“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:11-12 (NIV)
For me, Christmas is the most joyous time of the year. Growing up, it seemed like everything in the world became right at Christmas. The lights made the streets beautiful, people were kind, Christmas music declared that God loved me, and an old man in a red suit left me presents.
When I was a little girl, we had special traditions that transitioned us from Christmas Eve to Christmas day. On Christmas Eve, my siblings and I acted out the Nativity story for our parents. I was Mary and Gregory was Joseph. Baby Jesus was played by the newest member of our family: Christiaan and two years later Tessann. After acting out the first Christmas, we set out cookies and milk for Santa Claus and went to bed early.
Christmas morning, we waited to look at the tree until the whole family was awake. Waking sleeping family members was forbidden. Mom and Dad allowed us to open our stockings and play with the little toys inside while we waited for the sleeping members of the Merkel household to wake up. (For some strange reason, Dad was always the last one in bed.) We were only permitted to rouse Dad after the last child had gotten up on his or her own. Then, we all went downstairs and attacked the presents under the tree. After opening gifts, we ate a family breakfast of bacon and sweet rolls.
Your writing prompt for the next two weeks is to write about your favorite Christmas or Christmas tradition. You can either write it as a personal narrative or use it as a springboard for a work of fiction.
Merry Christmas and happy writing!
Recently, I have been under a lot of stress and feeling unmotivated to write and/or uninspired. Check out these four articles for useful tips on how to overcome writer’s block.
I especially like the first article because it includes activities that do not help to overcome writer’s block. I will confess, TV is my Achilles heel.
1. “How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work” by Jeff Goins: http://goinswriter.com/how-to-overcome-writers-block/
2. “When You’re Feeling Uninspired”by Jeff Goins: http://goinswriter.com/when-youre-feeling-uninspired/
3. “7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block” by Chuck Sambuchino: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block
*Although Mr. Sambuchino’s seventh approach does seem, to use his own words, “out there,” I really like his first six methods. Personally, when it comes to a plot issue, my number one go-to for overcoming writer’s block is to talk it through with my brother Gregory. Just hearing myself say the plot out loud can cause me to identify the problem and come up with a possible solution. When that is not enough to overcome the block, Gregory suggests some ways I can add more conflict and/or resolve the issue.
4. “How To Overcome Writer’s Block – 15 Tips” by Adam Singer: http://thefuturebuzz.com/2008/12/03/how-to-overcome-writers-block/
“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but[…]” – Clement Clarke Moore
First, choose a point of view: the robber’s or Santa’s. Then, write about what happened leading up to this meeting and/or what happens afterwards.
Merry Christmas and happy writing!
If you’re like me, certain punctuation rules are hard to remember. For me, the hardest punctuation mark in the English language to master is the comma.
Below are three articles that give very specific rules for when and how to use commas and two other forms of punctuation that can be easy to confuse: colons and semicolons.
I refer to these articles when I have questions about these punctuation marks. I hope you find them as useful as I do.
“Commas” by GrammarBook.com (16 rules about comma usage): https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp
“Colons” by GrammarBook.com (9 rules about colon usage): http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/colons.asp
“Semicolons” by GrammarBook.com (5 rules about semicolon usage): http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/semicolons.asp