How’s the Weather?

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

Weather plays a big part in our lives no matter where we live. Earthquakes in the west, tornadoes across the Midwest, hurricanes up and down both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico, floods and blizzards can be life-changing. Weather should play an important part in your writing. Is the day dark and gloomy? Is it sunny and bright? Is it raining in sheets? Is there blinding snow? Mud?  Are readers able to get a sense of how the weather impacts the story?

I remember reading one of Catherine Cookson’s first books. She wrote about the misty moors. Now, I’ve never seen a moor but I could almost see and feel it by her writing. This is something we all need to be aware of as we write our bestsellers.

Let me share with you something that happened this weekend. My great-nephew gradgraduated from high school in Marquette, Michigan on Sunday. He is the first of my sister’s ten grandchildren to finish high school and the others are coming up fast. Since our family is very close we all planned to attend. We left Wisconsin on Saturday on a bright sunny morning. By the time we reached my sister’s house in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (about three hours away) it had become a bit overcast but was still warm.

On Sunday morning it rained from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. My sister kept repeating the mantra, ‘rain before seven ends at eleven’, worried that the 4:00 pm graduation party would be a disaster. She cooked all kinds of dishes for the graduation party and I helped her until we went to bed about midnight. My sis and her husband left early Sunday, as they were attending the graduation ceremony. We left later because my daughter and son-in-law were coming and we wanted to spend some time with them. Everything was good. We had a nice visit with the kids and went to the park early to help set up the tables and food. ice

We drove along the shores of Lake Superior and got the sight of our lives! It’s June, remember, and the lake was full of huge ice floes. It was ridiculous! My husband and I started counting but gave up because there were so many. It was about 75 degrees.

We got to the park and only one of my nieces was there and a couple of her friends. My sis finally got there with most of the food about 3:45 pm and we hurried to get it all set out and ready. The graduation boy and his girlfriend showed up and we started eating and visiting with those we only see a few times a year.It was perfect.

Then the clouds opened up and released a torrent of rain that came in sheets! We were in a pavilion with no sides and some of us got a little wet. That lasted about a half hour and quit. It got warm and muggy for an hour or so and the rain returned with a vengeance. Most of us were soaked. We covered the food and although some friends and family stayed to visit, I wanted to spend a little more time with my daughter and son-in-law, so we left. We also had to transfer things from car to car as my daughter and I seem to have this thing about recycling our stuff back and forth. I came up with an idea to go to a gas station where we would be protected from the rain while we unpacked and repacked.

rain We drove from the pavilion back the way we had come, still laughing about the ice in Lake Superior, when one of the worst rain storms I have ever been in came out of nowhere. There was no place for the water to go and we got a little worried that we might be floating before long. We made it through the driving rain, dodging cars whose drivers couldn’t see the line in the middle of the road, trying to see where we were going and afraid we’d get hit by one of those ice floes. We were so close to the lake that it could have happened.

After we got to town the rain had let up again a little, so we parked under the canopy at the gas station, transferred the things we needed to and said goodbye to the kids. They were staying in a motel in town and we stayed at my sister’s house 75 miles away.

The whole trip home was start and stop rain just like we had seen all afternoon. The stretch of road we drove is hazardous with deer and other wildlife on the road and it is desolate, mostly trees. It is the UP of course. But itpartypeople was still daylight so it wasn’t too bad. After a shower we snuggled on the couch to watch television until my sis and her husband got home. She remarked on what a trip they’d had getting home. They had to drive in the dark in that awful rain.

When we left early Monday morning it was raining again. It rained most of the way to Green Bay and then we were surrounded with beautiful blue skies with marshmallow clouds and the heat was back in the mid-70s. We were glad to get home, get unpacked and sleep in our own bed. I have to say, though, that was the strangest weekend of weather I think I’ve ever seen, especially in June. I’ll have lots of weather memories to help me write, so the experience was good.

What about you? Do you go into great detail about the weather in your books? Does it even play a part in your plot? Mine does because the circus travels and good or bad weather can cause problems. Have you been in unusual weather in the past? I’d like to hear about it. If you’d like to read an article called Endless Winter and see some good pictures of how Lake Superior looks now, click on USA Today.

Picture Credits:


Books by L.Leander:

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Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders

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15 thoughts on “How’s the Weather?

  1. Linda,

    The weather does afect our lives in many ways and so it is in writing. Congratulations to the graduate.

    BTW all links on your notices do not work. I had to come in the regular way by typing WWW. Doris


  2. Doris, thanks so much! The gremlins were certainly at work today. First the paragraphs all ran together. I got that fixed and the books and links were misaligned. Thought I had it right and posted it and the whole thing was a mess. I have now updated the post and it looks right and all the links work. My job is done for the day. Think I’ll take a nap! lol Seriously, the ice floes on the lake on June 1 were quite a sight to see. Winter lasts forever here!


  3. How amazing to see those ice floes! Just like at our cabin about a week or so ago, the snow was still so high we could not drive in. Then, last week we could and snow was still piled in places where the sun doesn’t peek through much. I, too, hit a rain torrent on my drive back from the Black Hills, with water covering the road. Glad I was in a car — there were two motorcyclists behind me and I worried and wondered about their safety. I haven’t woven weather much into my previous dog stories, but I should in the rescue book I’m working on since the dog is abandoned — a rain torrent and some hot sun would work nicely (er, not nicely!) in the story! Thanks, Linda, for your post which has given me some pondering regarding future writing!


    1. Thanks for commenting Gayle. Sounds like you have had some of the same weather! We are very used to long winters here but usually the lakes are all free of ice by April/May. June is just ridiculous. And the rain was quite something. We didn’t let it spoil our fun though. I think weather would be great included in your rescue book. It could certainly make a difference to the dog!


    1. Thank you Abbie. We are all proud of the graduate and as I said, my sis has 9 more grandchildren from 15 – 3 months. Guess we’ll be going to graduations for a long time. My grandchildren are long since graduated but it’s fun to get together with family no matter what the reason. I realize not everyone needs to write about the weather but mine certainly lends itself to a lot of weather talk.


    1. Thank you Erin. I had fun writing it but I have to be honest. Lately I’ve been pretty much ahead with my blogs but with the trip North I totally forgot about it until Tuesday night. I kind of freaked out, looked to see if i had any old posts I could use and finally wrote about our weekend. Glad you enjoyed it.


  4. I use a little weather in my writing, but try to not overdo it. Weather is important in my job, and we left Michigan a couple of days ago, heading NW. Interesting post, thanks. Cher’ley


    1. Too bad we couldn’t have hooked up for a cup of coffee! I guess weather is important to all of us in some way, but the thing about being retired is that you can stay home if you want to.


  5. Yeah, Michigan weather (actually everywhere weather, I guess) can be pretty interesting. Amazing to see/hear about the ice floes. I do include weather in my books, not all the time, but sometimes–either to set the scene or enhance/offset emotion/mood. It may play a bigger role in the third volume of the trilogy I’m working on–for plot reasons–though I’m not sure of that yet. Thanks for this post, Linda!


    1. Thanks Stephannie. I thought the ice floes were so strange. There were lots of them and it was June1. Of course, I was born and raised in Michigan so I know all about strange weather but this is the first time I’d seen this. I think my third book in my series will probably have even more weather conditions but we’ll see!


  6. Right now, Linda, I’ve managed to get online while on holiday in Madeira. That weather thing is playing havoc. We’ve signed up for tours over the week when it’s been nice and sunny and also quite cloudy. The in-between bits when I could be sunbathing have been rainy or dull. We’ve met up with some new friends at the pool bar when it’s been sunny so I’ve got one sunburned red arm – but not the other. PATCHY? You could say that and that’s what weather is all about! 🙂 Great post for me right now! 😉


  7. Sounds like the post was made for you Nancy, lol. But I promise, I didn’t wish it on you! Isn’t it strange when the weather goes right from one thing to another? I hope you had a good holiday in spite of it!


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