Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Writing for Christmas

I'm not a big fan of Christmas. I don't like the weather, for a start, although by the time the big day comes, we have passed the solstice, so I at least know that it will gradually be getting lighter. I'm fine with the core elements - the nativity story, carols, fairy lights, home made cakes and puddings, but I'm not one for Christmas jumpers or special pyjamas, or bed linen or table settings, or any of the other things the shops are attempting to persuade us are essential. I was very puzzled by an empty box marked Christmas Eve that was on sale at the supermarket, until it was pointed out that it was for things like the pyjamas, and films and so on, to be opened on Christmas Eve. It was a box too far for me!

Given my lukewarm feelings, it is rather a surprise to find that I quite enjoy writing Christmas stories. I have one in print - What Happens at Christmas - and two more in the pipeline. I've been amassing catalogues and magazines to get in the mood for them - a bit like story boarding - and it is fun. In What Happens at Christmas  I cut my characters off with a carefully engineered snow storm, without any electricity, so they had quite an old fashioned Christmas. The two that I'm incubating both involve entertaining on a lavish scale, so I am having fun with lots of posh food and very expensive decorations. One has a bit of crime in it, for which the lavish partying is a cover, the other centres around a hotel, so I am indulging my very first serious career choice, which was hotel management. That didn't work out, but the impulse is obviously still there. You really never know what your mind is going to latch onto in the search for a story.

Christmas by proxy is clearly more my thing that the actual event. When I was still working on a paying job the best present my family could give me was a few hours of uninterrupted time on Christmas Day to write. And that is what I am planning to do this Christmas Day too. I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. I too would prefer to write about Christmas than join in it, Evonne. My immediate family seem to have inherited a festive gene that's passed me by though I do like lights, little sparkly ones, not big flashy displays. And I enjoy a good carol service. But 2019's behind us now so here's hoping for no more lurgies and lots of writing.

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