Thursday, December 23, 2010

Writing in a Winter Wonderland

I'll never forget the cold, cold moments of trudging into the warm house after a romp in the snow filled pit in the back field. Clothes wet, no matter how much the tags said they were water resistant. Cheeks flaming red, hair in disarray, glasses instantly fogging in the warmth. Tired, but happy. The ecstasy of the first sip of hot tea and a handful of crunchy Chex Mix. These are moments of purest family togetherness. Though the outside world rages cold and snow, we know there is a warm hearth waiting and the open arms and smiles of a family that welcomes us, wet snow clothes and all.

Isn't that our goal in fiction as well? To take our reader on a journey filled with struggles and angst for our characters and the growth they must sustain, but in the end can take their hand and lead them back to the fires of home and welcome them to the moment that confirms the values you have worked for years to craft and hone.

Such metaphors can be found in any season, but seem to abound in the coldness of winter. Maybe because being indoors, looking out on a blinding white world makes me so reflective. As your family gathers around the holiday dinner table. Possibly with extended friends and family, what brought you to this moment? The road of life is never smooth. Were there travel troubles? Relational issues that almost stopped you from sending that invitation? A loved one that is noticeably missing?

As the children romp in the snow, joining in on the one fight that generally won't get them in trouble, these are the moments that make the greatest memories. And often the ones that provoke others. As you watch your children (or grandchildren) whooping and laughing, what is the emotion coursing through you? Joy? Nostalgia? Perhaps a touch of sadness of something that never was?

Do you have a friend or relative that says your name in a special way that always warms your middle? How loved it makes you feel when you see that person just once in a while? Savor it. Don't let it pass it by. Hold it close and remember that encompassing joy like being wrapped in a warm hug even when that person isn't near to hear their voice.

Take these moments this holiday season and bottle them up. The scent of sugar cookies cooling on the rack. The trill of childish laughter. The fullness of family near and far. The warmth of a full fire. Inhale them all. Mark each one and file it away, so when the manuscript beckons and the characters again become front and center, each of these moments that have made your season so memorable can be pulled out, relived and shared through the pages and lives of your characters.

True to the theme this week on the Alley, as we share memories or moments in our fiction that have been taken from our lives, I ask, do you have a special moment you have bottled to someday share in written word?


Julia M. Reffner said...

This is maybe not so pretty, but someday I long to write something that will help those who are grieving (maybe not even for publication, maybe just to help that one person). God longs to bring beautiful things out of our tragedies. I am not ready to write this story yet, though. Someday. said...

Bless! that was a beautifully written post, full of warmth and interesting thoughts, thank you Oh and i can taste those cookies on my tongue too. HAPPY CHRISTMAS. :O)

Casey said...

JULIA, I think that would be a great post that maybe could even be turned into something more someday. And I agree, God can bring beautiful out of our tragedies. You will know when the moment is right.

MADELEINE, Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to write it as well and I relived so many precious memories. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I would like to have something published that draws someone to ask Jesus into their heart.

When I've told Bible stories to AWANA kids and have had some say they want to ask Jesus into their heart...they show a glow in their cheeks, a spark in their eyes, focused ears, and intriguing responses to my questions. They soaked up the message, and prayed with pure words, then skipped about the room. Nuthin' better...would love to find out when I get to Heaven that the Holy Spirit lead others to ask Jesus in their heart after reading something God let me write.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Oh Casey, I loved this! You captured the essence of the season so beautifully. Since I have ZERO motivation to write or do anything these days, I love the idea of soaking up the memories to pull out when the writing picks up again (hopefully with the new year). :)

Casey said...

MARY, I love it Mary. Wow, that just made me love you more (if at all possible :) Your heart is just in the right place. I have no doubt you can do that and your blog is proving it. You may never know the lives you are impacting!

SARAH, thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed it. And I too hope the new year holds the perfect spark of motivation for you. :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Casey, this was beautiful! I love the way your write. So lyrical. Thanks for sharing such a great piece!

Casey said...

Thank you Sherrinda, from the bottom of my heart. You don't know how I appreciate that. :)

Pepper said...

Are you limiting us to ONE special moment?
Which genre? ;-)
I'm off to trudge through my wintry thoughts. :-)

Casey said...

LOL Pep, you'll make it there. I have NO doubt. :)