Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Chaos

  By Gayle Carline

Everyone here at the Collective has been trying to get their latest novel finished, editing done, book released, etc. They are all nearly collapsing under the weight of their deadlines and begging for a holiday break. Personally, I'm fresh as a daisy.

The guilt is staggering.

You see, I'm working on the third book in my Peri Minneopa mystery series. I keep saying that I'm "in the middle of writing" it, but the truth is, I've only gotten 13,000 words, which is not nearly the middle. While not wanting to rush the process, I want to get it written and edited and out sooner, rather than later.

Time IS money to writers, these days.

In addition to getting this book finished, I have an idea for another mystery, either a standalone or a new series. I can only work one story at a time, so I'm just jotting notes here and there to remind myself what I want to do with the new book while I work on the current project.

So I should be carving out time each day and getting a goodly number of words on the page. It's my plan. My goal. My raison d'être.

But it's also Christmas.

I promise myself I'll write, just as soon as I:

1. Get the Christmas picture taken (see this blog post for how that went).

2. Get the Christmas letter written.

3. Print Christmas card-letter and mail (see this blog post for how that went).

4. Clean living room to prepare for tree.

5. Go get tree.

6. Decorate tree (oh, just go here for the rest of this).

7. Decorate rest of house.

8. Clean rest of house before attempting No. 7.

9. Shop.

10. Shop some more.

This isn't the whole list and you can see how my writing is going. In addition, I still have riding lessons to teach, and riding lessons to take (don't judge, this is my de-stresser), and a Corgi who pouts when bored, so I must walk him and/or play with him at intervals.

So I have one question for my fellow Collective: How the hell do you get anything done during December?

Happy holidays, anyway, from me and my familia!


  1. One of the best things about being an empty-nester is that I'm free to be me. Which means, I don't celebrate Christmas. This has been a gradual process that began with abandoning Christmas cards more than a decade ago. I still see my family on Christmas, but for me, it's just another gathering, no rituals required. But I try not to squelch anyone else's fun. Happy Holidays!

  2. Um . . . done? December? You're kidding, right?

    Oh yeah, that's right. You're the humorous one.

  3. L.J., I doubt if I ever truly give up Christmas. After all, the Christmas letter was how I got into writing, LOL! I WILL scale down, though, eventually, when I stop having to be everyone's damn Norman Rockwell.

    Peg, at least some of you seem to be making progress. Or you're lying.

  4. I hear you Gayle, the Holidays can be rough. I've gotten used to very long days over my career and I tend to break up everything into managable tasks. I'm very new to writing and still trying to find a rhythem but I start work at 7am and usually don;t knock off until midnight (sometimes later). I know I have a very long road to go and I view it as a marathon. That being said, I will always make time for Christmas and family and if I have to choose between that and writing, the writing loses. For me, without the family and the things i hold dear, I have nothig worth writing about.

  5. Gayle, I'm very fortunate to not be hosting any group celebrations this year.

    L.J., I don't know if I envy you or not. As an empty nester, and having relatives far-and-wide, I'm celebrating Christmas at least twice this year.

    On the other hand, I've given myself permission not to stress about perfection (or mailing cards/gifts to arrive before Dec. 25th).

  6. Marlyn: Giving up Christmas has been very liberating! It fits in with my whole new post-50 goal of not doing things I know I won't enjoy just because someone else thinks I should. Life is short. :)

  7. LJ, I'm more than halfway there myself. My two sons are grown up (22 & 24) but still single so they don't really care about Christmas traditions. (That will probably all change when they get married and have kids - or whatever version of that.)

    I'm enjoying this in-between phase where they're not little kids anymore, and they don't have little kids to bring around to Grandma. My Christmas preparations are scaled WAY back these days, and it's great to have the extra time! And money.

    I think Christmas has gotten ridiculously out of hand anyway, with people (mostly women) running themselves ragged with cleaning and shopping and cooking and baking and spending a ton of time and money on gifts that most of the recipients probably aren't that crazy about anyway.... I could go on but I'll stop there! LOL


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