It’s one week until Christmas (gulp!). I’ve got my shopping pretty much finished, most of the cookies baked, and the Christmas letters done and sent. Whew! Even though we know this time of year is coming, we still tend to wait until the last minute to prepare for it. I’m celebrating a family Christmas this weekend since my sister will be home, so my deadline is actually two days.
Oh, boy. It seems sooner now that I’ve written it.
On the bright side, the snow cover in our neck of the woods is a mere trace of what it needs to be to qualify as a white Christmas. Compared to last year’s weekly blizzards (and sometimes twice-weekly), I think we’re doing pretty well. Not that I don’t appreciate snow, and a white Christmas has a lot of psychological benefits (providing one does not have to drive through said weekly blizzards), but after last year’s wicked winter weather, I’m good with a brown Christmas.
On the other hand, the lack of snowfall–that is, no light fluffy flakes to watch as they travel to the ground–means I’m short a muse. I always find watching snow fall inspires my creativity. And there’s something about looking across a snow-covered field after the wind is finished sculpting waves into the surface. It’s like a jewel-sprinkled white sea under brilliant winter sunshine.
The worst part about the holidays (well, except for that dreaded relative who refuses to bathe, or showers in cologne or perfume, and greets all comers with a hearty bear hug), is that even though we get time off from work, it seems sitting down with the Muse to actually write is a challenge. Travel, relatives, parties, gifts, meals, kids home from school, etc. take a toll on the time (and focus) you can spend writing without being rude. Of course, if you’re okay with being rude, then by all means, write away!
All those things, however distracting from your current project, can be muses for your writing. As writing exercises, put your main characters into a family Christmas gathering. Plug your antagonist into an office party. Put your protagonist on a plane, train, or automobile for a cross-country or over-the-river-and-through-the-woods trip to visit relatives or friends. How about tagging along while your supporting character searches for a present for your main character? Use the holi-daze as an inspiration to keep writing every day. Just make sure Aunt Slobber-Kiss doesn’t read the scene where she kisses the reindeer during a sleepwalking adventure!