Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Aaaaaaahhhhh

Good afternoon, Squiders! (Though it’s inching onto evening at this point…) I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I didn’t have to host anything so mine was quite nice indeed.

We’re into tech week for my musical review. We started on Sunday, and on we go, three hours a night, until Thursday. Friday’s off, and then the performances are on Saturday. Ha. Haha. We got a new song last night which tells you about the general put-togetherness of the whole thing.

The music sounds lovely, for the most part, though there are still a few songs that are a bit shaky (ironically, the new song actually already sounds pretty good). Mostly it’s songs where we’re expected to do something as well as sing, but not always. Also there is a children’s choir singing songs which I was unaware of until Sunday. Ha. Haha.

We finally got the order of the show sometime at the end of last week and are expected to have it memorized by Saturday, which may be wishful thinking. Said show flow also included a ton of new lines for people, so that’s also been interesting. (My sole line–“Uh, I don’t think so”–has luckily been easy to remember.)

This whole thing has been very interesting. I love the people and the music is super fun, so whether we sink or swim on Saturday is kind of moot for me (also it is a free show and the audience shall be plied with cookies and cocoa). I think we’ll probably pull it together. Everything always seems to do so, no matter the odds. And, as I said, the singing sounds good, and isn’t that really what you need out of a musical review?

In other news, people from the shows have been bugging me to join the choir, and so I have, at least for the big Christmas concert. This is an hour-long concert that they do during church service, so I figured we were talking 3-5 songs (since there are children’s choirs and bells and brass and all sorts of various musical groups included) but I got handed 10 different songs last night, all of which are 4 or 8-part pieces. And the concert is on the 10th.

Ha. Ha?

At least for choir, we get to hold the music in our hands. So thank goodness I don’t have to memorize all those, just know how they go.

Just know that I will probably be a little frazzled for the rest of the week.

And probably next week.

We should still have a common writing problem on Thursday. But I’m going to hold off on picking a readalong book until next week or the week after. I’ve done what I tend to do around the holidays, and that’s descend into cozy mysteries. I mean, if everyone’s into cozies we can totally do that, though it’s somewhat out of the scope of this blog.

(I’m on my third in the last two weeks. I read a Poirot book, and then the latest Meg Langslow–How the Finch Stole Christmas–and am now onto the first of a cozy series called To Helvetica and Back which was recommended by the cozy mystery group on Goodreads. And I love punny titles and also font jokes, so…)

Anyway! If you have cozy recommendations, let me know. I’m not generally one for baking-related cozies, but other than that I’m pretty open to themes, and if the baking ones are good, I’ll read them too. I’m really not picky. And otherwise, I shall see you on Thursday!

Happy Christmas Eve!

Hidey ho, squiders! I hope you’re having a lovely time with your loved ones and eating lots of chocolate (and that you haven’t misplaced every roll of tape in the house, like somebody else).

The blog will be on hiatus for the holidays and shall resume on Thursday, January 2nd.

Landsquid Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope, if you celebrate Christmas, that you have a lovely day full of love, laughter, and joy. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a lovely Tuesday, which is my favorite day of the week.Christmas with the Landsquid and the Alpaca(I’d look a little concerned if I were the Landsquid too.)

Holiday Complications

Last week, I talked about how it seems so much harder to get into the holiday spirit now that I’m an adult over at Turtleduck Press. But I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I’ve figured it out.

Everything’s so complicated now.

When I was a kid, my sister and I had our routine. We’d watch every tapped Christmas special we could find (A Muppet Family Christmas was always my favorite), crawl into bed together, and then get up whenever we woke up, open our stockings, and wait for our parents to get up.

Then we’d do presents, Church, and spend the afternoon and evening at our grandparents, playing with our cousins and eating too much.

It was simple, fun.

I think it started to change when my husband and I got serious and starting bringing each other home for Christmas. Our parents are both divorced, so instead of each of us managing two, we suddenly needed to do four. And, of course, they all overlapped.

And then our siblings got married, which also limited available times, and so on…

So now, I think, instead of being able to enjoy the holidays as a family, we get so stressed about trying to squeeze in all sorts of different family gatherings.

It’s truly ridiculous. Something has got to change. We have a child now, and in a year or so we’re going to need to start putting our family unit first.

Squiders, how have you dealt with managing the holidays when you’ve got both sets of parents (or multiple sets of parents, in the case of divorce) local? Anything tips for lowering the stress or dealing with hosts’ hurt feelings if you can’t make it?

Happy Holidays! (Also, Landsquid.)

I hope your weekend treated you well, that you ate too much and spent too much time with those that you love, and that you got at least one thing that made your day.

My husband got me a Wacom tablet which I hope means more landsquid here on the blog.  There is a bit of a learning curve, however, as you will see below.

Regular schedule this week, and then we’ll ring in 2012.

Not as intuitive as I was led to believe...

Christmas: Fantasy?

Instead of our normal Friday subgenre study, I thought we’d take a look at Christmas stories and debate their genre.  Christmas stories tend to involve angels, ghosts, flying reindeer, elves, and an immortal who has the power to visit every household in the world in a very short time frame.  (Though, admittedly, if you take out the areas of the world that don’t believe in Santa, it’s less impressive.)  Oh, yeah, and frost demons, enchanted snowmen…

I mean, some Christmas stories are free of fantastical elements.  White Christmas, for example. But Christmas itself is filled with elements that, outside of the holidays, most of us do not believe in.  Yet there are religious subtext, and religion gets a bit grumpy if you associate it with mythology, so.

I’m really interested in how other people see this.  Do you consider Christmas and its elements to be a work of fantasy, or something else?

 

Christmas Movies

Well, my husband has driven into work like a crazy person (we’ve got about a foot of snow and it’s still coming down) and as we get closer and closer to Christmas, I find it harder and harder to get up the motivation to do anything that doesn’t involve cocoa and Christmas carols.  (I wish I could blame the dog this week for this being late.  I will blame the snow instead.)

So let’s give into the holiday cheer.  Christmas movies.  They’re everywhere this time of year, with their messages of family and love and peace on earth, goodwill to man.  Animated, live-action, black and white…

Which ones are your favorites?  Which ones do you watch every year?

Me, I’m partial to Muppet Christmas Carol.  My sister and I, until we were married, would do a marathon of Rudolph, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman, and A Muppet Family Christmas (which you cannot get on DVD and makes me terribly sad).  We rarely made it through all of them still awake, but every year, we tried.

I’ve only seen things like It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, and White Christmas a single time each.  I liked them all, but I guess I don’t search them out on a regular basis.

Are you ready for Christmas?  Feeling the holiday spirit?  Drinking enough eggnog?

I will try, in all good faith, to have a subgenre study up on Friday, but I’m not making any guarantees.

Writing Around the Holidays

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is stressful even in the best of times.  You’ve got to buy your presents, wrap them, make sure they get to the right recipient (and that’s assuming you aren’t making any).  There’s Christmas Cards to send out (oh why did I start doing that?), decorations to put up, and neighbors to compete against to see who can spend the most on their electricity bills.  One could argue that this is all another sign of the commercialization of the holidays, but I would argue that it’s because we want to make the ones we love happy that we pile so much on ourselves.

This is, of course, on top of your normal work, family, and household obligations.  And the fact that you want to spend as much time as possible with your friends and family.

With everything as crazy as it is, it can be a pain to fit in your normal writing.  Here are a couple of tips for trying to fit it in.

1. Use it to destress.
Let’s say you’ve spent the last three hours wrapping presents and writing cards.  It’s very tempting to leave the mess for the cat to play with and go veg in front of the television watching Unsolved Mysteries.  Resist this urge, and why not sit down and work on a story instead?  It’ll clear your mind and when you look back at your day, you’ll feel productive instead of like a lazy lump.

2. Get away from it all.
Your children are belting “Grandma got run-over by a reindeer” at the top of their lungs and your husband has abandoned his half-done job of hanging the lights over the garage to watch the football game.  Do not lock yourself in the bathroom and cry.  Instead, stand in front of your husband until he acknowledges your presence and tell him it’s on his head if anything gets destroyed while you’re gone, and leave.  Go to a coffee shop, the library, a friend’s…wherever you like to write that’s not at home.

3. Remember that people will not hate you if it doesn’t all get done.
If a couple of your cards go out a few days late, guess what?  No one’s really going to care.  They’re just glad to hear from you.  If half the ornaments don’t get on the tree, Santa won’t mind.  If the dog eats your fruitcake, well, it’s probably for the best.  Remember that it’s much easier to maintain a writing habit than to try to restart one come January when the tree goes to the grinder.  So set aside a little time each day to get things done.  It’s okay.  No one will hate you.  (Give them bubble wrap to distract them while you make your escape.)

Good luck to you, Squiders!