Why Do You Write?

The question as to why I write comes up from time to time in conversation. People want to know why? Why writing?

For me, it’s not an easy question to answer. It’s kind of like asking why someone prefers the colour blue over green or why they play a musical instrument or sing. No one seems to know. It’s just something that is, something that stems from inside us, makes us who we are.

Words fascinated me early on, even before I knew they fascinated me. I’ve always had this feeling that I had something to say. Mind you, I didn’t know anyone would ever read what I had to say.

Last weekend I had the chance to hear Wayne Dyer speak. I was in awe to learn how many millions of copies of his books are circulating around the world. It sure put the few thousand copies that my book sold to shame. But I wasn’t really comparing my writing to Wayne’s, nor was there even a slight twinge of jealousy. I went away wondering what it would be like to have my words touch the lives of so many people around the world. Yet, this man was as humble as you and I.

As a beginning writer, I used to wonder when or if I’d ever be good enough to have my work published. Back then publications felt like a pipe dream. Was I wasting my time and effort. Why was I even writing, subjecting myself to rejection after rejection?

For me, it wasn’t simply enough to write, I wanted my words to be read by others. That meant I had to grit my teeth, swallow my appointment,  keep my head up, my brain focused, and write on, many, many occasions.  Even when I felt like quitting.

Thank goodness the world is filled with many more doers than quitters. Imagine what would have happened if many of our great writers (who also faced their share of rejections BTW) would have given up because they weren’t up to the challenge.

This business of writing and published is filled with hurt feelings. If someone tells you they’ve never, ever felt hurt when their work was turned down, take what they say with a grain of salt. They’re obviously out of touch with their feelings. No one likes rejection. It stings. Mind you, over the years, I developed a somewhat thick skin. I was able to look past the rejections  on many occasions and keep sending my work out again and again. But every now and then a certain rejection would get to me and I’d be pulled down into the pit of despair. Yep, I got down, but more importantly, I didn’t allow myself to stay down. I became my own cheerleader. I had to if I wanted to become published. The truth is, all the good words from others won’t keep us going if we don’t believe it ourselves.

Have a great weekend, and for my Canadian readers Happy Canada Day!

 

I’ll leave you with a photo that I tried posting on Facebook, but my dial-up connection just wasn’t co-operating. It was one of several I took at the Cunard Centre the day Wayne Dyer was there.

Not so easy to get a clear photo of Wayne Dyer when he was in Halifax. Too many heads in the way and he moved around a lot on stage. He spoke for nearly three hours (not bad for a man who turned 73) and the audience hung on every word. This photo is sort of the best of the worst.

DSC03802

It’s That Time Again

“No skill is more crucial to the future of a child, or to a democratic and prosperous society, than literacy.” 

– Los Angeles Times, “A Child Literacy Initiative for the Greater Los Angeles Area”

Family Literacy Day here in Canada is on January 27th.  It’s a day set aside to remind us all about the importance of literacy, and to help promote reading. It’s a time for family, and reading, and anything regarding the written word. You can find out more about Family Literacy Day by checking out the ABC Life Literacy  Canada Site.

In honour of Family Literacy Day I thought it would be fun to give a shout-out to some great Canadian books enjoyable to those of us who are young at heart.

51UHUD2iHkL._SL500_AA300_How To Tend A Grave. I’m currently reading Jocelyn’s book. Seriously enjoying this read. Here’s the backcover blurb.

When Liam’s mom dies, he thinks life can’t get any worse. He’s wrong. Forced to live with a grandfather he’s never known, in a small town where Youth and Crime are king and queen of a hick-town gang, Liam only wants to be left alone. Not easy, considering the gang’s favourite hangout is the cemetery where his mom is buried. A popular place, this cemetery, as there he meets Harmony, a gorgeous but unusual girl who records the names of all the babies buried there long ago. Like Liam, she has a secret. The very different stories of these two grieving fifteen-year-olds interweave brilliantly in this fast-paced, engaging and unforgettable book about family, love and healing.

Amanda in England: The Missing Novel– This book by blogging buddy, Darlene Foster, is one in a series of books aimed at kids from 8-12.  Amanda in Arab :The 31cqxPKolDL._AA160_Perfume Flask is the first in this charming series of books about Amanda and her best friend, Leah. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting was published in 2011. There’s lots of travel in these books and plenty of adventure.  If you’re into series you might want to give this one a try.

 

Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!
41ErVLb6JgL._AA160_I met Sylvia Gunnery last spring at the Bridgewater Library when she launched her new YA book, Emily for Real. It’s always nice to give a shout out to a local author. Here’s the description from Amazon. ca . Seventeen-year-old Emily’s world crumbles when her boyfriend dumps her, and when she thinks her life can’t possibly get any worse, a series of secrets are revealed that threaten to tear her beloved family apart. Emily’s heart has been broken into a hundred pieces and she feels like there is no one to turn to, until an unexpected friendship blossoms with a troubled classmate named Leo.
Maxed Out is Daphne Greer’s first book is part of the Orca Currents series. Daphne and I met at the 51vp6OkWyWL._AA160_launch for A Maritime Christmas in 2008. Here’s a description for Maxed Out.
More than anything, twelve-year-old Max wants to play hockey like he used to. But since the death of his dad, his mom does more crying than mothering, and Max has to take his special-needs brother, Duncan, with him everywhere he goes. The team needs Max to win the upcoming game against the Red Eagles, but one practice with Duncan makes it evident that it’s not safe to leave him unattended on the sidelines. With only a week to figure out how he can play in the big game, Max is feeling the pressure. Will he find a way to be a good teammate, a good brother and a good son, or is it too much for one kid?
51ZlnwRkaVL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU15_Last but not least, Stolen Child by  Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. I read this book a few years back and really enjoyed it.
Stolen from her family by the Nazis, Nadia is a young girl who tries to make sense of her confusing memories and haunting dreams. Bit by bit she starts to uncover the truth—that the German family she grew up with, the woman who calls herself Nadia’s mother, are not who they say they are.Beyond her privileged German childhood, Nadia unearths memories of a woman singing her a lullaby, while the taste of gingersnap cookies brings her back to a strangely familiar, yet unknown, past. Piece by piece, Nadia comes to realize who her real family was. But where are they now? What became of them? And what is her real name?
So there are five books for young adults I’m passing along, but really they can be read and enjoyed by any age. I hope you find a way to celebrate this important day. The written word is all around. Reading should be as natural as eating and breathing. For some of us it is. Hopefully there will come a time when  illiteracy will be a thing of the past.
Happy Family Literacy Day ! Now go read something.

Books, Books & More Books

When my daughter phoned to say the local library was having a book sale on Saturday my little heart went pitter-pat. As the previous year, books went for 5 bucks a bag– all you can stog. (Ah, the word “stog”. Isn’t it a dandy word? I think I discussed the word “stog” once before on this blog.) Used book sales are kind of like an all you can eat buffet for book-lovers. Don’t you think?

So while I was looking through the titles my hand stopped suddenly when I spied a copy of Bitter, Sweet. Talk about a surreal moment. I mean, I expected one day to come across a copy of my own book at one of these sales, but when it’s there on the table the reality of it kind of hits you.

A friend asked if I signed the book but I can tell you right now, that thought never crossed my mind. I was too busy stogging books into my bag, I guess. So here’s the silly part, I grabbed up my book and stogged it in the bag too. I mean, it was my book. Not taking it felt wrong in a twisted sort of authorish way. But have no fear; it’s not going to sit on my bookshelf. I’ll have you know I’m not THAT lame!  I’m actually planning to give it away, which is silly in itself because someone was bound to take it home. Yet I didn’t want to stalk my book to find out who.

So here’s the plan:  I’ll go off in search of someone to give the book to, someone deserving, someone kind, and trustworthy…Perhaps I shall scour the land for said person, over mountains and dry deserts.

Okay, so that’s way over the top and totally ridiculous, but sometimes ridiculous is kind of fun. Seriously, when the time is right, I’ll know exactly who to give the book to, unless one of you have a suggestion.

So the really big news on Saturday was meeting author Lesley Crewe at Coles in the Bridgewater Mall. Lesley was there to sign copies of her new book, “Kin” and I wanted to pick up a copy for my mum, who is a big fan, and meet Lesley. Lesley is a Nimbus author, like me, so that in itself gave us mutual ground, but she’s so down to earth and friendly we had no problem chatting it up. Best of all she made me laugh. I could have stalked spent the whole afternoon with her—that’s if she would have let me.  LOL!

So I’m an author groupie. I’ve met my share of authors over the years since my book came out. I can honestly say I’ve never met an author I didn’t like. It’s a strange business I find myself  part of, and as different as our lives are, all writers share our love for the written word. Through the writing journey I’m on I’ve met some truly wonderful people, some whom I consider close friends.

This weekend was all about writers and books. Sunday, was the annual Word on the Street event in Halifax, and I was glad to have made it in. I’ll be posting about it next time and sharing a few photos.

Do you go to book signing events or writing festivals in your area? Have you met an author who left a lasting impression?

Two Books and a Video

Revenge of the Lobster LoverDuring the four hour drive to New Brunswick this weekend I took full advantage of the time Hubby spent driving to finish reading, Revenge of the Lobster Loverby Hilary McLeod. I don’t mind telling you I really enjoyed this book. It’s a mystery set in Prince Edward Island. Hilary’s books also include, “Mind Over Muscle,” and her next one due out is titled, “All is Clam.” Quite the witty titles, don’t you think?

 

Emily for RealSince I was nearing the end of Hilary’s book, I also brought along Sylvia Gunnery’s YA novel, “Emily for Real.” Sylvia’s a local author I met a few weeks back at a library reading. I’d been looking forward to reading it since picking it up. If you enjoy YA fiction, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one. I certainly did.

 

While in New Brunswick, we were watching a few You Tube Videos from  the New Ross area. Here’s one filmed at the Ross Farm, not far from where I live. It’s quite long (12 minutes) but I found it interesting. It’s about the use of herbs, a subject I’m interested in. Mona Reeves, featured in the video, is quite knowledgeable and grew up with some of this information around her. I’d gone to a talk a few years back that Mona gave and even ended up winning some basil plants as a door prize..If it’s a subject you’re interested in, I think you’ll find it worth your time.

What books have you read lately? Do you ever take along a book on a long drive to help pass the time?

Are You a Book Cheater?

Many people openly admit to being unfaithful to the book they’re reading. They even admit to being involved with, not just two but, multiple books at the same time.

With so many great books out there it’s sometimes difficult to settled down with just one book. Tough to resist, I know. Right now, I’ve got three books pulling on my shirtsleeve, flashing me with their pretty covers. Worse yet they sit there winking whenever I walk past. Flirts!

I’ll admit it’s a big temptation, and sometimes I’m weak and pathetic. I catch myself taking sneak glances at them, even arranging them about on the coffee table just so. But I’ve vowed to be a faithful reader. I’m not about to cheat.  I’m a one-book woman.

So what? It’s a free county, right? We’re free to read one, two, three even four books, heck we can court an entire library shelf if we want. Who’s to stop us?

Exactly.

I’m not going to get into any big moral issues here ‘cause I ain’t your mama. Nor am I here to judge. What I am is curious about the experience of being a book cheater. We can call it research if you want.

So for the sake of research I’ll pose this question. Do you believe it’s possible to love a book, follow the plot and characters when we are not faithful to the book we’re reading? Will we confuse the Bob in one book with the Harry in another? Will we remember that Meg likes coloured stones, hates cottage cheese and is the third child in a family of circus performers who have been travelling about the country since being placed in a witness protection program? Can we fully appreciate a book, and its characters, when we have multiple books on the brain?

I’ve known people who admit they just weren’t that “into” a particular book. Fair enough, every book isn’t for me, and I certainly don’t fall in love with each and every book I read. However, having said that, I do question their ability to judge a book fairly once they admit that they were reading several others at the same time. Instead of a read that should have taken a few days at most, it ended up stretching out for weeks as it was picked up, abandoned for another, and then another, not to mention the two week vacation they took over the Christmas holidays where they refused to read anything more taxing than the noontime special at their favourite restaurant before finally, finally running back begging for a second chance.

For me, a book has always been an experience, a whole little world nestled between the covers, a place for me to submerge myself, a place that will either end up being a good experience or a not so good one. Seems to me that the more books I  choose to become involved with, the more difficult it would be not to whisper Brian’s name when I’m reading about Fred. Talk about embarrassing.

Another thing I can’t imagine is how anyone can rate a book or writing a review if they are attracted to another, or three, at the same time.

 It’s not uncommon to see people listing multiple books as *currently reading* on Goodreads, but is it fair to any book if you show interest in another? Now I’m not attempting to try and tell anyone how to run their reading lives. I’m just curious about how the other half of the book-reading public live.

Confession time:

Are you a book cheater? Do you often romance more than one book at a time? Do you think you can fully appreciate or not appreciate a book when reading multiple books at one time?

Tagged!! Now to Face the Music.

Last week Darlene Foster caught up to me in a game of tag.

Now, I’m going to post the rules just because I intend to break them. Not only that, making up eleven questions and tagging eleven unsuspecting bloggers seems like too much work for this gal, and hey, I’ve got a novel idea in my head. You read about it in my last post….Letting go. Remember?

The Tag rules:

1. You must post the rules!

2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.

3. Tag eleven people and link to them.

4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

I thought I’d answer Darlene’s questions just to be a good sport, plus it gave me something to blog about.

So here goes:

Do you use a bookmark or will any old bit of paper do? I should be saying bookmarks because I have oodles of Bitter, Sweet bookmarks given to me by my publisher at the time of the launch, but truth be told, more times than not I grab anything for a bookmark, bits of paper a piece of yarn. Heck I’d use a twist tie if I had to.

What new books are you most excited to read this year? A few book I’m looking forward to reading this year are: Revenge of the Lobster Lover by facebook friend Hilary MacLoud and Buried but not Dead by BC writer/blogger Joylene Butler. I’m also anxious to get at Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood.

Favourite season? Fall has to be my favourite. I love the coloured leaves and the crispness in the air. If ever a season inspired me to write I’d say it was fall. Not only that, it’s the only season with an alias. Fall a.k.a. autumn but don’t tell the other seasons.

If money were not an issue, what present would you give yourself? A maid. Of course to go along with this maid I’d be looking for a much larger home. I mean, why not? Money’s no object, right? If someone else is doing the cleaning I’m all for it and as for the bigger house I wouldn’t want one of my employees to become bored while under my roof.

Do you buy second-hand books, new books or both? If it has a cover and pages, heck if it has pages, I’ll buy it. I’m a book packrat. Still, there are worse things in this world. At least I’m not hoarding something totally useless like plastic shopping bags or empty toilet paper tubes.

Early bird or night owl? I think I have a split birdsonality. I tend to be consistently inconsistent when it comes to sleep. If I had things my way I wouldn’t sleep at all. I mean what a waste of eight hours. Think of all the images I could be pinning, all the status updates I could be writing, and all the blogs I could be commenting on.

Do you like to read a specific genre? If so, what genre is it? I just like reading. I do read a lot of books for kids. Makes sense since I write books for kids, but if I’m reading big people books I tend to gravitate towards literary novels.

Who is your favourite literary character of all time? My favourite literary character of all time? I’ve got to go with my gut here and say Goldie Locks. Maybe it’s the golden locks, maybe because she barged into a bear’s house without giving a care, or maybe, just maybe it’s because I dressed up like Goldie Locks when I was a kid and hauled my teddy bears in a little wagon in the East Dalhousie parade on fair day.

Physical books, E-books or audio books? Are you kidding? I’m so old fashion I’d be reading tablets if they were still around.

If your life was made into a movie, who would you like to play you? I thought about this for awhile and decided on Danny DeVito of course he’d have to put on a wig and maybe lose a little weight, but he’s funny (and I like funny) and he’s just the right height. On second thought if he’s unable or unwilling to lose weight I’d be willing to increase my consumption of Mars bar to at least meet him half way cause I’m fair like that.

Cat person or dog person? Cat. I miss our kitty who disappeared last summer. Sometimes I imagine he’ll show up out of the blue to surprise me. Not sure we’ll replace him. He wasn’t a very smart kitty, but he was really loveable.

So there ya go. Eleven things about me that will make your life so much richer. Now because I’m sparing you the agony of being tagged and following the rules I think it’s only fair that you answer one of these questions. How about this one: if your life was made into a movie, who would you like to play you?

Goodreads or not Goodreads?

So I’ve been looking around on the Goodreads site lately, and finding it quite interesting. Apparently, I had signed up for an author page about a year and a half ago but that was as far as it went. What did I know?

I’ve since added a little info about myself and a profile picture and will keep working at it over the next little while. I know, I’m slow, but I sometimes have to be eased into these things. It’s all pretty new to me and I’m still figuring it all out.

I began adding the books I’ve read in 2012 but not planning, at this point, to list the books I’ve read in the past. I’d never remember them all. I also haven’t been rating the books I’ve read and haven’t yet decided if I will. This is part of the reason why I resisted this for so long. The thought of rating books, especially from the authors I know, feels a bit weird. I also have to admit to not fully understanding the rating system or if we simply come up with our own. My reading tastes are varied to say the least. How would one use the same rating system for a non-fiction book as a work of fiction? I’m sure most people who rate books have a system that works well for them.  Maybe I’ll discover something that feels right over time.

Now, I’m not going to say that I’ll never rate any books or write any reviews because I have learned over the years that “never” is a finite word, and nothing in life seems finite least of all our opinions and tastes. Perhaps I will one day rate a book or write a review if I read a book that simply blows me away. Honestly, that doesn’t happen often. On the other end of the scale, I rarely find books that I despise. I’m an easy reader to please. So long as I’m reading something I’m content.

 As I looked at some of the book ratings I found it interesting to see that some popular books might garner one or two stars from various people yet others gave that same book five, the top amount. Now I know that we all have specific tastes in books. I get that. Still, it makes me wonder how there can be such a wide variation. I also found the reviews interesting and people’s reasons for the rating they gave a particular book especially if the book was given only one or two stars. Some reasons seemed quite insignificant so I’m feeling that there must have been other factors at play, maybe a simply “I just didn’t like this book,” but then the reader feels an obligation to give their reasons for such a low rating. Hey, who knows what goes through a reader’s mind? I’ve always been of the opinion that if I really like a book, I’m willing to overlook a few little things along the way. If I’m looking to be picky, I can usually find something. I’m sure most readers are the same. Which brings me to the question: are there any perfect books out there? I suppose that, again, depends upon the reader.

Are you a Goodreads member? Do you find it difficult to rate books? Are you influenced  at all if you know a particular author? What rating system do you use? Have you even given a book a two or even a one star rating?

Family Literacy Day—January 27th

This coming Friday is Family Literacy Day in Canada.

So what is Family Literacy Day all about? Well, it was created back in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada and is held every year on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. The idea is for parents to take an active role in helping to strengthen the reading and writing skills of all family members. It’s a great idea!  I’m not sure if there is any such program in other countries, but we hear plenty about it here in Canada.

In celebration of Family Literacy Day, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in Toronto comprised a list a few weeks back consisting of 25 picture books and 25 works of fiction that “share in the joys (and struggles) of families of all sizes and combinations.” What was particularly nice about this, for me, was that Bitter, Sweet was included in this list. Feels kind of good to be a part of this especially since we’re talking about a subject that is near and dear to every writer’s heart.. Here’s the link if you’re interested in checking out all the great Canadian books on the list.

I think what’s important for us to understand about literacy is that creating a home environment where reading and writing is a priority doesn’t necessarily take oodles of time. I’m told that even fifteen minutes a day, reading, writing, playing a game, following a recipe or even singing a song will help to strengthen your family’s literacy skills. I know many of us are busy, especially those of us who work full time. One thing I found that worked well, when I was really busy after a day’s work, was to have my kids read to me while I prepared supper or did other chores in the kitchen. It was lots of fun when they were first learning to read. Reading was always an important part of our day, and while I can’t imagine a day going by without reading something, I know this isn’t the case in all families. So anything that helps raise awareness for this worthy cause if okay by me.

So even if you don’t celebrate Family Literacy Day where you live, perhaps you can help do something wherever you are to bring awareness to the importance of reading and writing in our every day lives.

The Night Before Christmas (Bloggers Version)

Yeah, I know, there have been so many versions of this written that it starts to get sickening. But guess what? You’re going to have to punish through another poorly written “The Night Before Christmas”  sort of poem. It was just for fun and really more of a tribute to  all of you to let you know I appreciate your visits and your friendships. I couldn’t possibly mention everyone by name, but I managed to work in the names of some of your blogs.

So here goes…

T’was the night before Christmas ‘round the old blogosphere,
The bloggers were all sleeping; it had been a great year.
By the looks of their stats they were becoming well known,
Their reputations on the internet had steadily grown.
 
But lo in the darkness one blogger was posting,
Someone named Laura, her blogging friends she was toasting.
To let them all know just how appreciated they are,
All her friends on the internet the near and the far.
 
To all of the bloggers who stopped by last year,
Your comments were welcomed, your friendships so dear,
Together we shared, the good and the bad,
The books that we’d published, the spam that we’d had
 
To the ones “Freshly Pressed” your subscriptions were rising,
Not sure how you did it, but I am kind of surmising, 
That word tags and content is what does the trick
To Carol, Linda and Wendy, it was really quite slick
 
To see your great blogs on the “Freshly Pressed” stage,
Was really quite something, you were all the rage,
A little excitement to keep spirits high,
And to make all this blogging stuff feel worthwhile.
 
Here’s to those times when “I know I made you smile,
And to the “five cats” who stroll along the blogosphere mile
While we might not be “Herding Cats in Hammond River,” it is plain
Trying to think up great content sometimes boggles our brains
 
I hope you don’t mind these  “ramblings from the left
Some times I’m “….half awake and sleeping ” and not very deft
But as “A New Day Dawns“, I’ll  still be “Write here, write now
And all my online friends should really take a bow.
 
To those times you might have thought I was “Out of my mind”
When really dear bloggers there is nothing more sublime
Than “Doing the Write Thing” on the blogging scene
Those who post every day, you are really quite keen. 
 
Had it not been for blogging we never would have met
Even  the”Brightest Blue” sky can’t replace the time I’ve spent
Reading Careann’s Musings and the “Cluclutz writer’s “posts,
I have added so many in Google Reader, I’d kind of like to boast.
 
To be sure there are blogging “moments that take your breath away,”
We’re living a”A Life Less Ordinary“, all we really have is today,
To share our thoughts at one moment in time,
I know this poem is bad, I’m just trying to make it rhyme.
 
While some blogs just got started, others faded to the dust
You need to  post in the New Year, oh really, really  must!
For what would I do if you all disappeared?
I’d be all alone in the old blog-hemisphere.
 
So to ALL of you bloggers my hat goes off to you,
There was no way I could fit all your names in, it is true.
Just know in your hearts that this message is for you
So “Unleash the Flying Monkeys” and Happy New Year to you too!
 

So, I promised a poorly written poem and I delivered.

Now feel free to add your own lines in the comment section, use your own name or the name of your blog if you wish  because we could keep this going on forever if we wanted to. Note: I said if we wanted to….. In the meantime I hope you had a giggle enjoy the holidays!

 

The Christmas Tree Owl

So I’m an advocate for thought-filled gifts. Most of you know that about me by now. I long ago gave up being impressed by expensive gift buying at Christmastime. I’m at the point in my life when I’m pretty much able to buy something if I truly want it. I don’t often “want” things simply for the sake of “wanting” but every once in awhile I’ll splurge on something that really catches my eye. Truthfully, that doesn’t happen often. My kids will tell you that. Okay, I do buy quite a few books, but books are a need, not a want, right? See, I knew you’d all agree.

I’m just not a shopper. I don’t particularly like to browse the stores. I like to go with a purpose in mind, get what I want and go home. Not much fun, huh?

Now I’m not for a moment suggesting that everyone should stop buying gifts for one another, nor am I saying that a costly gift cannot be a “thought-filled” gift, because it can depending upon the circumstances. We all know that. There are many things that factor into our gift buying, first and foremost getting something we know the other person would like and want.

I’m no expert when it comes to gift-giving. But one thing  I can honestly say is that the gifts that have touched my heart the most, in many cases, have been quite simple. And cost more in the way of time and consideration than money.

Today, I was unwrapping ornaments and came across this “Christmas Tree Owl” my daughter made me last year, and the little poem that accompanied. (I’ve mentioned that this family is big on writing silly poems.) It is a snapshot of that time and place, and will forever be looked back on with fondness— Miss Charlotte’s first Christmas.

I wonder what memories we will make this year?

The Christmas Tree Owl
 
Twas the week before Christmas, and you can be sure
Things were much busier than ever before.
There was a new baby, just eight months old
Charlotte Rose was her name, as the tale goes.
 
When it came time for bed, she’d hoot and she’d howl
For little Miss Charlotte was quite the night owl.
But sooner or later, not before  nine
She’d drift off to sleep with on final whine.
 
Once all tucked in, then Mommy would act
Working hard though the night on this Christmas gift craft;
A little owl for your tree as your yearly reminder
A sleeping baby, you know, there ain’t much that’s finer.
 
Since it’s Christmas, and we should all be filled with some Christmas spirit, can we share with one another our stories about a thought-filled gift you once received or gave?
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