What Will You Write? on Hiatus

Due to the lack of interest, or rather the lack of time for many people, What Will You Write? is going on hiatus for July.  Camp NaNoWriMo is going on at the moment, and a lot of people are focusing on that, including me.  But once August comes around, #5 will be started again.  Thanks for your understanding.

Feeling the Atmosphere in Reading

I love reading books that pull me into the scene.  The action and dialogue is very important, but I get a lot of the feeling from the setting.  I love beautifully described scenery in books.

For example, Dan Simmons does a wonderful job in his Hyperion Cantos series in describing the different worlds.  I feel like I’m there.  There are so many wondrous and spectacular worlds to explore.  George R. R. Martin does a great job with A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones for those of you who only watch the TV series).  I feel the realism and grittiness of the atmosphere.

In the real world, I enjoy exploring new places, not only to see interesting things, but also to discover new atmospheres.  I like to experience how a place feels, and how it makes me feel.  Every place is unique, even though the urban landscape doesn’t change very much here in Japan.  Every neighbourhood has its own character and atmosphere.  I love that.

Weather also affects atmosphere.  Weather is, by definition, caused by the atmosphere, and it also creates atmosphere.  Later this week, a typhoon will hit my area.  During a typhoon, everything seems to change.  It’s like I’m in another place.  In fact, I love typhoons.  I find them fascinating.  I’m looking forward to the weather this week.

The sun can also create atmosphere.  Nighttime feels totally different than daytime.  The shadows are different.  The air is different.  Areas that are vibrant and busy during the day may be dark and mysterious at night.  This is shown quite a bit in Terry Brooks’ The Word and the Void series.  A lot of the story takes place in a park, yet the feeling is totally different between day and night.

Seasons bring different atmospheres, as well.  I love the feeling of spring and summer.  While the weather is wonderful here in fall, it also gives me a feeling of sadness, as it’s getting cooler and moving toward winter.  Winter is my least favourite season, so I’m thankful it’s quite short in the Tokyo area.  But snow can sure change the atmosphere.  It rarely snows here, but when it does, it seems strangely peaceful, yet chaotic.  The white coating over everything looks and feels peaceful, but human behaviour is completely changed.  And lots of people are out when it snows, especially those trying to figure out how to drive and walk.

Whether in a book or real life, I really enjoy feeling the atmosphere.  It can affect my mood and outlook on the day or scene.

How’s the atmosphere where you are now?

Another Casualty of War

It was kind of appropriate that I was studying this course, and I can now call it a casualty.  The Paradoxes of War course held at Coursera and created by Princeton University proved to be too much.  I was already 4 weeks behind because of other courses, and it turned out many of the videos were so long, I’d have to spend an incredible amount of time watching them.  So, I’ve stopped that course.

I am, however, working on the Richard III course, which is quite interesting.  I’m also starting the French Revolution course this week, so I’m doing very specific aspects of both British and French history, both of them involving major wars (the War of the Roses and the French Revolution).  These are the only two courses I’ll be doing through the summer, and no new courses until September.  This is a good thing.  It’ll give me a lot more time to concentrate on my writing.

One more thing that may be a casualty this month is What Will You Write?  No submissions so far, and it’s been nearly a week.  Camp NaNoWriMo has people quite busy these days, including me.  I’m thinking of postponing the current round until August, so it won’t take anyone away from the camp.  And once the new month starts, it should be much fresher for everyone.  Any thoughts?