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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

#IWSG: March - Traditions

Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

A huge thank you to the awesome co-hosts for this month: Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!


I started off February on a roll. In 2 weeks, I wrote over 12,000 words. Then, I broke my foot. The obvious question is how? I stepped wrong, I guess. You would think since I have to be off my foot I'd be writing up a storm. Hah! I wrote 600 words since then. So, I need to get my mojo back. Hopefully, next month I can say I finished the darn book. 

This month's optional question: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

Christmas is a time of many traditions—old and new, especially when new members are added to the family. Our daughter combined our traditions with her husband’s, same with our son. One thing hasn’t changed is the Christmas tree.

In my book, Romance Rekindled, I used what is our holiday tradition in this excerpt where Sam sees Flo’s (Abby’s mother) house. Bethany is Abby’s daughter. Sam is George’s son.

Sam had only been in this house once, shortly after he arrived in west Michigan. The living room was tastefully decorated for the holidays. The tree in front of the window had to be ten feet tall. With its twelve-foot ceiling, the room would have dwarfed a smaller tree. Intrigued by what looked like a mishmash of ornaments, he walked closer to examine them.
“I made that decoration when I was in kindergarten.” Bethany had come up behind him and pointed to what looked like a butterfly made of wallpaper and a hairclip. “Mom made that one in preschool. And Gram made this one in grade school.”
The last two ornaments, a Shrinky Dink star—Sam remembered making those—and a pinecone with glued glitter were amateurish and charming. Nadine would’ve disdained them, opting for matching ornaments, ribbons, and lights. Not this record of children’s growth. His mother would have approved, though.
“Mom and I helped Gram decorate. She won’t let Gram get up on a ladder.”
“Good thing,” George said. He, too, had come over to admire the tree. “Can’t have my sweetie falling.”
“Oh, you.” Flo swiped her hand against his arm in a playful, yet intimate, gesture. “I love my tree. So many wonderful memories.”

That’s how I feel about our tree—so many memories. As our kids married, I passed many of their handmade ornaments to them for their trees.




Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?

Sam Watson embraces the transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.

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Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.



33 comments:

  1. Oh no! I'm sorry about your foot. Hopefully you can get back into writing more.

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  2. So sorry about your foot. I hope you're up and about soon. I still have and use many of the ornaments my daughter made when she was a kid. They are my favorities!

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    1. Thanks, Natalie and thanks for co-hosting. I love those ornaments our kids made. I wanted the reader to get a glimpse into Sam's former life with the comparison to his former fiancee.

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  3. Really sorry about your foot!
    The best Christmas trees are a hodge-podge of family ornaments.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Yep, those are the best trees.

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  4. Hope your foot is healing nicely. This took me back to my childhood with the box of homemade ornaments. I still have some of them in a box in my own Christmas decor now. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Dixie. My MIL saved ornaments from her childhood, which I now have and hang near the top of the tree to save them from the Terrible Twos Twins.

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  5. What a wonderful snippet of tradition!! I've got a ton of 'heirloom' ornaments and each brings back a host of memories. Hope that foot is healing well. Believe me, I know how pain (and great meds) gets in the way of the keyboard!!

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    1. Those ornaments are the best. The foot wasn't healing well enough, so now I'm supposed to be off it most of the time. What a PITA.

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  6. Hi,
    Get well soon. I hope your foot heals well and that you will find your energy to keep writing. You've already started by giving yourself a deadline of by the end of next month.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks, Pat. That deadline keeps getting pushed back. I wish I could feel like writing again. But wishes don't make it come true.

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  7. Sorry about the foot. Pain makes most things much harder to deal with. Heal and be good to yourself. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  8. Feeling bad about your foot. Hope your recover soon.

    12000 words in 2 weeks is good.

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    1. Thanks, Rachna. Yeah, I was feeling so good about the writing.

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  9. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear about your foot. Sending healing vibes your way.

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  10. So sorry to hear about your foot. One isn't particularly inspired to write when dealing with pain, pt, and hobbling about.

    I don't do Christmas trees anymore, but I still have a box of special ornaments - some made by my daughter, others picked up over the years on special trips. And a glass pickle ornament like the one my grandmother always had on her tree.

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    1. Thanks, Lee. I've heard of the tradition of a pickle ornament on the tree. Cool.

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  11. That foot doesn't sound like fun. I stepped off a curb when I was in college and broke seven bones in my foot at the beginning of fall semester. Now you'd think a youngster with healthy bones wouldn't do that, but just a small misstep can do terrible things. Hope you're healed soon and writing a lot.

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    1. Wow, Lee. 7 bones? Thanks for your empathy. I know this will pass, but it's not easy.

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  12. Hmmm. I like how you took a blurb from your book to example a tradition to answer this month's question. Nice blurb. :)

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  13. Breaking a foot sucks. Hope you get better soon.

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  14. My sister keeps ornaments on her tree from kids projects, places they have vacationed, stuff like that. She sends one to all her grandkids every year. I don't put up a tree, so I don't get an ornament, lol.

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    1. Sounds like a plan, Dolorah. I was too tired to put up ornaments this year. The tree is lighted and was pretty enough without them.

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  15. Your post made me think about my parents' Christmas decorations. We always had a wonderful tree in our house and after my mother got older she started just leaving the tree up year round. There was something strangely comforting when I'd go visit her in the summertime and go down to her basement family room to sit at the bar and just enjoy that Christmas tree. I guess by then it was more of a Celebration of Memories tree. I suppose that could be a thing.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Hubs' aunt kept her tree up all year, just slid it from the living room out into a corner of her enclosed balcony, wrapped in huge plastic. Until the condo association changed the rules. LOL What a great visit you must have had at your mom's.

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  16. Ouch! Sorry to hear about your foot. That isn't a very fun way to put the brakes on your writing mojo. Hopefully, your foot will heal soon, and you'll be up and running again. (So to speak...)

    The description of the tree from your book sounds like the way our tree looked for many years. Some of our glass ornaments are so old and fragile, you can practically read through them. As filled with memories as they are, the ones made by our children 40+ years ago will always be my favorites.

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  17. I should expect change, but I'm always surprised when something happens that's drastic, like breaking your foot! Hope you are past the painful parts and back to writing. Here, that snippet brought back many memories of making Christmas magic. Be well.

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