The Season of Creativity

This winter has been exceptionally cold in many parts of the States, so cold in fact that the words polar vortex will, from now on, describe arctic like winters. Miserable for the people, these icy days offered gorgeous winter photos opportunities.

Instead of frigid temperatures many Europeans countries have survived rainfalls that turned into legendary floods.

Ask anyone from the United Kingdom and from my native France. They were ready to build a new Noah’s Ark.

After such winters, the expectation for spring is high and almost palpable.

I feel it through the posts that land in my inbox.

Clean as a freshly plowed piece of land, hopeful as a calf standing up, promising as the first daffodils, these blog posts carry the signs of change and hope.

In the end, spring is all about the awakening of nature.

More subtle here in California, spring is sometimes so fugitive than most people will tell you that we have one rainy and one dry seasons.

The geography of a new country is rarely considered to be a destabilizing factor in the life of an immigrant.

And yet the decoding of the American landscape, its vastness and brutal weather patterns in comparison to France, have been for me as challenging and fascinating as the discovery of a new culture and the acquisition of a new language.

This year winter came early in the Sierra, accompanied by unusual November snowstorms that we misinterpreted for an upcoming rainy season.


In fact, this winter has been very dry, and drought has a mean paw.

Premature life.


Premature death.


Although Yosemite has received very little precipitation, Glacier Road and Tioga Pass, the two roads that give access to the most interesting parts of the park, are still closed. So while the energy of spring bounces off blogs, I tame my impatience until my next hike in the high country.


Spring, associated with un-cluttering, cleaning, and cleansing, is also a time of evaluation for artists and writers.

Mixed reviews accompany the assessment of my personal winter writing.

I am a winter child, born late in the year, and I do my best work during the short, dark days of winter. When winter has only been a word on the calendar I feel cheated.

The publication of my middle grade novel is delayed, mostly because of jobs’ obligations that stole more time and energy that I had anticipated, but also because I never felt quite anchored to the season.

Now that I reflect on the impact of seasons on human creativity, I am less surprised that it took me time to choose a title for this novel. In the end it is not coincidental that I decided on A Year in Château Roche.

Despite the absence of winter and an elusive spring in California, summer will come. This year, for the first time ever, all of my children will be studying and working away from home during the months of July and August.

This realization fills me with unexpected hope.

Could the long, sunny days of summer replace the short, dark days of a missed winter?

Now, tell me…

Did you take advantage of snow days to work on specific projects or has this unusual winter had a toll on your creativity?

Do seasons impact your creative work and your life in general?

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