Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Unwinding after the unwrapping

A Happy Boxing Day shout-out to our friends in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia!

I love Christmas. The weeks of preparation, the slow build of excitement, the black moments (no Nintendo Wii’s to be found anywhere!), the happily-ever-afters (Best Buy just got a shipment of them in!)…the season plays out like the plot arc of a good novel. All my favorite story elements are there: Romance - mistletoe hanging in doorways…Adventure – the search for the Lost Ark is nothing to the search for the last minute gift… Magic – elves, Santa Claus, flying reindeer …and Love - family and friends gathered together.

So maybe that’s why the days after Christmas give me the same feeling as writing “the end” on a manuscript. I’ve been so focused on the holiday that now I can finally look around, stretch, and see what else is happening in life. As much as I enjoyed it all, I feel like I can finally unwind and relax for awhile.

Today I might finally go see the movie Enchanted, if I can talk one of the four males in my family into going with me (ha!), or I might read one of the books I got for Christmas - I’ve just discovered Loretta Chase, and I also received Sharon Shinn’s Archangel - or maybe I’ll hit the stores and see if there’s any good sales.

What are you up to in these days after Christmas? Are you still celebrating with family, back to work, enjoying some time off? And those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, do you have any special plans this time of year?


Trish Milburn said...

I like the days between Christmas and New Year's because it's clean up and plan for the new year time.

I'm reading The Amber Spyglass, the last in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I'd like to go see I Am Legend, but not sure we'll get around to it.

Holli Bertram said...

I hear you about planning for the new year. I'm pretty sure that a bizarre quirk in the space/time continuum is now causing the years to move faster, so I'll be standing in this same spot next year, wondering what happened, if I don't have a plan.

I haven't read His Dark Materials trilogy yet. I think I have the first two books on my TBR pile, so they're on my list!

Mel Hiers said...

Hiya Holly!

I love Sharon Shinn! One of my favorites is Jenna Starborn. It's a Sci Fi take on Jane Eyre. It sounds a little weird, but it's very well done!

I got to go right back to work after the holidays, but we're planning a trip to see the fam in Indiana next month. :-)

Holli Bertram said...


A sci-fi Jane Eyre sounds fascinating.

I visited Bloomington in March last year. Ran into a wicked snow storm that made driving a real adventure. Hope you have sunny weather and clear roads for your trip.

Anonymous said...

I love sleeping in, relaxing....holding our new kitten Pippin....will send you pictures....I believe Beth and I are planning on being with you tonight in Ann Arbor.....I would like to see Enchanted again....I also want to see August Rush....is that still showing? Missed you lots on Christmas day!!!!

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Holli, what a wonderful analogy, the romance of Christmas, the holiday season as compared to the arc of a romance story. Personally I avoid the dark moments as much as possible now when writing, a lot of reasons. One being my personal life experiences. The other, to be honest, the dark moments just got to be too much in the romance novels I was reading. Does anyone else feel that way? Or do you all luv the dark moment? What I like about this time of year, is that it seems like its a breath between the old year and new year. A time to take in a big breath, a time to step back, take in the breaths of just living and look at what happened last year, then prepare for the new. New Year blessings to All.

Holli Bertram said...

I think black moments are a fascinating topic. The Smart Bitches site had an entry on this subject recently. It's true that the black moment seems to be "greying" in a lot of novels these days. Like all things, some readers love it, some not so much.

Heidi - sleeping late and relaxing sounds like a great way to unwind after Christmas. And yea! Someone to see Enchanted with.

Mel Hiers said...

"Does anyone else feel that way? Or do you all luv the dark moment?"

Shoot, Savanna, that could be a blog post in and of itself! I'm strictly a happy ending girl, but I think dark points in a book makes the happy things that much brighter. On the other hand, I try to avoid books made up entirely of angst and dark things. I like humor too much! :P

It gets really icy and gross in Indiana in the winter, Holli.. I'm from the North end, but went to school in Terre Haute. A town so boring, we'd hang out in Bloomington on weekends. *grin* And I totally misspelled your name this morning! Note to self: no posting until I've consumed caffiene. Sorry about that! :-(

Tammy said...

I got the newest Paula Quinn for Christmas and the new John Grisham...can't wait. Just finished Eloisa James' newest.

As to the black moment - it's what I judge a book on. Some black moments...and it's usually the ones caused by misunderstandings or hurt feelings rather than outside forces such as the heroine being kidnapped, etc....give me a tingly feeling at the back of my neck. Even though you know they'll work it out (obviously!), if I get the tingles, I know it was a good one for me.

Savanna Kougar said...

Mel, that's a good idea about exploring the dark moment or black moment in books, especially romances. Being a happy-ever-after girl myself, and yeah, I can't do the endless angst thing either -- the dark moment could make the ending so much more brighter. It may be that if that moment is truly organic to the story instead of a plot contrivance, that could be the difference. Then again, I think people miss the magic of living sometimes if they depend on a black moment for a happy ending???

Holli Bertram said...

For me, it depends on what kind of mood I'm in. If I'm really engaged by the characters, and am having fun tagging along on their budding romance, or whatever, I don't need a pitch black moment to enjoy a book. Sometimes I don't want my emotions all churned up - my day might have done that for me already.

But I also understand what Tammy is saying about the tingle at the back of your neck, that black moment that grabs you by the throat and wrenches your gut and makes you keep reading. Those tend to be the books you can't forget.