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Claiming Christmas Joy

Joy Blocks

Image by jennecy via Flickr

I published this post back in 2010, came across it today and decided to repost this reminder for myself and anyone else who may need it. We all have shattered dreams. Yet within them, there will be sparkles of joy. Let me not miss them.

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A friend was talking to me yesterday. She had struggled through an abusive marriage, painful divorce, trying to keep a roof over her head and raise three children. She has health problems, too, and it seemed that for twenty years all she could see were pieces of shattered dreams at her feet. She said something that really struck me– “I let Christmas get hard for me over those years. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can let go of all that and claim the joy of Christmas again.”

That’s it, isn’t it? We let things go, let them be buried under the inevitable difficulties of life. My friend reminded me that we don’t have to do that, and that it is up to us to claim our joy. No one can do this for us. We each have to do it ourselves.

No matter where we are, no matter how large the painful circumstance, or maybe a nagging one that has been hanging on for years, we don’t have to let that pain overshadow the joy of Christmas. Christmas joy is a gift already given to us. All we have to do is open our heart to accept it.

As a gift of joy to you, I’d like to share an excerpt of a short story I wrote years ago for a Harlequin Historical anthology, entitled Once Upon A ChristmasRead more

Gleanings: The Right to Write and Miracle On I-40

“Aiming for that, I learned to write setting judgment aside…I called this new, freer writing ‘laying track’. For the first time I gave myself emotional permission to do rough drafts and for those rough drafts to be, well, rough.” ~Julia Cameron, The Right to Write.

Cameron writes that she learned to write more freely. She learned to give herself permission to do this. Learning involves repeated attempts. It is done with choice after choice, until one becomes good at it. You don’t have to be good at writing freely. You can learn it.

Some of us are compulsive fixers with our writing. (Raise my hand.) It is simply a trait or habit we were born with or acquired along the way. There is a good side to this. We turn out clean copy. But when we can’t let ourselves write because we are attempting to write and to polish at the same time, we get crazy and can’t write at all. Some of us must repeatedly practice reminding ourselves that we are writing rough drafts–and let ourselves do so. I’ve found that when I let myself be free to write badly, I’m quite pleased with what I do write.

From Miracle On I-40:

“Maybe he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus because Santa doesn’t bring him anything–because he’s too grumpy all the time.”

“Oh, sweetie, Santa brings everyone presents. Even grumpy people. He loves everyone…but maybe Cooper can’t see the presents, so he doesn’t accept them.” She took Anna’s hand.

“That’s one of those things I’ll understand when I’m older, right?” Anna said very seriously.

Sometimes we have something, even a heart’s desire, but because we can’t see it, can’t believe we have it, maybe can’t believe we deserve it, we don’t. Allow ourselves to believe we can have the desire, and then we will open our eyes to see. We will take a step in the direction toward our desire. Believing comes first. It isn’t seeing, then believing. It is believing first, and then what we believe unfolds before us.

Just some ‘rough-draft’ thoughts today. Take what you like and leave the rest. Christmas is upon us, and I’m in a hurry, but I’m getting my hour of writing in.

Yippee! Miracle On I-40 hits the top 100 Kindle Holiday Romances!


Click for link to Amazon

I’m thrilled that Miracle On I-40 has gone onto the top 100 Kindle books in the Holiday Romances. Another generation of people are enjoying the story, conceived so long ago. Miracle On I-40 is a story about second chances, perseverence, and seeking joy. About choosing life, right in the midst of chaos. (Perhaps I know more about this perseverance than I have realized.)  It is a feel-good, relaxing read.

It has always been my aim to write to give to others the same enjoyment that I have received from fiction. A way to pass along the good blessings, ones that more than once have saved my sanity in wild and woolly life on earth.

Miracle On I-40 is at 99¢ only on Kindle right now. Enjoy it…and if you cannot, please find a story that you can enjoy. Such is how we build ourselves.

Merry Christmas!


PS: You can get a free autograph by clicking on the Authorgraph link in the sidebar.


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