All That Christmas Brings

It is such a busy time of the year. Christmas is just eight days away, snow is falling and cold weather is setting in, and songs are being sung as people get their frantic shopping done. The smells of cinnamon and nutmeg, ringing of bells and laughter, twinkling of lights on trees, and houses all dressed up for the big day. I love the joy this holiday brings to pe0ple of all ages, and I love the happiness that spreads from person to person. If only this excitement could last for more than just this season.

Our humble Christmas treeLooking at my Christmas tree makes me appreciate the year that is passing; each red Christmas bow seems to represent a great accomplishment achieved; every bulb is a light in my life that I can smile about; each branch upon the tree is a path taken to get to this very blessed moment. I plan to capture as many memories as I can and store them for after the holidays, using them as inspiration for all that I want to achieve in the days ahead. 2014 is already looking to be a very busy year, but hopefully by taking these moments to remember back on what I have achieved so far I will continue to use this time to move ahead. Instead of rushing through time to get things done, it is wonderful to slow down and see what is around us. There is inspiration in all the things we do and experience. There are so many reasons to smile and laugh if we just relax enough to see them. It is hard to remember that when the Christmas lights are put away, the tree taken down, and the music turned off.

As we get closer to the end of this most magical season I hope that everyone can continue to feel that joy and love they have felt these last several weeks. Play like a kid in a toy store, sing songs out of tune with your friends, and make strangers smile for no reason at all. It is this happiness that can make the excitement of Christmas last all year long. May there be peace in the fighting countries, good health and happiness among families and friends, and love between people of all ages. Merry Christmas to everyone!

What is it about writing?

What is it about the craft of writing that is so special to me? First of all, when I speak I fumble all over my words and cannot seem to manage to say what it is I want to say. The mouth and the brain don’t seem to meet in the middle with me. I have great thoughts but by the time they reach the vocal cords they are completely messed up. There is little more horrifying for me than making the impossible first impression even worse by speaking.

But that isn’t the only reason that writing is the communication form I choose. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I had all sorts of great stories in my head in school and I loved to bring them to life on paper. I was so excited in English class when we had a creative writing day. Everything about it excited me…brainstorming, word collages, character sketches, setting ideas, and so much more. It was all a blur during those fifteen minutes of free writing: my quickened breathing, heart racing, palms sweating, mind whirring with scenes too fast to get the full picture. I could feel my face flush in the heat that was rising within me. Was I writing or running a race? It sometimes felt like the same thing. But I never got the satisfaction in class of crossing the finish line because it all ended too soon. I wanted it to last forever, or at least until I got the main idea sorted out. Alas, the teacher ruined my progress and textbooks were switched with creative muse. Ah, the hell of it all.

I didn’t suffer for long though. I was up in the wee hours of the night writing by moonlight or a dim bedside table light. A poem, a short story, a quick character sketch – that was all it took to satisfy the need burning inside. This feeling and routine continued into the teen years and early adulthood. By my mid-twenties, I was carrying a bag that contained a writing notebook, file of latest ideas being worked on, dictionary, thesaurus, masses of pens, pencils, highlighters, eraser, white out, and a book of writing prompts for when I came against my enemy, Writer’s Block. That bag went with me everywhere…and I do mean everywhere. I worked full time, and the bag came on the bus and my breaks with me. I had a day off, it went to the local Tim Horton’s with me. I went to visit someone, the bag came along too. My writing bag wasn’t just filled with useful things to get by in moments of boredom; that bag was a part of me as much as my arms and legs. I wasn’t complete until I topped off the day with something I had written. I was a writer in every sense of the word. I lived it, breathed it, and loved it.

So what is it about writing, you ask? It’s everything. It’s the turmoil of being stuck, the anxiety of what is missing, the doubt of am I good enough, the earth-moving climax of a finalized edit as it gets turned in for the final time. The passion that comes forth from my fingers while typing on the keyboard or writing with a perfectly flowing pen on nice paper fills me in a way that nothing else can. Very few relationships in my life have even come close to when I write because it is a relationship with the inner me that very few ever meet. Writing is the pathway to the real me. And nothing excites me more than getting to know that person again.

Another moment that is passionately written…

Coming Back to Me

Dear Pain and Depression,

You have been a part of my life for a lot of years now. In the beginning you sat in the background just to let me know you were there. But this last decade you have taken over the driver’s seat and led me into areas I would not wish to go. It is time for me to take back command. I will bring you along, but this is my time, my life, and my journey. Now, sit back, shut up, and enjoy the adventure. Oh, and tell Judgment he won’t be needed any more. Sammie is coming back!

Through my passion of writing, I plan to get back all the drive I once had and accomplish all that I know I can. Don’t hold back…it is passionately written.