‘Tis the Season

underwood holidayI strung the twinkle lights up over the windows around my desk, and brought home a bright pot of poinsettias for the table and a couple of those battery-flickering candles that look like the real thing. My Underwood is all decked out, too. These days my writing desk is covered with holiday wrappings, messes of ribbons and bows and cards still waiting to be addressed. I know my notebook is under there somewhere!

I admit it–I love this time of year. I take the long way home so I can drive by holiday light displays in my neighbors’ yards, and go all teary when I hear Bing Crosby sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” I may not believe in Santa Claus anymore, but I do believe in the spirit of the season.

wintersolsticeThis Sunday is Winter Solstice and I’m celebrating by hosting a Winter Solstice Writing Retreat at Inspirations Gallery from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. As the longest night of the year approaches, we’ll light our Solstice candles and write our way through the afternoon into sunset and on into the dark. If you’re in the area, I hope you can join us. (Click here for more info & registration)

These days my joyful noise is a loud and resounding thank you for sharing this year with me, writing and otherwise. I have loved hearing your stories, writing with you and gathering around the tables, whether in a classroom, at a workshop, in groups or via the Internet and social media. Let’s do it again next year.

Meantime, all best wishes for a warm and wonderful holiday season.

Temptation in a Storage Bin

Summer passes into fall. Birthdays come and go. A dear friend is stricken ill and dies all too suddenly. A baby is born. A book is finished.

Some urge pushes you to your storage unit to begin to divest; you swore you would. All those boxes and bins: notebooks, journals, photographs, mementos; nothing of monetary value. All sentimental, emotional, what if’s…. You bring three boxes home to go through, swear you’ll toss or give away or shred. Promise you’ll record all those old CDs onto your computer.

But this box:

Sleepwalking drafts Here is the long-ago novel you put away while you wrote its sequel. You open the box and swear you can smell the muddy water of the fishing camp where the story is set, swear you hear Ruby Diamond’s whiskey voice singing, “Crazy,” and Louise and Lilly arguing on the screened-in porch. You remember how much Anna misses her daddy and Roseann, lost in the woods.

Should you?

What about you? Would you?

Blog Posts, Deadlines & Laundry

Keeping current with a blog while coming into the home stretch on a book deadline is more challenging that I thought. So is keeping adequate groceries in the house. Two nights ago I had popcorn for dinner, last night a bowl of cereal, which I also had for breakfast this morning. I ate the last of the cheese at lunch today, and the only crackers left in the packet are the broken ones. Even that last apple in the fruit bowl was a bit soft and wrinkly. The coffee supply is running low too. That’s when it gets really scary.

I thought I might get out for supplies this evening after I closed down the computer, but I finally unbent my legs from their sitting position and walked a few blocks to my new local cafe (Influx at 30th & Upas) for an iced Americano then picked up a veggie burger to go at Veg N Out, across the street. I figured that counted for exercise for the day, too. Something else that’s gone by the wayside these last several weeks.

I’m also a skosh behind on the laundry. I wore the same yoga clothes from morning until night pretty much every day last week, except when I changed back into my pajamas. At least the laundry basket isn’t overflowing. And I figure if you just sleep on one side of the bed, then if you alternate sides after a week you don’t have to change the sheets? Are you on with that?

Why I’m confessing all this in a blog post I can’t say. Maybe I’m hoping for absolution for this unusual streak of slobbishness by the high gods of literature. Or at least  few murmurs of understanding from my fellow writers. Maybe an offer from someone to bring over a pizza.

The good news is that the deadline for the book is just a few weeks away. Then things will go back to normal—microwave-ready meals from Trader Joe’s and fresh blog posts every time I change the sheets.

Hope all is well with you.