Writing Tip — Literary Gifts

backgroundw-2999743_1280This post from business author and speaker Anita Agers-Brooks offers wonderful literary gifts ideas if you are still have people on your Christmas gift list. I love that writing gifts can be personalized. From the twelve ideas Ms. Angers-Brooks lists, I especially like #1, #2, #10, and #11. #10 concerns using puns as gifts ideas, and I have a definite weakness for punny humor.

In a previous post, I wrote about other literary gifts you can give. I have given poems in the past.

Have you ever given or received a literary gift? If so, what was it?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts

coldw1284028_1280This first snow of winter always stirs emotions in people — some good, some bad, or somewhere in between. Here’s my haiku about how it makes me feel.

A few flakes drift down.

I’m six again, and the world

Is filled with magic.


Share if inspired!

Monday Spark — Writing Prompts

shoppingw-565360_1280… a crowd of holiday shoppers.

I have to exercise some imagination here because I try to get all my shopping done in November to avoid the crowds of holiday shoppers.

The cozy smells of cinnamon and baking bread wafting from the coffee shops taunt the strained faces and aggressive gestures of the shoppers, who push, stalk, and shove their way to their destinations. The Christmas carols blaring from hidden speakers also sing of a mood absent from the crowd it wraps in its cheery melodies. But, maybe, a few shoppers will escape the press of people, squeeze into a coffee shop, and let the tastes of the season remind them why they are doing what they are doing. Then the carols will feel as sweet as they sound.

Share if inspired!


Writing Tip — Writing in Time

winterw-1291480_1280Of course, it’s hard to think of December without thinking of Christmas. The whole month seems to be nothing but a headlong rush to the 25th. But I want to discuss some other ways to use December before I get to the gigantic holiday at the end of it.

Winter Solstice — The shortest day of the year seems like a good setting for a clash between the forces of good and evil in any genre. I have an idea for a story of crime fiction where a serial killer is finally confronted during sunset on this day. A work of speculative fiction could give a fantastic meaning to the solstice.

School break — My kids finish their first semester at the start of Christmas vacation. The break would be a good setting for wrapping up a school story or kicking one off.

Advent — On the Christian calendar, Advent consists of the four Sundays before Christmas Day in which to prepare our hearts, souls, and minds for the coming of Jesus. Each Sunday has focuses on “four virtues Jesus brings”, according to this article on United Methodist Church site, love, joy, hope, and peace. A story incorporating these virtues could lead up to a climax on Christmas Day.

Christmas — So much has been written about, during, and because of this holiday, it’s difficult to find something fresh to say. And yet those of us writers who love the holiday always want to try. If you want to write a Christmas story, I encourage you to examine your own experiences and traditions to give your story a unique quality, whether it is a plot, voice, or character.

Here’s my idea:

The Lody family live in a cramped trailer in the remote mountains of West Virginia and must do their laundry at the Laundromat in the county seat miles away. Seventeen-year-old Junior Lody sees an ad online for a stackable washer and dryer while working Christmas Eve. He enlists the help of his brother, cousin, and uncle to take a road trip to get the washer-dryer in Maryland and bring it home in time for Christmas.

I like the idea of a road trip during Christmas because with the winter weather, especially in the mountains, so much can go wrong. Also, the deadline of getting a gift in time for Christmas Day gives the character’s an urgent motive.

How would you use December as a setting?


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