Merry Christmas! I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a little shell-shocked to realize Christmas is only ten days away. I suspect I am not the only person glaring accusingly at the calendar and wondering what happened to the past year. I posted this list of riddles a few years ago as a fun lead-up to Christmas, and thought reposting them now might help us all remember to breathe and enjoy the season.
Riddle: What's red and white and black all over?
Answer: Santa Claus after he slid down the chimney
Riddle: When does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?
Answer: In the dictionary
Riddle: What do elves learn in school?
Answer: The elf-abet
Riddle: What do you get if you team Santa with a detective?
Answer: Santa Clues
Riddle: What do you call a snowman in the summer?
Riddle: What do Spanish speaking sheep say at Christmas time?
Answer: Fleece Navidad
Riddle: Where does a snowman keep his money?
Answer: In a snow bank
Riddle: What's at the end of Christmas?
Answer: The letter S
Riddle: What do you get if you cross Santa Claus with a duck?
Answer: A Christmas quacker
Riddle: Who delivers Christmas presents to dogs?
Answer: Santa Paws
Riddle: Why did the Christmas cookie go to the doctor?
Answer: It was feeling crummy
Riddle: What goes OH, OH, OH?
Answer: Santa walking backwards
Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, filled with the joy and blessings of the season.
Life is full of interesting twists and turns. When I took what I thought was a temporary pause from blogging back in 2020, because I was annoyed with some recurring technical glitches, I had no idea how long ‘temporary’ would last. But it feels as though I have gradually let things important to me slip away over the last few years, and I am determined to get them back, one at a time. This blog today is one of those baby steps!
If I had to guess, I would say I am probably not the only person who has felt as though things got off track somehow. It can be a bit disconcerting to stop, really look around, and wonder how you got to… wherever it is you are. And luckily, in most cases, it is possible to turn around and get back on track.
Which is the point I am at now. While in some ways I did make some breakthroughs with my writing the last couple years, in other ways I have felt a bit bogged down. However, a recent epiphany is helping me to get ‘unstuck.’ You see, with the help of a good friend, I realized something about my writing. It turns out, I do not write historical romance – I write historical fiction which happens to have a touch of romance in it. (Because I still am a firm believer in stories which leave you in a good mood at the end.)
Surprisingly, reaching this conclusion felt like a good thing. Yes, it meant I had to go back and make some tweaks to my existing stories. But on the up side, it meant I could focus on the overall plot, without constantly thinking, “But I have to remember to add the romance, too.” (Perhaps I should have wondered a long time ago why I had to keep reminding myself that I wrote romance. Maybe this should have been some sort of indicator!)
However, since I did not recognize this clue in the past, my recent hiatus has proven to be a good thing. I believe this is often the case. After all, there is a reason why the adage about clouds with silver linings came to be. Slowing down after taking what appeared to be a wrong turn gave me the opportunity to see my life and my writing from a new perspective.
Has the same happened in your life? I would encourage each of you to look at some nagging irritation in your life with fresh eyes. Maybe there is a lesson it is trying to teach you, or some benefit you have not yet seen. Even if you do not see anything positive right away, is it ever really a bad thing to take a few moments to assess where we are at? I hope each one of you discovers you are exactly where you are meant to be, even if it is not where you thought you wanted to be.
I hope everyone is staying well and staying sane these days. It seems everyone is finding new ways to stay busy. Personally, I have found myself spending many hours in a comfortable chair in our den, ostensibly writing, but often looking out the patio door at the birds and squirrels in our back yard.
I must have mentioned this to my son and his wife a time or three, because they not only surprised me for Mother’s Day last Sunday, but they also managed to give me something to help with my new hobby.
The surprise came into play when they called me Sunday afternoon and asked me to come into our den. (My husband was in on the surprise, and made sure I was nowhere near that room until they were ready.) When I walked into the room, I saw a large card/sign taped to the outside of our patio door, facing me so I could read it. My son and his family were standing on the patio, grinning at me. I opened the door, and was able to talk with them while I opened my gift.
The gift bag included, among other things, some handmade bird food, shaped and put on a string so I can hang them on tree branches. I suspect our granddaughters had a lot of fun patting the bird seed mixture into cookie cutters to make the shapes. I will hang them where I can sit in my chair and watch the birds enjoying the food. Once we are able to do things together again, they have promised to help me identify locations for additional feeders, bird baths, etc. and then help me pick them out in a store.
I suppose that is one positive which has developed while we are all stuck in our homes. We are not just finding creative ways to fill our time. We are also finding clever ways to stay connected with the ones we love. While I cannot wait to have the quarantine end, I hope we all remember to stay in touch once it is lifted.
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.