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Writer's Blog

Posted 01-19-2010 at 08:14 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

But apparently not writer's block!

I sat down to write my Christmas letter short story rough draft only for it to dribble pitifully over the page. It's evident that I'm not one of those snappy lifestyle article authors that can write a self-absorbed mostly non-fiction self-deprecating piece in the first person. That and my inspiration won't carry a whole story. I need to seek out a bit more inspiration and go back to that.

Additionally, I sat down to work on the cookbooks. What a project! I began to write the notes on thrift topics and historic notes (each cookbook has a different focus, but there's overlap in the notes), but found I wanted to test a few things out in the kitchen before writing their sections since I had some ideas about prep that, if they work, would save time, money, and effort so I'd like to include them.

As if that weren't bad enough, my muse is pitching inspiration at me for a whole different story for the girls!
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Timely Thoughts on Gifts

Posted 01-18-2010 at 01:22 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

While I hadn't intended to walk about with Christmas on my mind until my remedial prepwork day on Saturday, I ended up cleaning out the gift closet some last night and its been Yule on the brain ever since. Today I completed the design on five custom photobooks and ordered them, along with a slew of regular prints. Four of the books will end up under Christmas trees in shortstacks of similar books tied up with satin ribbon and tucked into a book tote. These kinds of gifts seem to turn the women in my family inside out for joy. Similar items, such as prose books of family history, do it for the men. Both take effort on my part and need lead time for vetting and printing, but otherwise they're quite affordable gifts. As far as I'm concerned, NOTHING says Christmas like such tailored gifts, so it's not surprising that I have a slew of them to do:

1. "Sisters" Photobook - The one I just completed.
2. Eldest Daughter's Years 1-3 Photobooks - Already done,...
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First Prepwork Day Review

Posted 01-16-2010 at 07:40 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

First the good: not a complete disaster!

Now, the reality: it was a wash prep-wise. I'm the mother of a newborn nursling and a healthy three year old, and full year to plan or not, I'm being a bit too ambitious. I now know that extensive crafting and sewing is right out of the question. No problem, I'd rather postpone crafts to next year than give up on the great cookie baking this year.

I didn't get the Christmas chest set up, and I didn't complete my Christmas shopping (for remaining perennial items like lights, decor, and stands). Instead, I ran into trouble with the other holidays, like overbuying for Easter gifts. No worries, the extra purchases fit right in with the gift plan for Christmas, so into the gift closet and marked off my list. I also failed to collect cookie and dinner party recipes, even look at patterns, or make plans. Mostly I price shopped and mused about what the holidays mean to me. Consequently, I'm assigning myself a make up prepwork...
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More Christmas Priorities: Having A Green Christmas

Posted 01-15-2010 at 02:33 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

I won't get LED lights until the white ones don't shed a queer "bio luminescent mushroom cave" light, but I'm happy to do things in a less resource gobbling fashion, not for the environment, but for tradition. So this year, we have the following Christmas resolutions at home:

1. Recycle red scrap fabric into reusable cloth bags.
2. Collect jars and tins from recycling for Christmas gift packaging rather than buying new.
3. Save brown and white paper to have the kids make wrapping paper out of it this year. It's fun, and they get to participate.
4. Ok, I'll turn off the non-LED lights when we're not using them.
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Rethinking Christmas Priorities

Posted 01-15-2010 at 02:26 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

Seeing that tomorrow is my first prep day, I thought I'd get down on "paper" what matters most about the Christmas experience so that I won't lose track of it. My ultimate goal is not to plan Christmas all year every year, or even to end up with Christmas on my brain for 365+ days this time around, it's to give myself the time to learn to do it right come next Christmas. Then I hope to pack "doing it right" into the brief November to December timeframe you find in mainstream Christmas planners like the one you can download from Martha Stewart.

The top things that make Christmas into Christmas for me are as follows:

1. [I]The lights![/I] This year my parents put nothing but tinsel garlands and lights on their tree rather than pick a losing battle with their toddler granddaughter and three ([B]three![/B]) new kittens. I thought it was the prettiest tree I'd ever seen, not naked at all! I like string lights year round, but Christmas means...
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