Sunday, December 9

A hanger on the tree.


It’s December. As with all Decembers that have come before it, I seem to be way busy. I’m sewing and trying to write and shopping—it’s amazing how Christmas can turn the most unshopperlike among us into buying fools—and trying to write and thinking of baking and…did I mention trying to write? As far as the baking goes, it’s one of those things where I like the idea and the end product better than the actual doing of it.
          Kind of like, sometimes, writing a book. I remember someone saying once that she liked having written a book, but that the actual writing was excruciating and she didn’t really enjoy it at all. (My apologies to whoever said this for not giving credit; it was in RWR, but I can’t for the life of me remember who said it, nor can I find a reference.) I can remember being shocked. Because how could a writer possibly not love what she did? I had rough spots in nearly every book I wrote—we all do—but I still loved the process, the journey.
          Except for the book I’m writing now and have been working on for what seems like ever. I love the protagonists, their story, the setting, the “world” they and I have created. I have felt their pain, snickered at their funny times, and walked some miles in the heroine’s shoes. I only have about 20K words left to write and it looks from here like a heavy load and a long road.
          I remember Anne Stuart saying once (My apologies again; I can’t find this reference, either, but I do recall that she said it.) that when it was all said and done, neither she nor readers could go back over her books and tell which were the books of her heart and which were not. Which books she loved writing and which ones she didn’t.
          I’m counting on this being the way of it. And I’m counting on once again loving the journey.
          The picture in today’s post is of one my daughter’s family’s Christmas trees (they have a big house and she’s a Christmasholic; this equals several trees). The boys (16, 15, and 10) decorated it, and I don’t know how long it had been in place before anyone noticed the clothes hanger on the side.
          Even for our family, a clothes hanger on a tree is unusual, a different process. But in years to come, it will become a beloved tradition. We won’t remember what year it started or who placed the first hanger. It will just be something that appears on Wilson and Flaherty trees.
          When I finish this book I’m writing, I hope you read and enjoy a story about people I love. I hope it doesn’t show that I’ve struggled with the writing of it. And maybe in years to come, I will remember it not as an arduous trek through a creative desert but as a fun trip to Peacock, Tennessee. A clothes hanger on my writer’s tree.

24 comments:

  1. What an interesting story. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks, Davalyn. I think I get a little garbled now and then!

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  2. I'm struggling with a story right now. I've written the first draft, but it was a hard trek. I'm hoping a couple of months away from it will bring back the fun.

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    1. Good luck, Patty. I have, in retrospect, had this happen once before, but it's miserable while it's going on!

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  3. Like, you, I always have rough spots...and I certainly hope they don't shine through. And I love hat someone hung a hanger on the tree...that's classic!!

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    1. Yours don't show through, Kristi, at all!

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  4. Wonderful post, and beautiful tree! May God bless your writing!

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I wonder sometimes if He's trying to give me a clue, to back up and re-examine. That being said, I also wonder how often I overthink things!

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    1. Me, too, Lisa. Aren't we the lucky ones?

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  6. That was so nicely put, Liz. Such a gentle way of talking about a situation that could make the mellowest flower of womanhood rant worse than a drunken sailor and wreak as much havoc as an F-2 tornado. We writers are inherently quirky individuals, who may appear quite sane on the exterior, but we are also very human and prone to bouts of monumental imperfection. That no one can tell which books you personally cared for, says volumes about your writing ability, so never, ever feel bad about that. The book will be terrific. And about that hanger...how unwittingly symbolic can teens be? Enjoy the new tradition and hang your best aspirations on that hanger!

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    1. Hi, Valley. Thanks for coming over. We are quirky, aren't we?

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  7. Hi Liz, I love the coat hanger. I'm into my 6th book now, and it's been slower going than the rest. Not that I don't enjoy it, but I want my characters to move along and they are both digging in their heals.

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    1. That's what mine are doing, too, Ella. Good luck! Thanks for coming by.

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  8. I know with me, when I'm working on a story, the characters are always in my head bugging me. I enjoy the process, too, and still have time to enjoy the holidays.

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    1. I WANT them to bug me--they're being too passive! :-) Thanks for coming by Ilona, and Merry Christmas!

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  9. A coat hanger! Love it!

    It's funny, of the pubbed books I have, readers seem to prefer one of my non-faves! Odd.

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    1. I've heard of that happening before. It hasn't with me--yet. We'll see though.

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  10. The hanger cracks me up. It makes me wonder "why"? and "what if"? A good way to start a story.

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    1. I think I'll use it someday. Hope the grandboys don't want royalties on their idea! :-)

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  11. Going through that right now with my own story. I think the hanger is interesting,a great conversation starter. I love trees that have interesting or hand-made ornamnents. I have a paper plate wreath that my son made in kindergarten, a wreath made of a soup can top from my daughter in third grade, and a styrofoam ornament my oldest made in 1st grade. The all go near the top of the tree every year.

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    1. I have some of those, too, Shawn, plus a few from the next generation. Of course, I think there's no such thing as a bad Christmas tree--I love them all.

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  12. I have found some of the writing that came hardest to me got the highest praise. Maybe I should doubt everything I write and become a success :)

    Love your hanger story. Family classics are the best.

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