My Online Literary Experiment: Holiday Break!

One of my heroes!Sometimes like a coach, a writer has to make the right call for the team or athlete, no matter how unpopular the decision might be. (I am assuming this, I know nothing about sports.)

See, I realized today that it would be impossible to really create a first-rate chapter in time for this friday because of the holiday.

I have two little kids, and family to visit, etc., and the fact is I will be losing too many evenings writing. (Seriously, almost all of my evenings! It would’ve been hell and stressful. Not Christmas-y at all.) So I have decided that it would be best for the book that I delay the release of Chapter 23 by one week.

Yup, Chapter 23 will not be released now until January 4.

For those that might be worried that somehow the book/writing experiment might be in trouble so near the end, let me say loudly: NO WORRIES. I have a good first draft of the chapter ready, and if it was a normal week ahead there would have been no problem at all.

And also, do I want to be stressing this week about a chapter, writing until the wee hours, or instead waiting for Santa by the window with my kids? Sorry, readers the answer was obvious to me.  I’m a believer in the man in the red suit and the white beard.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a nice holiday. Rebecca, Jenn, Vince, Marty, Mary, Viv, Gordon, Steve, Ralph, Lilly, and even Bob will be back in the new year to end my new novel, Permanent Spring Showers.

(… Oh, and buy my new book A Jane Austen Daydream. It is quite lovely and filled with writing surprises [and only 99 cents on amazon right now!];  and will help you as you wait for the return of my little/massive experiment.)

Neil Diamond’s “A Cherry Cherry Christmas” is the Worst Christmas Song Ever! A Holiday Musical Rant.

It Even he doesn't look happy with the result...takes a lot to write a worse song than “Christmas Shoes.”

You could almost see a contest being created around the Herculean task. The title of the contest could relate to old, smelly sneakers or something.

Yet, in 2009 Neil Diamond would have won the coveted holey shoe without any trouble at all with his “A Cherry Cherry Christmas.” (You see how I did that? Because we are talking about the holidays and I said “holey” instead of holy?… Oh, nevermind.)

How did I escape this atrocity to the holidays for the last few years?

It might be my first proof of Christmas angels. (And not the little ones who are all alone with no toys to play with except a shoebox… Wow, I hate that children’s book; most depressing vision of the afterlife ever.) See, I love the holiday season and one of my little embarrassing quirks is each year I give the local radio stations a chance to prove to me that there is still the possibility of good Christmas music being made. Usually, they don’t succeed…

Actually, sadly, I can’t think of the last time they have convinced me that anyone should consider making a holiday CD at all again! Continue reading

The Christmas Accordion: Holiday 2012 Thoughts

I have three memories around my second grade teacher, Mr. Nyenhuis.

The first involved the time he dumped Dan Wheeler’s desk on the ground, showing what an absolute mess it was. Seriously, there was a smell coming from it that we all had to find out about. It couldn’t be natural.

The second memory was around my broken wrist. It was my first (and only) broken anything and I had to get up in front of the class and tell everyone about it. I remember the feeling of all of my fellow classmates’ eyes on me and their excitement as I got closer and closer to the moment I fell off the bars on a backyard play set (I remember doing an incredibly inaccurate “crunch!” noise). To this day, I point to that moment as one of the defining ones that turned me towards storytelling.

The last memory involved Mr. Nyenhuis, the holidays, and Christmas.

See, for every year I was in elementary school, on the last week of school before Christmas, we had a tradition at Parkview Elementary. All of the kids were led out to the hallway for a daily sing-along. Continue reading

The New Kid in the Audience: A Holiday Confessional

Hi, my name is Scott and I’m a Christmas-aholic. It has been two hours since I last listened to Nat King Cole sing “The Christmas Song.”

I love this season.

I always have.

I look forward to putting up the tree and buying presents (many times I have been known to do this in September and October… the presents, not the tree).

I love the stories that come up each year.  A Christmas Carol is in my opinion one of the few perfect works in literature (Right up there with Pride and Prejudice). Continue reading

Book Review: The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Since the passing of Ray Bradbury, I’ve been re-reading his books (or reading ones for the first time), trying to find a lost classic, a gem I had not discovered before.  So far I’ve reviewed two of his books (Here are the reviews: Something Wicked This Way Comes and From the Dust Returned).  Today, I review The Halloween Tree.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury has had a thorny history. It began as a screenplay for an animated film that was not made, then turned into a young adult novel, then into a screenplay of a holiday special and finally into a more finished version of the book… Whew… It’s exhausting just writing that, I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for Bradbury.

The Halloween Tree is more than a celebration of Halloween, it is a celebration of death, and because of it also a celebration of life. Continue reading