Monday, December 15, 2008

Kicking the Holiday Blues

This has got to be the hardest time of the year. We remember people who are gone and, frankly, cry. A friend of mine once told me that it's all right to cry, "tears are like rain and help us grow." He was right.

Then everything gets harder when you go shopping. You can't blame people for shopping online. Too many people. Too short tempers. Too much stress. Too many expectation.

There's also a biological reason some people feel sad during this time of the year. S.A.D. is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Here's the website for what the Mayo Clinic says about it.

Personally, and I can only say the following works for me--I try to be busy, eat healthy, and get enough rest. I kickbox, which helps me on many levels. While doing my kickboxing, I tend to zone out and my mind experiences peace.

Going to worship service and lunching with friends brings me past the peace into joy. So does staying warm with family and curling up with my laptop.

May everyone have a happy holiday experience regardless of what you celebrate. Look past the shopping lines and gruff voices and hear the music of life. It's there. It's you.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Writing Kicks

Today is a splendid day for writing. Why? Well, it's 10 degrees Fahrenheit here. Even the birds at the feeder are all fluffed up trying to keep warm. There's nothing like curling up on the sofa with a laptop and writing away. When the story flows, it's like blood flowing through your veins. Lately I've had the opportunity to learn so much. My ending was all wrong for a chapter, so I took one of my favorite books off the shelf and examined the ending of a chapter. Oh, mine had been so lackluster. So the key is to leave the reader on the edge of something, wanting more, needing to know the next sentence. I recut the ending of that chapter.

Later I will be warming up by kickboxing. I feel every writer needs an activity that gets the heart going and clears our minds out even for just a while. I don't know about you, but my mind operates at about light speed--no joke. At least it feels that way. I usually have at least 8 things to do in addition to several story lines being juggled in my brain at any one time. There are other ideas and concepts that linger on the edge waiting for me to notice. As a friend of mine frequently says, "There's always something." And since that is the case for so many of us, it is a luxury to linger on one thing--spend time with it--caressing a story with the keyboard.

I enjoy doing a lot of things, but writing kicks. It's the thing I always go back to. A writer the other day was giving me his word counts. I guess on a bad day I write 200 words, which is a page. On a great day, I can easily write over 2,000. I'll let you do the math. Sometimes I think of making jewelry or cookies or painting or playing the flute, but when push comes to shove, I'm happiest writing. At the end of all times, I want to remember all the great things I've done and people I've known and in some cases loved, but I don't want to regret that I didn't write enough. I think I'm finally writing at a rate that makes me happy.