Friday, December 23, 2016

December 2016 Book Review: Maeve's Times

Warning to all writers who scribe thoughts on bits and scraps of paper and throw them in a box to rewrite later.  Those bits and scraps may be published posthumously.  Maeve Binchy's husband, Gordon Snell, found her "to do later" box. He built a biography of her life with her thoughts, articles, and ramblings.

Maeve's Times is dated and referenced making it easy to follow. Thank you Mr. Snell for sharing insights into her professional and personal life. Her spirit lives on with her words.

 This author captured my attention with Copper Beeches. Maeve Binchy wrote about what she saw, lived, and felt. Her stories reflected both Irish country and city life. Each book made me feel better about people. She wrote about hard times and working through them. She wrote about love and love lost. Her book Minding Frankie demonstrates a community pulling together to help a neighbor. Any of her titles are a "goodread."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Be Strategic: Write A Holiday Memory

The momentum of the holidays propels us into a frenzy of cooking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, cleaning, and overindulging. Writing becomes an after thought in the midst of multiple "to do" lists.

BREATH. Schedule a break, whittle some time for your writing. Utilize these small chunks of time to "Write A Memory."  Exercise your creativity with the keyboard or a paper and a writing instrument to describe a "who, what, where, or how" about the Holiday Season. Find a quiet place and expound on the following events of the season or better still, scribe about something you experienced that day or during the season "to be jolly."

  • Cookie Exchange: Do you participate in this activity? Why or Why not? If you did, what was your choice of cookie? Who participates your exchange? 
  • Decorating the Outside of Your House: Who does it? How do you prepare for it? Describe the feelings and emotions of the participants of this outdoor activity.
  • Gift wrapping: Do you wrap or bag gifts? Do you use ready-made bows or use ribbon and make your own?and why?
  • Indoor decorating: Do or don't you? With what? 
  • Music: Do you play holiday music at home? Write about your feelings and past memories while listening to the music. What are your thoughts about the music played in the retail shops?
  • Shopping: Do you participate in Black Friday sales? Cyber Monday sales? Do you venture out to the malls? Describe what you see, feel, and hear.
  • Traditions: Do you observe religious, ethnic, family traditions? How do you feel about maintaining the traditions? Why? Why not?
  • Christmas Cards: Do you send them? Why or why not? Do you have memories of receiving Christmas cards? Do you write an annual family letter?
  • Santa Claus: First of all, do you believe and why? Why not? What preparations are made for his arrival? Any special stories? 

Even if you aren't a writer by profession, you can start to a diary of memories for your family about Christmas. The therapeutic value of writing your feelings is invaluable. If you write with your favorite beverage, hot, cold, or on ice, serenity is guaranteed.