Five Ways to Feel Christmassy… and Fail

1.  Christmas cookies burned.

2.  Looked at trees today.  It’s Dec. 7th, and the trees were totally picked over.

3.  There’s no Christmas music tonight that isn’t annoying me.  Really, “Feliz Navidad,” again?

4.  Had to give up making an snowman ornament because I kept pricking myself with the pins to make it.  And I had the wrong size pom-poms to make the ear-muffs anyway.

5.  Went to put up some Christmas lights in the front window, and put some on the Nordic Island pine that is in the window as well, but of course on both strings that I brought out (which were working last year), half of the lights were off.  If a 100 bulbs had to be busted, I wish it had been one entire string, and not 50 on both.  But now I’ll have to try to figure out which lights are blown on both strings.  It’s a real bitch to pull the lights in and out of their sockets too.  I got through 20 lights on one strand and thumb and forefinger are crabbing at the effort.  (Also, I’m afraid of breaking a nail.)

I know, I know, I know.  First World Pains.

White Christmas

Saturday’s Christmas snow was a special gift from Santa–in my whole life, no matter where I was on Christmas day, it had never snowed before, and it’s always something I hope for.  It was lovely, wasn’t it?  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it was the first white Christmas that the city has seen since 1882–118 years.  I think I’ll write a poem about it, though I don’t know what my approach will be.  It will have to simmer in my brain a few days, I think.

Thank heavens we didn’t have to be anywhere–we just stayed in.  I was  very glad that Mom had decided to rent a car and come anyway (after the transmission debacle), and fortunately, she got in late on Christmas Eve, so she wasn’t traveling in the weather, which would have been nerve-wracking for all concerned.

As for Christmas Day itself, I cooked my traditional Christmas lasagne, and we also had asparagus.  I also attempted, once again, to make an apple-cranberry pie.  But I am firm believer that our craptastic oven has  “attempt at baking” detection, because every time I try to bake a sweet, something wrong happens.  This time, it was a charred pie top.  Which is so fricken’ annoying!  I think getting an oven thermometer is an idea whose time is long past.

And it’s only sweet things that get fouled up.  I’ve baked bread and muffins in the oven and have had no problem.  Pies, however, it hates to cook.  Maybe what I need to do the next time is just not cook the apple pie the full 2 hours.  Or maybe I should just buy a pie next time–save myself the hassle.

But the lasagne and asparagus were good.  And of course I set a beautiful table with candles, snowman placemats, red chargers, snow-white napkins, red-handled utensils (the ones Grace sent as a wedding gift last year), and our Wedgwood Nantucket Basket wedding china.

After dinner, we opened presents and watched a silly Christmas movie on tv.  It was a really nice Christmas.

I hope yours was too.

 

 

Happy New Writing Year!

Says Chris:  “Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start writing again.”

I’m paraphrasing, but he’s not wrong.  Frankly, I had great plans of writing over the break–especially the furlough days, courtesy of the State of Georgia.  But there always seems to be more to do at the holidays than you think there is–putting parties together, shopping for Christmas dinner, cooking, wrapping gifts, getting ready for family visits, driving everywhere…  And then it’s over, and you haven’t much to show for it, other than an overly-boring list of announcements about leveling up in one game or another on Facebook.

I’m sad that Christmas is over–and not just because having the days off was nice.  I don’t need to pontificate about how the reality never measures up to the hype, though I had a good Christmas day with Chris, and later my Mom, who showed up around 7:30 p.m. (and my wild mushroom lasagne for Christmas dinner was amazing).  But you go into the stores now, and see things on 75% clearance, and everything looks so sad and broken, and you wonder how it can be gone so quickly, and forgotten.

Anyway, it’s 2010 now, and since I accomplished my goal of getting a chapbook accepted for publication last year (although it won’t be out until this July–and believe me, I will be reminding all of you when Finishing Line is doing the pre-sale), my new resolution is to write a full-length collection that will be ready for the contest route in 2011.

I just need a theme (what I call the “gimmick”) that can help guide me in writing and shaping the collection–I mean, for La Petite Mort, the gimmick was the voice–it ruled the poems, both in subject matter and in tone.  I need something like that to help me begin writing the new collection; otherwise, I will continue to write a lot of random, unrelated poems that could never be a book.  (I just wish I’d be hit soon with some divine inspiration about what that theme/ gimmick could be.  *Sigh.*)

And I suppose the best thing about heading back to work is that our writing group will gear back up.  I really, really need that discipline.

Anyway, Happy New Year, everyone.  I hope it’s filled with poems, publications, and pleasant good times.