Writing activities

Christmas Planning

The Hill Gang!

This week has been a bit of a change from the last while. Could it have something to do with the time of year? Oh yes …

Christmas planning!

  • Clean out closets and shed — getting ready for Christmas guests 🙂
  • I finally decided on this year’s family Christmas gift. Some years ago for NaNoWriMo, I did a “creative non-fiction” family memoir which I called “The Hill Gang” and posted on a private blog site for the family to read. I included some snapshots for each “chapter.” The only trouble was, it was pretty much “first draft” quality, and being a blog, the beginning of the story (when I met my husband) is at the end of the site, and the end of the story (the arrival of our first grandchild) is at the beginning of the site. That makes it pretty confusing to read! So I decided that for this Christmas I would edit it somewhat, and put it in chronological order, as well as adding more snapshots. I decided to use a Microsoft Publisher newsletter template that I’m familiar with, thinking that would make it fast and easy. The only thing that didn’t occur to me was

So I decided (at the beginning of December … better late than never, right?) that for this Christmas family gift I would edit it somewhat, and put it in chronological order, as well as adding more snapshots. I decided to use a Microsoft Publisher newsletter template that I’m familiar with, thinking that would make it fast and easy. The only thing that didn’t occur to me was that, being a NaNoWriMo project, it is more than 50,000 words in length–a book-length project, not just a newsletter length project. Last year, I used the same format to write about my husband’s childhood growing up in his village of Old Massett. As it turns out, that was a much more reasonable project, length-wise.

Anyway, I have been working like mad on “The Hill Gang” story … and after many hours, have just managed to cover 1979 to 1983. As our first grandchild arrived in 2001, you can well imagine that I have a long way to go, even though the project is already 43 pages long. I have come up with a great solution, though! I will print out what is done so far and put the pages in binders, one for each of our children’s families (that’s 5), and one for us. Then I’ll mail them out, hopefully in time for Christmas. After that, I’ll keep working at this project … and for each upcoming family-type holiday (Valentines, Easter, and so on), I’ll send along more pages until I’ve completed it. Definitely one of those “Christmas gifts that keep on giving” 🙂

  • Six Christmases ago I bought a dozen or so copies of a “fill in the blank” type book called “From Grandma With Love.” I filled in one “master copy” and then photocopied and glued-and-pasted in all the information that was applicable to all the grandchildren. For pages that were specific to each individual grandchild, I wrote in that information separately. So that was my “family Christmas gift” for that year. However, a couple years later we were blessed with another granddaughter, and I’ve been feeling guilty ever since for putting off making her copy. But I’ve done it this year, finally! I still have a couple blank copies of the book, so … any more grandchildren in the plans? Peter?!?
  • I do have an “office” for my tutoring, editing and writing activities (which also doubles as our guest room from time to time–perfect for guests who love books since the walls are covered with bookshelves, all full to overflowing. But I also have had little piles of books scattered here and there all over the house. To make room for the Christmas decorations and company, I have gathered up all the loose books, and turned a many-shelf shoe rack (from the days when we had lots of kids at home) into yet another book rack, filling the final bare space on the office walls.

And I’ve done a bit of work … (as if all that above wasn’t work …)

  • The usual tutoring and editing continues.
  • Watch a Michael Hyatt webinar, “7 Steps for Taking Control of 2017” (now I have to put it into action … oh yeah!).
  • Attend a meeting of Literacy Now South Okanagan-Similkameen … and a Strata Council meeting.

And that’s about it for the past week.

Merry Christmas!

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