Christmas Unwrap

This year was another one of those years where I just didn’t feel the Christmas spirit. It seems like one moment, it was summer and I was riding my bike around everywhere, and then the next moment it was winter and Christmas was here. What the frak happened to this year? It slipped by elusively through my fingers. I guess I was extremely busy… 4,753 miles is definitely pretty busy. A sermon that occupied my mind through the month of September and half of October. I picked up a few more volunteer positions. I changed jobs. That’s busy.

Still working on the writing thing, but I think I’ve changed my approach. I’m in the mood for fiction of the late. I started working on (and researching for, in a matter of speaking) my “rock star” story. This is coming along quite well… All the characters are revealing details about themselves to me each day. I’m getting that excited yearning to write and I even found myself day-dreaming a scene for the book the other day. I’ve also started looking at a short story I started a year and a half ago–a science-fiction piece about, yes, a young widow. Not surprisingly, there’s a young widow in both my rock star story and my short story and–even funnier–I just realized I gave the dead husband in both stories the same name (Mark!). I must like the name Mark or something. I’ve decided to change the name of the guy in the short story since it’s less intertwined with my plot than the rock star story has become. But I thought it was extremely funny that I used the same name in both stories.

Lest you think I’m wearing out the young widow angle in my writing, be assured that I probably will just need to get the lead out in a few stories at first. I promise not to overdo it later in life. I currently have nothing published so it’s safe. I’ve partially decided to not go the memoir route because, I don’t know, it seems I have more latitude in fiction. Getting into the messy details of my personal life may be a little more exposure than I want or am ready to handle. I have certain things to say about widowhood and life through widowhood and I think I can express them better through fiction. Of course, details of my real life eek into my fiction–it does with every writer. I think I’m going to still work on publishing a few smaller memoir-style pieces (such as the first chapter I wrote ages ago) into some sort of publication… And I really need to research places where I could submit such pieces… But nothing’s impossible. Just getting my writing out there is the point. And it’s not all about being a widow, either; it’s about my love of writing and my desire to become a published writer.

Fiction’s the hardest route, though, and I realize that. Essentially, though, I guess it really doesn’t matter if I don’t publish this rock star story. I’m having fun writing it. I’m having fun thinking about it. That’s the important thing. If I could get that level of concentration and absorption I used to get when writing, it would be enough to make me feel fulfilled. Writing used to feel like reading a book, except one I could control, and I want to get back to that. Maybe after I die, someone will shuffle through my stuff, read it, and find it interesting. I don’t know.

My Christmas overall was okay. I did the usual things–skied Christmas Eve (my new tradition) at Boston Mills, attended my family’s Christmas Eve party, stayed overnight at my parents’ and did the family thing on Christmas. It was all very low-key and normal. Another cousin announced she was pregnant, another one of my mom’s siblings becomes a grandparent. I felt a tinge of bittersweet sadness for what could have been in my life but was not (it’s so hard to not get that way, even when you try very hard to stop yourself). My best friend Melissa called to tell me she was engaged. I went skiing on Sunday at Seven Springs with my friend Janet to unwind from the holiday overload.

Now comes my holiday–New Year’s. This is always my favorite. New beginnings, the promise of new adventures in the coming year, a big party to bring it all in. Well, in my case, the big party is–yes, again–skiing in upstate New York. I’ll ski all day and then maybe hang out in the main lodge to bring in midnight. The ski resort I go to has a torch light parade down one of the runs followed by fireworks at midnight. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate New Year’s, really; this is how I’ve spent it for the last three years now. I guess I cling to routine. But it’s nice to make my own traditions.

It looks like I’ve been conned persuaded to go to yet another U2 concert in the coming year. I was already going to two–E. Lansing, Michigan and Pittsburgh, PA–but one of the girls on a fan forum I frequent may have talked me into going to Philadelphia with her and a bunch of other forum girls. I just need to get another GA ticket that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg since Ticketmaster is officially sold out on GA for that show. I would like to say that I’m considering this current dalliance into super-fandom research for my rock star story. Sadly, I think the real truth of the matter is, I’m a super-fan. Oh, boy. The last time I was this crazy for a musician was for The Monkees when I was a teenager. I guess I’ve at least advanced to real adult people music?

Anyway, the above-mentioned arm-twister on the forum photoshopped the picture below as part of her campaign.

Bono Asks Mars Girl To Go To Philly

One of the nicest things that happened was that this same girl also surprised me with an extra special gift in the mail. I’d been wanting this Edun scarf because, um, yeah, Bono is always wearing one. Ridiculous, right? Well, all the “Bonogirls”–the girls who worship at the altar of Bono–were buying these scarfs left and right. I’d wanted to get one too but because it was Christmas, I was refusing to buy it for myself. Well, Wednesday last week I get a package in the mail with the Edun label all over it. And I’m in a state of shock because obviously someone has bought it for me. I ripped open that box to find out it was this girl on the forum. She had my address because I participated in a holiday card exchange and she was one of the people with whom I exchanged cards. It was really a sweet thing for her to do and I was really touched. After thanking her profusely, I told her I would repay her generosity with a donation of an equal amount as the scarf to one of my favorite charities to pay forward the giving spirit she inspired (since she didn’t want anything in return). She was pleased. I was just really surprised by the random act of kindness from someone I only knew through online conversations. Amazing. Donation to charity or no, I still owe her a little something when we cross paths… I’ll have to come up with something good.

I have to admit… I feel a little sheepish admitting to the above paragraph (buying clothes to match my favorite rock star??). But I’ll own it because it’s true. But if I ever got to meet any member of U2, I would never admit to this in a million years… I feel like such a dork as it is. But I will not dress in “Bonowear” anywhere where I might run into him… such as a concert… no way!! (Um, yeah, I’m wearing a scarf from your wife’s clothing company because you’re always wearing one just like it….) Dork, dork, dork. I blame my sermon and my would-be rock star novel for this horrible failing in my character. At least I realize how ridiculous my behavior is…. However, that doesn’t seem to make me stop said behavior. Unfortunately. (Okay, it’s admittedly fun to freak geek out on something.)

So, 2011. What’s next? I’m still hoping for hotels in orbit. I’ll be the first one to pay for a trip off Earth for a week. Or two. Stop this planet, I want to get off!

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