This 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.
My article “Going Through the Motions” is posted on the American Christian Fiction Writers blog today. If you have ever felt like your were just going through the motions as you celebrate Christmas, or in your writing, check it out.
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.
Of 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.
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.