Saturday, November 15, 2014

Faking Winter

Ever since my recent trip to Denver, I've been obsessed with snow. Not that I'm ungrateful for the consistently beautiful weather in Las Vegas; to the contrary, it makes motivating oneself to go outside and do things much easier. However, when one is trying to write a dark, creepy novel, constant sunshine can be something of a nuisance--especially when the portion of the dark, creepy novel one is currently writing takes place in the middle of winter in Chicago. Therefore, I have developed a few techniques to fake winter, which I will now elaborate for your edification.

1) Half-close the blinds. The sun doesn't seem nearly so shiny when filtered through off-white slats. 

2) Listen to a winter soundscape. If you think you can't experience the sounds of winter while living in the Western United States, think again. The internet is your friend, and provides all the resources you could ever need to place yourself--audibly, at least--back in the snowy Midwest. "Winter Walk" from myNoise is an excellent example. For the bleakest possible sensation, I recommend turning up Winds A & B, turning up Footsteps B, turning up the Crows, turning down the Birds, turning down the Stream, turning up the Thaw, and turning down Rains A & B.

3) Listen to ominous music. When you're not in the mood for nature noises, quiet and eerie music will do the trick. I suggest DM Stith, Marissa Nadler, and Timber Timbre, and others of their ilk. I will share my "This is Halloween" Spotify playlist with you upon request.

4) Stay warm. This may seem counterintuitive, but the wintry feeling will be more convincing if you behave as you would during the winter. Wear a sweatshirt. Huddle beneath the covers. Drink lots of hot tea.

5) Consume other cold-weather media. For instance, last night I fell asleep watching David Fincher's 2011 feature The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yes, that is a somewhat traumatic film to watch before bed, but it certainly helps to put you in wintry state of mind! For reading, try one of my all-time favorite novels, Donna Tartt's The Secret History. There's a long winter scene in the middle of that book where the narrator almost freezes to death.

Can you think of any other tips? Let's swap. 


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