Yes, it's really on Sunday.
Our tree is up, but so far it only has lights and ONE ornament, the ornament gifted to us by a co-worker of my husband. Each Christmas this man's family (consisting of a lovely wife and four kids), makes ornaments and then distributes them in person so the kids have the joy of creating and giving. It's the kind of thing I thought I would do when I had kids, but never did. This year's ornament is a gingerbread man, and I really want to eat it. It looks delicious.
Anyway, this is my evil plan for the tree. I am going to do nothing. That's right, nothing. I set the darn thing up, put the lights on, and vacuumed up the fake needles which fell off in the process. If no one else in the family makes a move to finish decorating it, this will be how it will look on Christmas morning.
|A terrible photo taken with my son's phone, since I'm having camera issues.|
The time has gone by so quickly that I never got around to mentioning the really nice post featuring me on the Otherworld Diner blog. Just prior to Thanksgiving, writer Brenda Nelson-Davis asked if I'd be willing to list a few things I'm grateful to have learned on the path to publication.
This is what I came up with (probably only of interest to other writers):
1.Not everyone will love my books. In fact, there will ALWAYS be a certain percentage of readers who don’t. Negative reviews used to devastate me ... until I noticed that all of my favorite books had at least a few one and two-star reviews. Once I realized some people out there hated To Kill a Mockingbird, it got easier. My take on it is that I always do my best, which is the only part of writing a novel I can control. Ultimately, people will have their opinions. So be it.
2.The importance of writer friends. I love all my friends, but writer friends come in handy when I want to talk shop or celebrate something writing-related. When I first started hanging out with other writers, I had this immediate strong feeling that these were My People. Turns out I’m not as weird as I thought, or at least I’m weird in a way that makes sense.
3.There’s no competition. I can envy another writer for his or her rich use of language, or New York Times bestseller status, but when the day is done, writers are not in competition with each other. Like literary fingerprints, each author writes the book only he or she can write. Besides, there are an unlimited number of slots to be filled and new readers are born every day.
4.To trust the process. Partway through writing a novel I always reach a point where I feel like I’ve painted myself into a corner and I become convinced there’s no way to get the book to work. It's a scary place to be, considering the time and emotional energy I’ve already sunk into the story. At some point, I realized this is part of my writing process and there’s no need to panic. I still do panic (a little bit), but it’s reassuring to know I’ve worked through this problem before, and I probably can do so again.
5.That nothing matters except the work. Not the reviews, not the rankings, not the sales. Many deserving books never get their due. There’s a lot of heartbreak out there for writers. If you really love writing, that will carry you through.
Now I'm off to do some wrapping. Happy holidays to all of you. I wish you the best, now, and in the coming year.