Month: December 2016

Starting the new year right…with a stolen calendar

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That’s right. I stole a 2017 calendar. And there I sat, not feeling guilty in the slightest, not looking worriedly over my shoulder for a security guard, but absolutely delighted with my stolen property and even laughing a little.

Joining in the merriment of my theft were all of my coworkers (which sounds really bad when I add that we’re a church staff!). I hope the one from whom I took the very nice 2017 spiral-bound date book was as merry as the rest. After all, that’s the whole idea of the game Dirty Santa.

I drew an early number and selected from the unopened packages a nice item, some kind of little Sterno-fueled heater, new in its box, and I was prepared to make use of that gismo had it come home with me. However, it was stolen by another player. Just in case that should happen, already I had been eyeing some cookies and other opened gifts. But, when the one resting on my lap went elsewhere, I suddenly decided I had to have that planner.

You can ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you: I am driven to work ahead. If I can do some of Tuesday’s tasks on Monday, and Thursday’s on Wednesday, etc., that is a good week.

It’s December 29 as I write this, and I plan to start three days early on new year’s resolutions. Aside from getting those extra holiday calories worked off, I have three personal goals I’d like to achieve before 1/1/2017:
1. Finish knitting a baby hat
2. Re-organize my closet shelf
3. Get back into writing my second novel

Making any progress on goal #3  between now and January 1 will jumpstart a very large 2017 goal, that of completing the first draft of said novel.

Enough about my personal goals. But here’s another list you may find useful. These are a few important “new year” reminders I plan to keep in front of me for the foreseeable future.  Not only keep them in front of me, but say them out loud every day. Perhaps they will help you, too, while much talk rumbles about a new year, a new you, a new presidential administration, and those greatest of faith-challenging action words, hope and fear. Here the reminders are, and you can see in the photo above that I have written them on the January page of my Dirty Santa spoils.

  • God can do anything.
  • God commands us to ask of Him.
  • No place on earth is out of God’s reach.
  • God loves His children and longs for their good and holy desires, which reflect His desires, to be realized.
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Free Christmas fiction!

Stranded by a winter storm on the way to visit relatives during the holidays, the Wilkins family is forced to seek shelter in a home where grief from a recent tragedy has forever changed the meaning of Christmas.

Dear readers,

I am posting my one and only novella, which is also my one and only work of Christmas fiction thus far. It’s not published except by myself as a free gift to anyone interested in reading it. I wrote this story in 2010 and have since learned that it’s “against the rules” to narrate as the author, telling readers straight out what different characters are thinking, simultaneously. In other words, writing from “third person omniscient” point of view is OUT. (Unless you’re a Jane Austen or anyone else successful enough to make your own rules.)

But, as Hallmark Channel movies frequently suggest, “It’s Christmas! Anything can happen.” So, my “anything” Christmas miracle is to dispense with the “no head-hopping” rule long enough to offer you a work that is a story I believe in, no matter that it was written without the professional enlightenment that writers’ conferences like ACFW have since afforded me. I revised it significantly in recent weeks, except for “correcting” the point of view.

Catch several shout-outs to Grace Livingston Hill if you will. (references to her works, and, I hope, a little mimicry of her style)

For whatever entertainment and inspiration it may bring to you, here is The Carols’ Secret Message.

Merry Christmas!

 

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