Don’t let your holiday stories be lost!

images (1)The snow is a-flyin’ out here in Manning, and across the prairies of Canada. If you love to write, even just for yourself, there’s something about the season that just makes all want to stay indoors. There’s nothing like cozying up next to a warm fire with a fresh new notebook and a cup of tea as I watch the snow fill up your window pane.

And even better is the fact that the coming Christmas season brings with it so many sources of inspiration. The holidays, of course, bring families and friends together unlike any other time of the year. Often, brand new generations will be introduced to activities, stories, and even recipes for the first time. And as new families are created (be they blood, or otherwise), a great way to ensure that everyone’s traditions are kept alive is to write them down. You can collect them in a journal for yourself, or publish them in a book to share them with everyone in the family.

Plus November and December usually finds us and about more, attending events, gatherings, and just getting ready for the season—setting us up for all sorts of interactions and situations. They often say that true life is stranger than fiction, and I’m sure you’ll find that many of your family’s stories fit that bill!  Don’t believe me? Have a read of some of these holiday stories from Reader’s Digest a few years back. I bet if you think about it, there are more than a few hilarious festive skeletons in your family’s closet as well!

I can personally attest to the therapeutic nature of writing. If you find yourself getting caught up in preparations for the season and need to unwind, try it out! And if it goes well, make it an annual tradition of your own to record and collect the stories of the season—you’ll end up with a wonderful gift to both yourself, and your family!

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Blog tour: day two!

We’ve got two blog stops on our tour today! Our first stop is at Uplifting Reads. I think this really was a perfect stop for us, since her site is oriented towards suggesting reads that, as the title suggests, are uplifting! Andrea chooses books that are heart-warming and desgined to give your spirits a bit of a boost–we all need that once in a while! I’m glad Andrea enjoyed The Three Saints of Christmas and that she too thought it would be a great way to open the door for discussions with youngsters on our pioneer pasts here in Canada.

Our last stop of the week is at My Mommy’s World, a great place to stop by for a huge selection of reviews and giveaways! Theresa’s a busy mom, but somehow she still has time to blog about books and products for children of all ages. Great to see a little bit of Canadiana making its way across the web. Thanks for reading!

First stop: Confessions of an Overworked Mom

It’s the first stop on our holiday blog tour for The Three Saints of Christmas, and I’m so glad to have been able to make a stop at Confessions of an Overworked Mom Ellen gave it a great view, and really captured the essence of what the book is all about: it’s an old-fashioned Christmas tale designed for the whole family.

You can read the whole review here. While you’re there be sure to take the time to check out the rest of her site. It’s full of wonderful tips for the holidays, and all year round!

Write your way to a better brain!

Last week I talked about writers who had kept up their craft well past what youngsters would consider to be their ‘prime’ (of course, in a few years those youngsters will most certainly redefine what they consider to be a ‘prime’ age!). Well, it seems that in fact, there’s more to this ‘aging and writing’ thing than I thought!

A recent study has revealed that as we age, word—both our writing and reading of them—can play an important role in keeping our brains healthy. Using MRIs, scientists have discovered that the more literary engagement we have, the lower the likelihood that we’ll develop cognitive problems (like Alzheimer’s or dementia) later in life. This includes activities as simple as letter-writing (don’t forget those Christmas letters), reading a newspaper, or even doing the daily crossword.

But aside from the cognitive well-being these activities promote, I’d argue there are benefits to our emotional well-being as well. Reading and writing helps us to engage with others and with our imaginations, and what can be more beneficial than that! Even in this digital age, the written word forms the foundation for all our interactions with the world.

So if you’ve had an idea for the next great novel brewing in your mind for years, what are you waiting for? Get writing—your brain’s health may depend on it!

So many stories to tell, so little time…

I’ve said before, I have a pretty amazing location in which to pursue my craft. I feel like I’ve got the ultimate ‘room of one’s own‘ for writing. But of course, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. For writers, probably the most important part is finding the time to actually write.

As I mentioned, I tend to write very late at night into the wee hours of the morning—not out of choice, but out of necessity. Just like everyone out there, everyday life just seems to get in the way. I’m a mom, a grandmother, and up until a short time ago, I was also taking care of my ailing mother. Not to mention the fact that I work full-time on our farm, which involves tending to seven acres. I have a garden to look after, and a couple of houses to clean and run. And then of course are those annoying tasks like laundry and cleaning that, much as we’d like to skip, have to be done.

Oh yes, and then there’s that whole ‘sleep’ thing that apparently we humans have to do.

So at the end of the day, it really doesn’t leave a tremendous amount of time to write. And sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like there’s no way forward. But at the end of the day, writers write. So if you’re truly driven to be a story-teller, then you’re going to have to make it work. Have a read of this blog entry by another female author with some really helpful tips on how to make that happen.

Instead of getting frustrated about not being able to find time to write, remember that you might have to make the time to write.