i'm a writer. other stuff too.
As a photographer, I often take pictures of everyday life. I take pictures of buildings, sunsets, things I find interesting. Even if everyone else around me thinks I’m off my rocker. But a lot of the time, I don’t whip out my camera or even my iphone to take pictures at family events. Somehow, I don’t even think about it. This happens with writing as well. When I was at Thanksgiving this year, I had a few moments where I thought, “remember this. Write about it.” The only thing I actually remember is walking downstairs in the evening, hours after the Big Dinner, and bringing up armloads of food for everyone to pick at for supper. I remember taking in the smell of the musty basement and the feeling of the stillness of the creepy half-finished, very old basement. It contrasted so much with the recently remodeled kitchen above my head and the steady hum of conversation, cheers from a football game, and laughter from the board games being played. But I never wrote about any of it, and all I have left is a sliver of what I could have had. Writing everyday is important, it makes us writers a lot better. A huge gigantic tonnage better. So on to the point, eh?
Well, I’m not Jewish, and I’ve never celebrated Hanukkah before. The point of this post is that the holidays are upon us, and if you are serious about writing, you should be able to see the get-togethers, or even lack of them, as an opportunity. No one makes us feel That Certain Way like family. Whether you are feeling lonely, or overwhelmed, or obligated…whether you are dreading this month or looking forward to it, you are probably feeling something. So write about it. Emotional times lend the best material, in my experience.
I for one, am very excited to have Christmas with my kids. Finally, no babies! Babies don’t get it at all! My kids probably won’t either, they are only 1 1/2 and 3, but we are making some progress. I’m also looking forward to seeing a good friend that lives way too far away. Pretty much everything else, I’m dreading. Christmas night, my cousin, sister, aunt, mom, and I have an annual Phase 10 game, that lasts for hours on Christmas night, where we all laugh and fight and someone always gets mad and leaves the game. We reminisce about what it was like when my Gramma was still alive. Where the stubborn streak in my family shows it’s evil face as we all tough it out to the end. I’m so gonna win this year.
Everything else, I’m pretty much dreading. Having to have Christmas with two new families, instead of with my mom and dad. All of a sudden, I find myself with a handful of new step-brothers and step-sisters-in-law and my kids are no longer the only grandkids. Everything I loved about Christmas when I was growing up is gone.
I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season. But whatever happens, as a writer, you can use it.