Juggling all the Jingle Balls

Maui Jingle ball

Paula’s Post #15 – When we started out on this journey on September 5th, 2012, I never would have imagined that I would draw December 25th, 2012, – Christmas Day, – for my weekly blog post. Nor would I have imagined that I would spend this evening, Christmas Eve, pounding out this little post on my Mac, while It’s a Vey Merry Muppet’s Christmas Movie rolled in the background, entertaining one very special two-year old, my little baby grand-daughter.

But then again, life doesn’t always turn out quite how we expect, and our stories shouldn’t either.

Last week, Joe posted that he had completed the first draft of his novel. Joe posted that he was now going to take a couple of weeks off, enjoy Christmas, and worry about the rewrites in January. Joe posted he had 360 pages.

In the vault.


By last week, I had maybe a third of Joe’s output. Somewhere around 130 pages. I wrote a little comment on Joe’s post, something about being green with envy, (coincidentally, the same colour of the star of tonight’s little dramatic production, one Kermit the Frog).


Joe’s post just brought home to me what I already knew: I’m playing ‘catch up’ and will be doing so until the end of this crazy journey. My goal not a polished third draft but a ragged, race-to-the-finish first draft.

I suspect I may not be alone in surging forward towards this more modest goal.

I suspect that, like many others, my schedule for this Christmas season will be unpredictable, just as it’s been for most of this 5writers journey.

My life’s just like that, and Christmas is no exception.

Christmas in our world is the most hectic time of all. Maybe your family is like mine: a blended family with kids and grandkids all over Canada and North America. Arranging Christmas is like playing poker and where the chips fall is just luck of the draw. This year, we drew into a Royal Flush. We have the joy of sharing the week before and the week after Christmas with two of our three baby grandchildren.

Two weeks of toddlers, 24/7, as the saying goes.

Hardly conducive to writing, with most of each day dictated by the play time, meal time and nap time of toddlers (which is pretty much all of the time, or so I’m discovering in my own, naive, ‘straight-to-grandchildren’ kind of way).

So my writing time this Christmas will be confined to a few stolen moments. I’ll be juggling all the Jingle Balls just to find the time to whip off a page or two each day. I’m trying to write at night, but most nights, I find myself nodding off at the keyboard, after just a few minutes. (A special salute to all the young mothers and fathers out there who somehow manage to raise children and pursue a writing career at the same time).

This week, unlike Joe, I’m posting that I’ve NOT completed the first draft of my novel.

But like Joe, I’m also happy to report that I am (mostly) taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy Christmas with my family. I’ll worry about the ‘and then what happened’ in the New Year, when the kids and grandkids have all gone home and it’s quiet again.

Joe’s right.

Spending time with family and friends over the holidays is more important than writing, even if the clock is ticking on this 5writers challenge. Just my opinion, but I feel that if you don’t think that way too, then maybe writing isn’t the best career choice for you. But that’s up to you to decide.

Right now, I have to cut this post short. Nana has cookies and milk to put out for Santa, and some carrots,, broccoli and pineapple (don’t ask) for Santa’s reindeer. I’m feeling pretty peaceful tonight, the tragic headlines of the last few weeks, the turmoil in the Middle East and the uncertainties of the ‘fiscal cliff’ seem very, very far away this evening.

I’m thankful for that.

I wish all a joyous holiday season and a very, very Happy New Year. I’ll check back with you then, since I’m pretty sure my next post day falls on New Year’s Day.

PS – The ‘reveal’ this week:

Words Written to Date: 42,665

Target Word Count: 100,000

Words short of Target: 57,335

Pages Written to Date: 153

Target Page Count: 400

Pages Short of Target: 247

Pie’s eaten (and to be eaten) this week – Many. I hope 🙂

2 thoughts on “Juggling all the Jingle Balls

  1. At least the reindeer eat healthy (I’m not asking). I don’t know why you guys do it. I retired from a job where I wrote to a deadline so I could avoid deadlines. It made me a bit lazy (only a bit) but that’s what retirement is for (at least in part), and my writing improved considerably.

  2. Hope the reindeer enjoy the pineapple and you enjoy a memorable Christmas Day … sun, ocean, babies, goodies, food, love … what more could you ask?

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