Here’s my newest 4-pronged update:
Well, the writer’s group was cancelled last week. It’s OK, though! The flu is going around like CRAZY and virtually everyone was sick. Therefore, we’ve moved the first meeting to this coming Thursday. It gives me extra time to prepare, so it’s all good.
As far as my book goes, I’m into a whole new section. I’m excited about that! But, I’m about 10 pages in, and I’m not really happy with what’s on paper. It feels…. I don’t know…. Generic? I’ll reread it tomorrow and see how things feel.
Sooooooo I sang at church for the first time Saturday. I was SOOOOOO nervous! I shouldn’t have been. There’s nothing to lose (it’s a tiny church desperate for a singer), but I put so much pressure on myself, I was really stressed.
However, it went amazingly well! I was doing this thing in practice where I’d jump from the 2nd verse on one line to the 3rdverse on the next line. It was freaking me out!! However, when the time came, I sang all the right words and notes. And I got to hit a couple high notes that felt solid.
Now it’s time to pat myself on the back a bit then learn the songs for next week.
Enjoying the Area
Ummmm… well, we went on a walk to Circle K today. LOL, that’s really it for sightseeing. It’s pretty sad but there was SOOO much going on this week. And, with Windy being sick, no one really wanted to get out. I think that will change next weekend. Bring it on!
Random Learnings or Stories
OK this is a random one. So it’s the 27th of January and I’m still thinking about the holidays. Let me rephrase that: I’m still mourning the holidays but I’m angry with them at the same time! Honestly, something about the season has always bothered me. I swear January 1stis actually the worst day for me because I feel a sense of dread about the end of it all. I think we all do, but I’ve been pondering why it affects me so badly. I seriously get sad about it all. It’s not like I’m mega uber religious; a lot of what I love is the hustle and bustle of the season. I’m the weirdo who LOVES going to the malls on Black Friday. I enjoy feeling the energy from so many people on a mission.
Either way, it shouldn’t be such a major deal, emotionally, when it all ends. But it is. And I think I finally figured out why! Here we go:
The insight that jumped out at me is actually related to a piece of fiction (I guess I suddenly became aware because I’m so immersed in the craft of writing). All great stories follow a similar arc. Can you feel high school English flying back in your face? If not, maybe this will help push you over the edge:
In a nutshell, most stories have an introduction, some conflict, a climax, and then some sort of resolution. All those pieces together take a person on a journey then leave them at a place where they feel satisfied. Keep in mind, satisfied doesn’t have to mean happy or joyous; it just means everything is resolved to a point where the readers feel content (even if they are crying their eyes out).
Well, if you apply these tenets of writing to the holiday season, it fails miserably. You have an introduction that begins at Thanksgiving. Then you have action/conflict which I think is the hustle and bustle of the season. It could be frantically decorating the house, buying gifts, travelling. They’re all action events around which conflict and interesting moments can occur. Next, you have the climax, which I think is the Christmas/New Year’s shebang!
After that, there’s nothing.
The holiday season has no resolution whatsoever. Nothing to gently lower you from the climax into a satisfied place. The day after New Year’s, all holiday music suddenly (and abruptly) ceases to exist. The amazing displays in stores vanish to the “bargain bin.” Extended holiday hours suddenly go back to normal. Work resumes as usual. Lights disappear, trees evaporate, spirit ceases to exist. And all this happens in the span of the minute between 11:59PM and 12:00AM on January 2nd.
I realized, today, that I need some sort of resolution! It feels completely unsatisfying with everything just vanishing at once. What if, in Harry Potter, the book ended on the very page Voldemort died? What if there was no cleanup, no interesting story about their future selves, nothing? It would be awful. That’s the holidays, folks!
Ultimately, I compare my feelings about the holiday season to a break-up. When a couple tries and tries but eventually fail, the breakup hurts but the pair can move forward OK. However, when a relationship abruptly ends (maybe one person was cheating or just decided to make a sudden break), it causes so much more pain to the poor victim.
I need the holidays to break up with me slowly! Stores should close 10 minutes earlier each night. Christmas music should still be in the rotation but gradually removed. House lights should be taken down one strand per night.
Then I would feel better about the holidays. The story would have a satisfying resolution.