Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you on this September morning. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re only three days away from the beginning of autumn—my favorite time of year. I love the cooler temperatures, the changing leaves, migrating birds, and fall fairs and festivals.
While the stores are already putting out Christmas decorations, and at least one friend has already decorated her house, I like to enjoy the fall. IMO, Christmas decorations don’t belong in a house until after Thanksgiving, but that’s another story.
I do enjoy the Christmas season. I’ve often toyed with the idea of writing a collection of short stories set during that time of year. I think about it each December, which is always a busy month, and by then it’s too late to write the stories, much less publish them. After Christmas, I don’t even like to think about the holiday, so once again, the project gets put on the back burner.
Unless you’re like my friend, who wants Christmas in July? It’s hard for me to get excited about mistletoe and holly when the outdoor temperatures are in the 90s, or like this summer in Texas, triple digits. Maybe setting the thermostat to the sixties and putting on some Christmas music might help to summon my writing mojo.
A peaceful scene that inspired one of my short stories. I imagined hearing the call of loons as I looked at this photo. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.
For me, having the right ambiance is essential, not only for seasonal fiction but for the setting. I’m a big music lover, and music has inspired many of my stories, but I can’t listen while I’m writing.
Ambient sounds are different. They help to place me in a particular season or setting. It isn’t always possible for writers to visit the areas in which they set their stories. Fortunately, with today’s technology, there are several options available.
Ambient Mixer is a website that offers almost all types of ambient sounds—weather, wildlife, in the home, and coffee shops to name a few. Although I haven’t tried them, there are also various sporting events such as soccer and figure skating. If you need to write a scene and are unsure how to describe the sounds in your particular setting, this site is extremely helpful.
Spotify also has a number of ambient sounds. I recently listened to a clip of the calling of loons so that I could capture the right atmosphere for a story. Thunderstorms, desert winds, and nocturnal creatures have also been beneficial to me.
These sounds are not only helpful when writing, but many of them help to relax you. This is especially important after a long, hard day. They can help set the mood for writing.
Do you use ambient sounds? If so, have you found them beneficial? What are some of your favorites?