How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, for I have a story for you. It’s only a little one.

OK, then. Well, the Grinch’s first move towards stealing Christmas involved slipping magical things into the music systems in shops.

These magical things were some variety of timer, set to go off immediately after Hallowe’en. And set to start playing Christmas songs on the 1st November.

And there is nothing which the poor workers can do about it, except suffer for an entire month longer than is necessary.

NaNo, NaBlo, and Other Writing Challenges

With November fast approaching, it behoves me, and others like me, to make a decision about NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo. I’ve even chosen which of my many story-plans will be this year’s attempt. Or rather, Mark did, since I’m notoriously indecisive.

And yet, I think, on reflection, that I won’t be making the attempt. Not because I fear failure; I did it last year, I can do it again. But because I have quite a few demands on my time.

I’m still editing – I don’t like to rush these things – and I’m planning to make various Christmas-related items, one of which is (hopefully) an Advent calendar. Nothing like leaving everything to the last minute! Mostly because I don’t really like thinking about Christmas until the Autumn of Birthdays is done first – the last of which is the beginning of December. However. This year I’m attempting to be organised.

I will, though, have another go at NaBloPoMo – I failed quite badly last year, with my novel rather taking over. This year, I shall be stitching my way through November, so maybe there’ll be time for some intelligent, and not-so-intelligent, thoughts to make their way here.

Not that I intend to ignore entirely the writing of that novel, or the editing of the previous (whose name still needs finalising). I just won’t be racing to the end.


I think it was Douglas Adams who said that he rather liked deadlines. They make a nice whooshing noise as they rush by, uncaught.

I quite like them too, but for a different reason. They give me something to aim for, something to aspire to (at least they do now, when I’m not penalised for missing them!). When I wrote essays for university, deadlines had a wonderful way of focusing the mind.

Now, deadlines are more flexible. Sort of. At the moment, my deadline is the end of the month. So I have targets for each week. And they really are more flexible. I envisage a mad panic in the last week of this month, when I realise that I’m still some way off the word count and I must finish my work. When I will decide that my much-beloved sleep must be forgone in order to complete it. We will have separation issues, my bed and I, that week.

But deadlines are useful. Without them, probably little would be completed. Creativity is not that rigid. It takes discipline, persistence and mental fortitude. And becomes even trickier when Life must go on around you, distracting you from your creative work.

I am currently several thousand words behind schedule. I have missed a few blog-posts this week. I hope to catch up by next weekend. With any luck, since now that Christmas is within sight, my place of work (a card shop) has become much busier, and my presence there in greater demand. It might be this week in which I forgo my sleep…