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I love reading about authors write the books they write and I love thinking/writing about why I wrote a book. Maybe it’s an author thing. I don’t know, but the process of a germ of an idea growing into a full fledged story fascinates me.

So as Genie wrote last week, we were at lunch and got to wondering why we hadn’t done a project together. We’ve been friends for longer than we want to do the math to figure out. But long story short, we met online in a screenwriting forum, but didn’t meet for reals until hubs and I had moved to Houston. I can remember loving her script writing and when she started writing novels, loving them, too. While I was sad when our son moved his family (with our grand kids) to California, it did put Genie and I within comfortable reach of each other. Hence the lunch.

Honestly? I think we picked Christmas because this was back in March and it seemed far enough away to sound fun and not stressful. But we were both intrigued with the idea of doing a holiday project. We kicked around some ideas. I went home. She went home. Then we kicked some more ideas around through Facebook messaging and email. Somehow in all that kicking, the idea of setting the stories in Wyoming and having a present as a central theme emerged.

We sort of let the basics sit while we both dealt with other urgencies. I’d think about mine when I didn’t want to work on what I was currently working on. I wanted to do science fiction romance. Genie liked that idea, too (read her “why I wrote” from last week). I pondered the present and somehow the idea of a present collided with the Star Trek Next Generation episode, “Little Rascals.”

When ideas collide in my head, well, quirky often happens, and Up on the House Top was no exception. The aliens came from a party I attended at the RT Book Reviews annual convention last May. If you haven’t been to the Intergalactic Bar & Grill party at RT, well, you haven’t lived. I won’t say more, because that would be a “spoilers, sweetie,” but yeah, quirky happened.

But it wasn’t just quirky. As I wrote about Virginia coming home for Christmas, well, memories began to flood into my head of Christmases past, present and to come. That hope, or perhaps it is the longing for the “perfect” Christmas and what happens when it collides with our very real, very human flaws. That moment when the “ho, ho, ho’s” turn into “oh, no!”

So while most of us will never have aliens for Christmas, we all will, at some time or other, run our expectations very painfully into reality. And that’s when we realize that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect or “the best.” It can be filled with flaws or the flu (yes, been there done that one multiple times) and still be Christmas if we’re sharing it with family and/or friends. And if we remember that the holiday is not about what we get, but what we give.

If you’ve ever hoped for a ho, ho, ho Christmas and gotten something else, well, All I Got For Christmas will make you feel better about it. Unless you’ve had aliens for Christmas, too and if you have, I so want to hear about it!

What’s your best and worst Christmas or holiday ever? Come on, you know you have both. Unless you’re incredibly lucky. 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.

Perilously yours,


Why She Wrote Up on the House Top
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5 thoughts on “Why She Wrote Up on the House Top

  • November 28, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    The best one was when our son was about seven and heard some bells jingling at a big family party. His eyes lit up because he was sure it was Santa on the rooftop. For the worst, none has been too bad. Since flu is a theme for the worst, I will say that one year my husband and I were supposed to host the in-laws Christmas and got the flu. I guess they all met somewhere else without us.

    • November 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Ah, yes, the flu. The holiday hit we all get at some point. Sounds like you’ve had some lovely holidays, though! Thanks for sharing yours!

  • November 25, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Laughs, where to start. One year my Turkey exploded in the oven and it stuck to the roof of the oven.

    When my husband had his heart attack my daughter I spent Christmas eve in the attic of the hospital he was recuperating at and had a a wonderful Christmas dinner with patients staff and other families. My mother picked us up later that day and we had Christmas dinner again in the evening

  • November 25, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Usually, your ‘Why She Wrote’ posts have me adding to my TBR pile. But today, I am one step ahead. I am actually currently reading All I Got For Christmas. The IGB&G was exactly what I thought of when I read the about the aliens in your story. I’m not done yet, but I’ve certainly read enough to know you have achieved quirky!

    Worst holiday – hard to comment on because it makes me tear up. Best holiday – any holiday as a child. Before responsibilities detract from the pure enjoyment of the day. 2nd best – Christmas with grandchildren – at their house!

    • November 25, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Yes! Holidays with kids are always happy ones! I do remember one Christmas where we all had the stomach flu, but I think that one was harder on my mom (who had six kids!). Yeah, the story is quirky for sure. haha I can still remember being at the party and thinking, what if they were real? What would they think of us? LOL I can’t seem to help myself. Thanks SO much for the support! Was so great meeting you and IGB&G partying with you!

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