I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season! We have a new tree this year—since we’re in a new house that has higher ceilings than the last one, I splurged on a gorgeous flocked tree that is taller than our old one, and I love it so much I’m already dreading the day it has to come down!
I’m about halfway done with my Christmas shopping, and thankfully my list was pretty easy this year. Most years I have at least one person I struggle to come up with ideas for, but this year I feel good about my choices.
More than anything this year, I’m just trying to enjoy every moment with my loved ones. We’ve had a roller coaster couple of years, so this year I’m determined to fully embrace the holidays and all the wonderful traditions that go along with them. That means baking cookies, assembling gingerbread houses, and watching as many Hallmark Christmas movies as my husband and kids can stand. (I don’t care how cheesy—I love every snowball fight, interrupted kiss, and easily resolved misunderstanding that every single movie seems to have!)
In my writing life, I’ve only written one true Christmas story—Sweet Southern Christmas, the historical story in Love Finds You at Home for Christmas.
I never really gave much thought to penning another Christmas story.
Until a couple of weeks ago.
Which came as a shock!
It’s no secret that I struggled—really struggled—to write the final story in my Arcadia Valley Series. A Reservation for Romance released last month, and after it was finally out into the world, I expected to take a big long writing break while I regrouped and decided what to do next.
But then something funny happened—the first line of a new story popped into my head. And it was Christmas-themed. Try as I might, I couldn’t make it stop. That first line just wouldn’t leave me alone.
Oh, I tried to ignore it for a few days. I’d push it aside only to have it come back again. So, I finally wrote it down, thinking maybe if I just got the opening down on paper, the nagging feeling would go away.
That didn’t work. Soon, the first line became an opening paragraph. Then another followed. Soon, I had a chapter. And then I found myself creating a cast of characters and dreaming up a plot.
And guess what? I found joy in writing again. Maybe it’s because no one is expecting this story, so there are no parameters I’m writing within. I’m just writing for fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. And there’s a chance that The Trouble with Christmas will never see the light of day. Right now, it’s just for me. When I have a few minutes, I write a little more on it, just to see where it goes. It seems like the Christmas season has brought out my creativity, and for that I am thankful!
I guess there are lots of ways a book comes about, so maybe a book the author never really set out to write can be one of them. If I ever decide the story is worth sharing, I’ll let you know! And in the meantime, I’m having fun crafting a Christmas story that centers around characters who are in their 40’s and beyond (gasp!) and allowing them to find romance and happiness during the Christmas season. (and there isn’t a single snowball fight…but I make no promises on interrupted kisses!)
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! And speaking of Christmas—if you’re the “Christmas Movie” watcher like I am, tell me one of your favorites in the comments. I’m always up for suggestions. (as for me—we watch Home Alone at least once each Christmas, I love Trading Christmas so much that I finally purchased it so I can watch whenever I want, and my favorite new movie so far for 2018’s Christmas movie season has been Christmas Everlasting!)