Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmastime is here…

Our tree!With the conclusion of Thanksgiving, Julie and I look forward to purchasing a Christmas tree.

We’ve had our tree up since November 24th. Yes, that is a long time to expect a tree to keep sucking water, and I believe ours has reached  peak saturation. And it’s not even Christmas! But it has been an immense pleasure to gaze every evening  at the myriad of baubles that grace its branches.

Early December always holds a sense of wonder. It is the beginning of ornaments and decorations festooned around the neighborhood; a house, with only a single string of white lights; another, replete with the ubiquitous reindeer and a Santa waving at the door. Still others opt for gaudiness, the entire residence glowing in a nocturnal blaze of holiday blinking lights.

The season never fails to elicit a slight discomfort, though. Perhaps it is because Christmas is all about kids, and luckily we have two wonderful boys to lavish gifts upon. Nothing extravagant, mind you, but a modest pile of presents that will, hopefully, garner at least a semblance of a smile.

That sense of discomfort or, more aptly put, melancholy can, at times, be pervasive. Why? Because we are not children any more. I remember vividly the sheer excitement of the season, of the Eternal wait, just waiting for Christmas Eve, knowing that the next day was special and filled with wonder. I doubt I slept at all as a child of six or seven. Now we are adults, and yet that same sense of wonder still exists, the excitement for the big day. But there is no return. Only the same Christmas songs bring you back to that aura of being a child.

As December marches along, more houses are lit in holiday spirit. Now, practically all houses in our neighborhood harbor at least a string of lights. Some hang only a simple yet calming string of muted blue lights, the perfect accompaniment to a December dusk.

In our house every room has ornaments, even the bathroom. Along with putting up the tree, it remains a wonder lugging up the bins of decorations and see what treasures are within. The bins are simply labeled ‘Xmas Ornaments’, so it is always that sense of excitement when we unravel the tissue paper and reveal what  resides within.

Before bed, we turn off the TV and marvel at the tree, looking at each sparkling ornament, the lights illuminating some deeply recessed. Candles flicker and add to the atmosphere of comfort and calm, and we are indeed very lucky to witness such beauty.

I wish everyone out there a most comforting, calm, and joyful holiday season and may the new year be a harbinger of all things beautiful.

Write Away Addendum…


I did it! I accomplished the goal of writing 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days! I am elated, and cannot wait to keep writing, and editing, and revising my story.

I ended up with 50,266 words, and now I can declare myself a winner in the NANOWRIMO contest. As I mentioned in my previous blog, no prizes are issued. The prize is the knowledge that I waded through each day, each hour, writing at least 1,667 words a day. Some days, when the writing really flowed, it was over 2,000.

And how did I celebrate my personal victory? The first thing I did when I looked down at the word count and realized I surpassed the magic number of 50,000, I let out a yell. My cats, sensing the onset of insanity, scattered to unknown corners of the house. I said to myself, “Yes! You did it, Paul! Hah! And all the naysayers were proved wrong!” I immediately thanked my lovely Julie, for she was the only one that believed in me. And then I thought about my Dad, who died over two years ago, and tears came to my eyes. “I did it, Dad. I completed something in my life,” I said aloud. I think he would have been proud of me. And I know that Julie is proud of me. She works two jobs, puts in long hours, and comes home exhausted. She does this so I can sit behind a keyboard and peck at it all day. She is, without a doubt, a love. And patient.

So that is where I am right now. And soon I will be right back to writing. In fact, before composing this post, I’ve already added 956 words to my manuscript today. Another 30-40,000 words to go this month, and then I can hunker down and pare and revise and tighten my words.

For now, though, it feels grand to have finished this goal. And now I must, as a writer, continue making a GOAL. That four-letter word is integral, and if I am indeed a writer, I must adhere to that commandment.

Let me know what goals you have accomplished of late, and do contemplate next year’s NANOWRIMO. I found it to be an excellent way of getting the juices flowing, and it has been an incredible journey. I look forward to the many journeys ahead.

Now, back to my story…