By Shirley E. Gould
We, authors, polish our prose as our word counts rise in order to share our stories with the masses. It’s tedious work we’ve dared to under-take. I’ve been working on a contemporary romantic suspense series for some time now. Observing trends in the industry, I see authors adding a Christmas novella as a prequel to their novels. As the count-down to Christmas continues, it would be advantageous to slow down and savor the season. In doing this, we have a perfect opportunity to glean ideas and endless fodder for amazing Christmas stories.
Our senses are heightened during this time of the year. Savoring a latte on Black Friday keeps us energized in our search for the perfect gifts at discount prices. Traditional Christmas cookies and candies satisfies our sweet tooth. Add to that the party foods and salty snacks in abundance at Christmas parties. But nothing is better than gathering in Mom’s kitchen as we look forward to the tastes of our holiday meals from the turkey and dressing to the endless desserts.
The scent of pies in the oven, a turkey being carved and apple cider with cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove smells like Christmas. Mixed with the smell of an evergreen tree and the fresh garland on the staircase, its winter at its best.
The Salvation Army bell-ringer send a clarion call for assistance to the less fortunate, carolers harmonize their carols and children sing Christmas songs adding to the sounds of the season. Christmas music is heard in stores and restaurants. On Christmas Day you hear the sounds of family from noisy toys, baby giggles, loud conversations, toasts of good wishes and football cheers. Stop and listen. It’s a treasure of ideas.
Twinkling lights on Christmas trees reflect their glow on the presents wrapped in shiny paper, adding to the effect. Smiles of family and friends make fighting traffic worth the effort. Santa and his elves add to the season as children line up to give their wish lists to a stranger in red. Churches capitalize on the real meaning of Christmas through plays, cantatas and manger scenes. The Hallmark Channel offers endless Christmas movies that bring these sights to your television screen in the comfort of your homes.
Feeling a chill in the air as Bing Crosby dreams about a White Christmas, we bundle up and get the shopping done. We wrap the presents, tie the bows and enjoy the hugs when we give the gift. Children feel excitement mixed with anticipation as the big day approaches while those with someone missing at the table grieve their loss. Many people attend church once a year on Christmas and are touched by the story of Jesus’ birth.
Amid the travel plans and traffic, the Christmas parties and school programs, life takes on a party atmosphere. You’re either preparing for it, enjoying it or cleaning up after it. Your budget is stretched and your feet are tired. But making memories is worth the effort. And, next year we will do it all again.
Authors, don’t let the details of this magical season pass you by.
Buffy Andrews said…Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.
So, writing friends, take good notes. It will prove to be an invaluable resource as you pen a Christmas themed manuscript. You’ll be thankful for this information if you find yourself writing in the heat of summer.
Shirley E. Gould is an inspirational speaker, an African missionary and a freelance journalist. She’s founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children in Kenya, East Africa. Shirley has written articles and newsletters for twenty years and is presently writing Christian Fiction novels. She lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area.