Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Happy Holidays! (Also, a hiatus and landsquid and a typo)

So, I’ve had a chance to actually look at my schedule over the next two weeks, and it is extremely unlikely that I will be able to post next week. So I guess this is my cue to wish everyone a happy holidays, and I shall see you on the flipside in 2017, when we will do year-end/year-beginning stuff for about a week and then dive back into the publishing/submitting posts (where we will discuss self-publishing short stories to begin with.

So, Jan 3. I shall return.

Til then, I was up late making peppermint bark, so I drew you a peppermint bark-making landsquid.

He’s supposed to be eying the Alpaca suspiciously. Oh well. Things to practice. Squinty eyes.

I was talking to a few friends last night about whether or not I should do a holiday post today or whether I should start the year-end stuff, and the general consensus was to do the holiday post, at which point I noted that I would draw a landsquid for the post.

And my dear friend Di said, “LANDQUID.”

So, in celebration of a hilarious typo, I made you all a landquid. Just for you, Di.

landquid--it's terrifying


Happy holidays, everyone! I’ll see you on the other side!

Memory of Place

Around this time of year, I occasionally get a bit nostalgic, and various childhood memories sneak in here and there. Last week I was at the Tattered Cover with the small, mobile ones buying gift cards for the larger mobile one’s teachers. The Tattered Cover is a local bookstore chain. The original store I was familiar with was in a fancy shopping area called Cherry Creek, and I would swear we practically lived there when I was little.

(I called my mother to see if this was just childhood exaggeration, but she says we were there fairly often.)

The original Tattered Cover was amazing. If my memory serves me–and it may not–it was a towering bookstore, four or five stories tall, not counting the basement, and it was a chaotic mess. There seemed to be little order to the sections, and you’d often have to explore multiple levels, with their maze-like shelves, to find what you were looking for (provided you were looking for something specific). For a small bookworm, it was heaven, equal parts mystery and adventure.

(Unfortunately, the Cherry Creek location went out of business about ten years ago, and while there are three current locations, none of them quite manages the magic of the older location, though they still have interesting organization and they try to stick in hidden corners where possible.)

There are other places that have stuck with me over the years. What is it about these places? I think it’s that they all have a little bit of magic to them, something that makes them a little different. These can be places you’ve been a million times or a place you’ve only seen once.

I was going to make this a reading analogy, about how some stories stick with you, even years later, but I’m not quite sure it’s necessary. But it’s good to have a little bit of magic in our lives, and perhaps it’s most important to remember that through the holidays, when tensions run high and stress threatens to drag us all down.

If you have one of these places still, maybe it’s worth it to take the time to spend some time there, to let the magic wash over you as much as possible.

What are some of the magical places in your life?

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...

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!