Last month, a friend persuaded me to take part in National Novel Writing Month or NaNo, as it’s called by those who like to suffer. (Sorry, I’m joking.) While I love writing, I feel a goal of fifty-thousand words in one month is unreasonable. It’s a big deal to finish and miraculously, I finished. At first, I didn’t think I could do it. Plus, I started three days late. Things looked hopeless.
Finishing however, had to do with the fact that I had a story running around in my head, which had to get out. So, even though I complained about the thirty-day deadline, in some ways I feel lighter. Free from a heavy-duty tale about world peace. Half way through, the topic felt enormous. In the mornings I did research and, in the afternoons, I typed away. I had to write like the Dickens to make sure my version of War and Peace came to a resolution at fifty thousand words. And so, by the grace of God and of course His legions of angels, who give me ideas and help me write, I completed my next novel. Hooray!
Speaking of angels, it’s almost Christmas. A time to reflect on the year, to remember others, and to share delicious snacks and special moments with friends and family. It’s also a time that can be hectic and filled with tension, traffic and old-fashioned traditions that seem overdone, almost ridiculous. The best we can do is focus on what’s important.
Once we’ve tuned out the mall-muzak, perhaps we can hear the little bells, the song of the bird in the yard, the trickle of rain on the window. We will hear the excitement in the child’s voice upon receiving a gift, a tone of gratitude in the shopkeeper’s ‘thank you for your business’ and the delightful sound of wrapping paper ripped off packages.
|I know it's hard to see the singing yellow bird
in the middle of this tree but he almost looked like a canary!
Beyond the bustling crowds are families baking cookies in cozy kitchens and elderly friends wearing bizarre sweaters, gathering for a social at the Senior Center. There are childless couples, empty- nesters and those who are alone but still volunteer and try to be part of the festivities. The intangible gifts are everywhere. Every new day is a memory tomorrow—every moment is yours. If you focus on what’s important, (like I did with Nano) you can do anything!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my friends and family!