Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Thoughts For Writers

If you're like me, you're most likely wondering how in the heck December could be here. Weren't we just putting away Christmas decorations several weeks ago? Nope. It was about eleven months back that we did that. Oh my!

When I was a child and anxious for an important event in life to arrive, time seemed to drag. My mother often told me--when I complained about the length of time to wait--that the older you get, the faster time goes. How right she was.

I love the picture in this poster. Kind of fun to see an already lighted tree being toted home on that car, isn't it? My dad sure would have loved having one like that instead of a tree that required several strings of colored lights, laid on one strand at a time.

If you celebrate Christmas, this month brings time-robbers galore. Shopping, decorating, baking, gift-wrapping, parties to give and to attend and more. It's a lot of fun but also a little frustrating. Mostly because the everyday things still require our attention. We need to cook, grocery shop, do laundry, clean house--the common chores. Add that to the December extras and where in the world are you going to find time to write?

My online critique group cuts our requirements in half this month, closing down the last two weeks. If anyone wants to sub or crit that second half, that's fine but nobody is expected to do it. That gives a little relief, but there are still stories swirling in our heads. And we all know full well that if we don't work on them, or at least get the high points down, they'll be lost in that big area in space called "Stories That Never Got Written." I've got quite a few floating around in that huge vacuum and I'll bet some of you do, as well.

If you don't have time to work on the ideas now, at least make a list of the main thoughts or even an outline and save it for a cold, dismal January day to develop fully.

I've often said that we need to create time in our busy lives to write. I still believe that but I have to give you a slide-by in December. On the other hand, maybe you'd like to get away from all the December activities for an hour or two some afternoon or evening, so you'll sit at your computer and pound out a new story. If nothing else, write about a Christmas tradition in your family, or a funny story that happened at Christmas, or even the Christmas when you had tears rather than smiles. Your Family Memory Book could easily have the fattest section labeled December. Here's a list to trigger some of those memories:

1. Buying or cutting your Christmas tree
2. Decorating the hosue and tree
3. Christmas baking
4. Gift buying and giving
5. Christmas weather
6. When did Santa come to your house?
7. Did you perform in a children's program at church every year?
8. What did Santa give you at those programs? (I can never forget the hard candy we go and I hated)
9. Did your family go all our for Christmas or play it kind of low-key?
10. What school activities did you have in December?
11. Did you make any of the gifts you gave others?
12. Did you eat the same thing for dinner every Christmas?
13. Did you live on a farm or in the city? What traditions did you have there?
14. Your happiest Christmas
15. Your saddest Christmas

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