’ meetings but not having many friends in Austria, and no family, is really taking its toll on me during the fall and winter seasons. So, I’ve learned to take my joy from other things. Like writing. It’s during this time that I write, besides the dark parts, some of my more happy stories like those set around Christmas. That holiday has done more for me during the winter months than any other.

Thanksgiving here is something new here whereas at home it’s a major tradition. In Austria, we’ve actually started the American tradition and invite many friends to our home. We love doing it and were amazed last year when we discovered a full sized turkey will fit into our small oven. We did dressing and pumpkin pie as well as other traditional American dishes as we shared one of our most precious holidays with people who didn’t know a thing about it prior. Sharing one’s traditions is a good way to learn about people and have them learn about you.

So, today, I will watch those clouds outside my window, looking for the dragon or train or plane…aren’t clouds amazing that way? And I’ll hope for the sun to come back soon. Until then, I’ll write the dark parts of my stories as well as some of the happy parts too.

But how about you? Just what do you do to keep the seasonal blues away? Do you write? Read? Do you bury your head under the pillows and wish it would suddenly be spring? One lucky commenter will get a copy of one of my happier stories, A Viennese Christmas.

Have a great month…and see you all next!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

A Taste of Autumn

Pumpkin Latte

I love fall. I like pulling my sweaters and boots out from the back of my closet. I adore the leaves changing colors. And I love curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. Right now, I’m also enjoying all the great autumn foods. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Acorn Squash – I’m not much of a cook, but this is one thing I love to make. I slice the squash in half, clean out the seeds, stick it in the crockpot and add butter and brown sugar on top. By dinner time, it’s soft and delicious.
  • Chili – Actually, my husband is the one who makes the chili, but there is nothing better than a warm bowl of chili on a cold day – especially if you add a little cheese and sour cream on top.
  • Pumpkin – I pretty much love anything with pumpkin – pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes. It tastes like fall.
  • Thanksgiving dinner – Turkey, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum! What could be better?

 What are your favorite fall foods? 

About Julie Jarnagin

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and young son who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.com

The Wonder of Fall

Hi everyone!

I’m the new kid on the block and I hope to keep each of you entertained during my day each month. I’m Lynn Crain and I write…well…a lot of stuff. LOL! I mainly write sci-fi, fantasy and romance. This includes all their subgenres as well. I do the occasional contemporary when the mood strikes me but overall I love the odd stuff. But on to the reason I’m hear.

Every year while I was living in southern Nevada, the seasons would come and go. Little changed during spring or fall because when you live in the hot southwest, there are truly only two seasons: hot and cold. I’m a seasons kind of girl and had begged my husband to find me a place with seasons. I wanted colorful leaves, I wanted snow and I wanted to see the new life that spring brings.

Well, I’m here to say that the adage ‘Be careful what you wish for’ is so very, very true. My husband was offered a wonderful job that we just couldn’t turn down. There was just one minor glitch…it was in Europe…Austria matter of fact. My husband beamed as he took the job as he’d finally moved me to a place with seasons. Never mind that he also separated me from those I love most…but…that’s another story.

We moved in the late spring of May and I was gone most of that first summer as we hadn’t completely closed up the house. I had to go home and finish that so when I came back, the coolness of the coming fall could be felt in the air. While I was gone, our air conditioner or rather heat pump, was put in so we had a special unit that would heat or cool the main rooms. This was good as I can go either way depending upon the season.

One morning, I woke up and stumbled to my office and gazed out the window. A slow smile spread on my face as I saw, really saw for the first time in years and during the right time, the colors of fall. Our flat overlooks the Schwartzenburg and Belvedere Palaces’ gardens. We’re 4-5 stories up and the view is spectacular.Fall-Resized

Bet you’re wondering just how a building can have 4.5 floors. Well see, there are garden flats in our building and the windows are at street level and slightly below. That gives us the ½ floor. The ground floor is considered floor 0 or earth and the second floor is called the first here. You have no idea how long it took to get the floors right, to understand the dates or to even say hi in German, the language spoken here.

But I didn’t care a twit about all that. I would cope as outside my window were brilliant mauves and golds, reds and even some greens still left on the trees. Fall is when the world winds down so it can get its second wind. It’s laying in the foundation for spring when all the beautiful flowers would blossom and share themselves with the world.

Fall and winter are my two favorite seasons. I love how life seems to slow down a little as kids go back to school, as we get more organized and structured for the cold months ahead. Fall is also new beginnings. Kids go to school for the first time, whether it be college or kindergarten, there’s still a moment or two of angst from both the parents and the child. Moms, who have been waiting for the freedom school brings, can get back to their reading, writing, designing and shaping the lives of their families.

Now while I don’t get that very much any more, I was incredibly amazed when all my kids, grandkids and even my daughter-in-law went back to school. It was fun to watch each of them. My oldest son seemed more jazzed that he got to go back to school. It’s been a while for him. The youngest is excited that he’s finally found something to do. The daughter-in-law needed to learn medical coding/billing so she could go work for a doctor she knows. The twin grandsons were the most excited and they literally bounced to and from that first day. And I know if I find some online classes, I’ll be right there with them. LOL!

How does your household and family react to the season change and new beginning? Do they love it? Hate it? Don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered into our monthly giveaway.

As for me, I’ll be sitting in my office, typing away and watching the leaves turn to those brilliant shades.

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

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