Design Your Own Christmas Ornament

We can’t all sew or do woodwork and other creative crafty goodness but if you were to create your perfect Christmas ornament what would it be? Right now on my desk I have new polar bear ballerinas, all in pink with a tiara. I bought them thinking of my nieces who like to think they are princesses. I’ve my boxes of ornaments to be pulled up from the basement, maybe today. In there I have angels and snowmen, snowflakes and icicles, Santa and poinsettias. There are endless ideas you could come up with for something especially meaningful to you, combined with a regular Christmas theme. Think of those pink flamingo ornaments geared to the Snowbirds escaping winter to have Christmas in Florida.

My ornament would be a stack of computer gadgets in a pyramid shape with poinsettias and other Christmas greenery, like a Christmas tree made of computer hardware.

New Idea for Uncluttering

The next thing someone needs to invent is a sidebar or widget that lets you list all your webrings, blogrolls and other groups you have joined in one widget which you stick on your sidebar instead of all those individual blogrolls, webrings, widgets and graphic linkbacks. I see it being something like the widget for Wink. But, instead of links to your profiles on Yahoo, Blogger and etc it would be a link to all those widgets which usually clutter up our sidebars.

It could even take you to a secondary page on the blog where all those widgets and such are listed in full. But the widget on your main page would not have all that mass of clutter. If you have seen Wink you might get a better idea of what I am thinking of.

Now it just needs some code type person to come along and do it. Any time now… don’t all rush at once.

Especially Special Events

Do you know enough HTML code to change your site for the holidays? Try it! I know we are supposed to bow to the gods of branding but take a break from worshipping at Christmas time, Halloween, Valentines Day and other events. Even if it’s just for one day. Brighten up your site with a big red bow or a fresh banner in seasonal colours. Find something you can do even if all you can do is change the colours of your fonts to read and green. Keep your site readable but give it a holiday make over.

A Silly Song

Little kids make it seem easy to be happy. Their needs are pretty simple and basic and when they feel happy they show it easily. One of the nicest things to hear is a child laughing or singing some song from a meaningless phrase they heard. My nieces are singing “A hermie and a wormie” and then laughing together each time.

Just for fun, make up some nonsense phrase and give it a tune. Sing it out loud. Pick your time and place if you’re feeling shy but make sure you sing it a few times. We can be just as happy as those little kids if we have a silly song and just let ourselves sing it.

Perfect People are Irritating in Fiction

I’m reading a book that I want to like. The writing is good. The story is moving along. At first I thought the problem was that I’m reading the second book in a series, skipping the first. (I just happened to find the second on sale and never went looking for the first).

Anyway, the real problem is becoming apparent more and more as I read along. The main character is too perfect. She has great hair, great figure, smart and all the men in the story are chasing after her. She’s athletic and strong in all the ways that matter. Just too perfect, it’s irritating to read about her.

When you write a character who is not the main character it is easier to give them imperfections. They are meant to be less than perfect, to need something or someone and to be supported in some way by the main character. After all, there has to be some reason they are appearing in the story of the main character. But, a main character needs to be imperfect, have some flaws, it makes them human and lets readers identify with them, even like them.

As a writer we tend to base our main characters on ourselves. It’s like we are the star of our story. So there is a tendency to want to make these characters a better version of ourselves. The self we would like to be. But, that’s not really a good way to write a character. Give them imperfections. Let them goof up, be less than gorgeous and not be beloved of everyone they encounter.

More Than the Eye can See

I can remember waiting for someone to pick me up from some event. I was still a kid and it was winter. A real wintery evening. Dark outside, snow blowing around and cold. Just plain cold, not bitter or frigid, but that kind of cold that is just there as if it had always been there.

One thing that brings back that memory strongly is the sound of the ding and ping from the Canadian flag blowing in the wind. I still have a clear imprint in my mind with how it looked but also the sound made as the wind blew the flag against it’s metal pole. I guess the flag had divots (I think that is the right term for them) which the rope ran through and it was those metal bits which made the noise.

Funny how something so small brings that memory so sharply into focus. I don’t know how long I waited outside or what the event was any more.

When you write a scene remember real life is more than just what the eye can see. Don’t forget to add sounds, smells, taste and touch. Think of all the things you remember based on just some song on the radio, the smell of a pie baking or how soft a cotton ball is.

November 27th

On this date, in 1932, my Dad was born in the UK. Sometimes they would say he was born in Scotland, sometimes the story would switch and he would be born in England but grew up in Scotland. Not vitally important either way. Unless you are his daughter and wonder about these things, where you came from and who you should be.

My Dad has been dead a few years now. We never got along so I can’t say I feel upset. I do think of him now and then and on his birthday. All those cards I bought and made over the years. Most he barely looked at and then misplaced somewhere. My Mom kept a few and then threw out more as clutter management.

Everyone has someone gone from their life. Someone who may not have been especially beloved but had a part to play. Write about a misplaced birthday for someone who never became famous but had some small, yet vital, part to play in the grand scheme of things. What kind of birthday memorial should there be for the people that time forgets?