Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Carolyn MacCullough

Book Nerd Holiday 

Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Not Writing (When I Should Be): 

10. I’m tired. This may not seem like much of a reason. But it is when you’re the parent of a 3 year old and a year old. And by the way did I mention they both seem to be on caffeine? ALL. THE. TIME.

9. The aforementioned 3 year old and a year old. I mentioned the caffeine thing, right? Okay, well, that translates into regular napping strikes by both of them. They don’t nap. For the past two days they’ve both refused to nap. It’s like they plan and plot together to steal any free time I might have even though the 9 month old doesn’t talk yet. Well, he talks, but no one knows what he’s saying. Except when he says Momomomomomomom and holds out his arms to me. I’m pretty sure that means he wants a cookie.

8. I need to do laundry. Back when I was a single girl, I did laundry once, maybe twice a week. Luxury of luxuries, I lived in a city where people actually washed and folded it for you for a small sum and I could just pick up my clean sweet smelling bag of goodness on the way home from work. Now there’s my husband (man, does he generate laundry) and the aforementioned troublemakers of Reasons 9 and 10, so there’s a LOT of laundry. And no one to wash and fold it. Except for me. Right. Lots and lots and lots of laundry.

7. I need to de-spider web my ceiling and moldings. Okay, yes, this is lame. But I do have a very industrious group of spiders living in this house (uninvited I might add) and they really spin and spin and spin away at their webs. They’re like so many Penelopes weaving and weaving and weaving away—or wait maybe I’m the Penelope since I’m constantly undoing their work like she undid hers every night. Okay, need to check on that literary analogy/reference some more.

6. It’s the holidays. And that means baking. I want to bake and bake and bake some more cookies. I’m currently obsessed with the nutmeg maple butter cookies found on Smitten Kitchen’s blog. I made a batch recently and have to say that I’m not a big raw cookie dough fan kind of girl, but wow—one taste of the cookie dough and these cookies almost didn’t make it into becoming real baked cookies. And now visions of nutmeg maple butter snowmen and reindeer and snowflake shaped cookies are all luring me into the kitchen and compelling me to start defrosting the butter. Anyway, here’s the recipe link so you, too, can start wallowing in the nutmeg maple buttery goodness.

5. It’s the holidays. And that means gift shopping. Anyone have any idea what I can get for my mother? Really, I’m down to the wire here. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

4. It’s the holidays. I need to wrap presents. This year I dreamt of making my own wrapping paper and gift tags and stamping said homemade wrapping paper with really cool vintage looking Santa stamps (no idea where to even find those) and tying off the packages with twine and inserting freshly cut holly leaves and berries into said twine. Um . . . well, I just bought some discount wrapping paper at Michael’s craft store and yeah, well, it has some red and green Santas on it. They look pretty jolly. They’ll do.

3. It’s the holidays and I’m somehow hosting a WHOLE BUNCH of people on Christmas because oh, back in May, I looked up from a cup of tea and said dreamily, “wouldn’t it be fun to have people here for Christmas dinner?” to which my husband made enthusiastic sounding noises over his own cup of tea and well, here we are hosting said WHOLE BUNCH of people and I need to find a standing rib roast and then figure out how to do something Martha Stewart/Ina Garten worthy with it. (Wow—was that really only one sentence?)

2. I just want to read. Seriously, there are some many good books out there always and now that my reading time has been cut in half and then cut in half again and then diced up into tenths (I blame the above mentioned troublemakers from reasons 9 and 10 for this loss of reading time), well I treasure any spare five minutes I have to dive into awesome books. Like Blackbringer by Laini Taylor—I’m currently reading (and loving) that one.

1. I’m scared. Okay, all those above reasons, well they don’t count for much. For me, not writing boils down to the simple fact that it’s scary. Really scary. The whole blank page thing is pretty alarming, but even when the page isn’t blank, I often get paralyzed really by the idea that wait, this isn’t how the story is supposed to turn out. The story that shimmered like candy floss and silk and pearls in my mind just seems to turn to dust and dross when forced into real words on a real page. It’s . . . disheartening at times. And so, it’s a lot, lot, lot easier to do all the other above mentioned things than actually plant myself in a chair in front of my computer, switch off the Internet, and just . . . write. But, somehow, I do. Sometimes. A little. After I’ve put the troublemakers to bed and dusted the ceilings and put the cookies in the oven and the laundry in the dryer. Just a little. A few words by a few words until I have a page and then another page and then another. And then I try to remember that wonderful saying: “the worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.” No one really knows who actually said that, but whoever he/she was it was brilliantly said. Words to live by. Really.


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