Friday, December 20, 2013

Fridays Odds and Ends - Christmas Lights and More

In browsing around the Internet this morning, I came across a post by Rosemary Harris on the Femmes Fatales blog that was all about her excitement as a child to be driven around to see the holiday lights after the family bought a Christmas tree. That's something we did with our kids when they were young, but we never saw displays as elaborate as the ones she shared on the blog. I can't even guess the number of days it would take to create something like this.

Courtesy of Rosemary Harris
When I read her post, not only did it bring back sweet memories, it reminded me of a TV show I watched recently - "The Great Christmas Light Fight." Like so many of those competition-type reality shows, this one spent too much time with back story on each family and focus on the celebrity host, but the light displays were awesome. They are so different from a few strands of lights around windows and the roof and the one pine tree in the yard that was common when I was a child, but in some ways I think they are too much. What do you think?

On a totally different note, I also came across a wonderful post by Jan O'Hara on Writer Unboxed. The article was all about the struggles to get unstuck when writing by the seat of your pants and the methods ? tried until she came upon a lake at a retreat  and just sat there telling the story to the lake. She says that worked for her because she was relaxed, not trying to force her way through the stuck place, and she concluded with this suggestion:
So if you’re a stalled pantster who has tried all the text-based methods of brainstorming, and who likes to figure things out for yourself, do this: Find a calming setting that’s dislocated from your usual writing haunts. Leave your materials behind. Give “verbal” a try.
Who knows? On your next acknowledgments page, perhaps you’ll be giving credit to a stream or a mountain.
One of the neat things about visiting blogs is getting to meet fun, interesting people, and Jan is one of those for sure. I love her blog, Tatitude, and hope you can hop over there and meet her. She is another funny lady.

Today I have a post up at The Blood Red Pencil blog with some editing comments - all about those little mistakes we sometimes make while writing and overlook in the editing because we are focused on the story. It is one reason I LOVE working with another professional when I'm ready to publish a book, whether I'm doing an indie release or going with a traditional publisher. Editing makes a good book so much better.

8 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

We used to walk around our neighborhood when the kids were little, and sometimes drive to see the 'big lights'. Many of these displays do raise money for charities and hospitals and provide a huge light show that kids and adults love.

Personally, I appreciate the effort that goes into elaborate displays, but I do think some do go a bit OTT. I assume those families like Christmas very much. Kids and never-grow-up kids like yards to look like a theme park.

Have a Happy Holiday, Maryann!

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks, D.G. There are adults who dive into this whole holiday thing like little kids and it is fun to watch them. That was part of the fun of watching that television show.

Geoff Maritz said...

Hi Maryann.
The lights are a bit OTT but your advice as to getting through tough times with writing makes sense.
They used to put up Christmas lights all through the town when I was growing up but they don't do that anymore, well not here. The Irish do their homes up very well, I visited there a few Decembers ago. Really beautiful.
Now I'm going to take your advice and go look for a tranquil spot to think and talk to God. Have a blessed Christmas, Geoff.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for stopping by, Geoff. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a good talk with God.

Yolanda Renee said...

I love the tradition of visiting the lights through the neighborhood! Such fun and so beautiful!

Editing so important!

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for stopping by, Yolanda. Hope you have a greay Holiday.

BECKY said...

Hi Maryann! When our son was young, we drove around nearby neighborhoods to see all the lights. I still enjoy seeing them as I drive around doing errands, but it's just not the same! Merry Christmas!

Maryann Miller said...

Hi, Becky. You are right about how seeing the lights without a kid in tow is just too different. I no longer make a special trip to see decorations, but I do slow down to admire a particularly lovely display.