I do not like the Holidays. Ever since I worked the Holiday season at a Target about ten years ago, I just haven’t been able to get into the spirit. It’s supposed to be a season of cheer and instead it ends up being a season of rudeness, greed, and way too much traffic. A couple years ago, I even refused to put up my tree, because it felt like too much work, when I knew that the cats would just knock down the ornaments all season and drive me insane.
But this year, I’ve been infected with cheer. I’m not even sure how it happened. I think it’s some weird combination of having a 2-year old, having enough money for gifts, and a husband that wants to buy gifts. It also helps that I won NaNoWriMo early, so I had a week of relaxation/housework to let me unwind a little before we hit December and the chaos that is prepping for Christmas.
For the first time, I went shopping on Black Friday and actually enjoyed it (we didn’t do the early morning thing. We went at 5 or 6 in the evening). My husband has been enjoying buying gifts so much that he suggested that we take them all back so that we can buy something new for everyone. In past years, he’s been anti-gift, leaving me with all the stress-filled parts of the holiday. It has been so much easier to get gifts for everyone with two of us to come up with ideas. I’m already almost completely done with my shopping.
And, in a fit of random cheer, I even wrapped almost everything we’ve bought so far. I only stopped because I ran out of tape and part of one of the gifts was missing (found it in the trunk beneath a softball glove). It’s the weirdest feeling. My husband has even commented on it. Last year, I didn’t put up the tree until the week before Christmas, but I’ve already talked about putting it up.
The best part of all this cheer and spirit, is that I’m actually keeping some of the momentum of NaNoWriMo. I’m not working on 50,000 words in December, but I’m getting my WIPs properly outlined so that I can do a lot of editing. And I’m going to be trying for 50,000 words in probably April. I have several projects to edit before then. But most years, after NaNoWriMo, I hit a speed bump in the Holidays. I usually get so stressed out and depressed, I don’t do anything writing related in the entire month of December. Not so, this year. In fact, I’m working on rearranging a few rooms to make an office for myself in our spare room that is currently just storage.
I’m not 100% where this Christmas Cheer infection came from. But I’m loving what it’s doing for my writing. So I’ll take it.
Also: Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!!
Last, but definitely not least. I have been spending a lot of time reading through the posts on Storyfix.com. It is really awesome and he has explained story structure in such a clear way. It amazes me how much more clearly I can see the flaws in my writing after reading the things he has on his site. That’s part of why I’m spending my time re-outlining and editing right now. I don’t need to start on anything else until the stuff I’ve already written is in good shape.