When you plan a Christmas release, or any other holiday release, you have to “get in the mood” well before said holiday. If you start writing during the holiday, well, it won’t release until next year. I sort of knew this, but I’d never tried it. So I started working on Up on the House Top in August. It’s a tough month to write about snow and cold and going home for Christmas.
Yeah, I played Christmas carols, but what really helped me get into the mood was BEING home, being back where I started. I’ve been living in various places along the Gulf Coast for over thirty years. I’ve been home, of course, but I haven’t BEEN home for more than a few weeks in that time.
So to stop here long enough to remember, to be here long enough to fall into all those memories—that hadn’t happened before. It was like finding a coat in the back of the closet, one I knew was there, but didn’t think would fit anymore. But to my surprise it did fit. For me, the coat is older, but it still fits, feels amazingly right to wear.
I’ve loved being home again (even if I still have a home in Texas).
It’s been amazing to see leaves change. To feel that crisp cool in the air that you only get here. Okay, it might happen other places, but for me, no where else is quite like here. I can’t believe how quickly I’ve become a “Wyoming gal,” again. Seriously, I blinked and was like, oh yeah, I remember this.
Maybe it’s the fact that you can never really leave Wyoming. Or you can never really leave home. I don’t know how it is for other people, well, I kind of know my kids feel that way about New Orleans, because that is where they grew up. Do they go there and put it on? Only they could answer that question for them.
And, bonus, to be able to fall into a story about going home to Wyoming, about facing the past, about dealing with issues…and aliens…well, it was just plain fun. It flowed out of me, like it had been waiting for me to notice it was there inside my head. And then add to that sheer pleasure of working with my dear friend, Genie, to produce our collection. She’s a wonderful writer and her descriptions of Wyoming are spot on.
If it sounds a little weird that a Christmas story can have heart and have aliens, well, it surprised me, too. I will admit that aliens were only one of many surprises I got while writing Up on the House Top. And then I got the next lovely surprise when I got to read Genie’s evocative and wonderful story, Riding For Christmas (I loved finding out what that meant! I grew up here and had never heard the phrase.) It has Wyoming and romance and aliens and time travel. Score!
Genie is visiting the blog on Wednesday to tell us the story behind the writing of Riding for Christmas and that’s fun read, too, so hope you’ll check back.
Have you ever hoped for a ho-ho-ho holiday and gotten something else—seriously, who hasn’t?—you will probably get a kick out of All I Got For Christmas. And bonus, neither story is terribly long. You can dip in between turkey basting and present wrapping.
Have you ever gone somewhere and felt it slip on like you should always have been there? Or expected your holiday to be one thing and got something else? I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.