So I did it! I finished my second year in Nanowrimo. I’m not saying the book is great. It’s not as good as my book from last year but that came from my heart so its hard to compare. Still, I learned something from thinking about my characters and their lives. Little details like how they manage their time or a scene that was captured in a satisfying way.
It may be that I take side characters and flesh them out more. There may be more to say with them than on the 2 main characters. I think it would be fun to right a children’s book from the perspective of the little girl Callie who reads and can’t quite decide what she believes in including Santa. I think there is a story there.
Anyway, I enjoyed writing it and I learned a lot. It has also motivated me to work even harder on my book from last year because I know it is better. I know it has more potential. It’s energizing!
One of my goals for this story was to do a bunch of writing firsts. I had never written complete fiction before and I have never really written poetry before. I had a couplet that I wrote in college and it just about killed me. Very difficult.
So, I did my best and wrote a Christmas poem to share with all of you. It’s not really here for critique. Just a first stab at a medium I love (which reminds me I need to do a poetry post soon). Here goes!:
The Lonely Christmas
The tree and lights, the hot cocoa and marshmallows
The presents and bows, the mistletoe and couples
It was Christmas time and all seemed to be matched
But for me and my ring finger had yet to be catched.
I tried to be cheerful and ignore the stares of pity
But alas I was cold and couldn’t be witty.
Leaving the party I grabbed my coat and hat
And went for a walk to try and find some merriment.
I looked at the snow and it seemed icy and alone
The wind whistled and let out a deep moan.
Out to the street I walked a block or two
Until I came to a church with an empty pew
The stained glass shined on the alter of white
And I asked God ‘why did I have such a plight?’
Why couldn’t I be a mother, wife and friend?
Why did everyone’s life start when mine seemed to end?
No answers came and I couldn’t help but cry
When a man with an old gray coat caught my eye
Even inside he was cold and looked awfully weary
I gave him a smile and said ‘I hope your Christmas is merry’
He shrugged and said with a sigh ‘life had been hard’
Then he showed me an old battered Christmas card.
‘Merry Christmas my dear’ said the writer with a flourish
And then she added ‘our love I will always cherish’
“She left me on Christmas and it hasn’t been the same”
In fact, for years Christmas took the blame”
“I’m sorry” I said “How did you make it through with hope?”
He smiled, laughed “I certainly did sit around and mope
But one day I prayed for God to help me find Christmas again
And He said to me ‘get down to the church and watch who comes in”
So I went and watched for the a spot in the pew to be filled
And each year there appears someone who needs a rebuild”
Then he looked at my eyes and placed his hand over mine
With a pat and a look sincere we went up to the shrine.
Next we lit a candle and the alter seemed ablaze.
Wishes were scattered on papers amidst light rays.
“Take the cancer away” one said, “keep Tom here” another.
“Free Sally from drugs” and “be with my baby, love mother”
“Now look up” the man said. In the glass I saw the Lord on the wall
Feeble and tired, lonely and scared he suffered to overcome our fall
“Look at His face on the cross. His Christmas day was full of pain
So how can we be called Christians if our days are not the same?
He loves us but on Christmas Day He wants us to know
why He and all His followers must have an occasional blow.”
I looked at his face and then at Lord “but how do I pretend to be full of glee?”
The man looked at me and said “You don’t and neither did He”
“But He does know our wishes and He does listen to our pleas.
If that reason alone we should remember He always calms the seas.
Christmas is a time to be merry for sure but its also much more.
It’s to remember why we are happy and sad and then to share.
Transfer our love of the Lord and His great day as our present to all.
And only then will we have a true reason to stand tall.
“You are right” I replied “He is my greatest companion and friend
His gift is for all and brings us Christmas till the end.”
A tear comes out of my eye and the old man gives me a hug.
“Merry Christmas” he says with a wink “There is still time to love”
I look at the old man’s eyes and I think of a girl who is often weary
“I’ll find her and make sure that her Christmas is merry”
I get up to leave the chapel and look back at the old man in pew.
But to my surprise the room is empty and my curiosity grew.
Searching the pews and alter I noticed something new among the wishes
A Christmas card and written on inside said ‘now go find your missions”
As I went back into cold I smiled at the snow and looked at North Star
Christmas wasn’t about what I don’t have but how I could spread joy far
One thing was for sure. If I knew Jesus lived I must make it clear.
“Whether young, old, single or married, Merry Christmas to all everywhere”
Hurray a winner and my first poem! So exciting!