You know you’re a writer when . . .

  • you spend three times longer than necessary wrapping up a few bits of stained glass from the Nativity set and start to contemplate the power or ritual and how it might be used in a story.  Ritual takes time.  So, if you have a scene that you want the reader to pause over, to savour, to spend time with, try adding some ritual.  It will slow the pace while deepening the emotion.
  • you put away the stacking Russian dolls and begin to think of layers of story, how each fits inside the other, how they must lock together seamlessly.  The magic number with dolls is five.  Are there at least five layers of meaning in your story?
  • you re-read the notes attached to Christmas gifts from years ago and think of how our treasures reveal character.  In this case, the character of the note writer and the character of the one who kept it in a special box.   What do your heroine’s treasures reveal about her character?
  • you are gripped by melancholy as the tree is dragged out the door, denuded of its finery, the needles leaving a trail on the carpet.  You feel sorry for the tree.  You imagine a Christmas story where the tree is forgotten and stays in the corner of the living room all summer.  Why is it forgotten?  What does it see?  Is the tree happy to live past its time?  Does the tree have a name?
  • a new journal with lots of empty pages so fires your imagination you walk away from that stack of new books and start filling the pages with what if . . .

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