i’ve been…CHRISTMAS-ING

Merry Christmas!

Oh, wait…there are still two weeks to go, aren’t there? Thank goodness. I wouldn’t want the season–the excitement, the anticipation–to be over yet!

Ah, well, that’s all beside the point. I’m here today to launch something new. On the second Monday of every month–not the first, simply because I hadn’t come up with the idea by the first Monday of December 😉 –I’m going to do an “I’ve Been” post. This was inspired by Tessa Emily Hall‘s amazingly fun “Currently” posts, which I absolutely adore.

It was also because I couldn’t think of a topic for a “real” blog post but you didn’t hear that from me…

Last week I…

Two words: Copy. Edits.

Got them last Sunday, sent them off on Thursday, and got them back for Round Two on Friday. Thankfully, copy editing is one of my FAVORITE parts about being a writer. My copy editor, Miralee Ferrell, is the best and we have WAAAY too much fun doing the edits.

BUT I also spent hours making this ad to go in a magazine. It was a last-minute decision to include it in the magazine, which was about to enter the layout stage. I had about a day to come up with a tagline, find a photo (from my ridiculously overstocked photo library), and create the whole thing. Miralee was an absolute SAINT and she helped me through the entire processes–we must have exchanged a million emails and messages. In the end, though, we both loved it.

And I went Christmas shopping, as I’d hoped to, last Monday. I bought tons of stocking stuffers and may or may not have gobbled down a certain cheesy jalapeño pretzel at the mall. Then, of course, I had to go home and WRAP all of those presents, which was even more fun!

Oh, then there was my family’s Christmas party. That was on Saturday and it was an absolute blast. We had a crazy Christmas sock competition, a wacky white elephant gift exchange, and two tables competed against each other in some unusual games. So much fun!

 

I’m eating…

A lot of amazing stuff! Too much to ramble about here, but I’ll share a highlight: cranberry-pecan cake with cream cheese frosting. And sugared cranberries on top. Swoon. So. Good. I mean, look at that picture! My mouth is watering already.

I’m looking forward to…

  • CHRISTMAS!! And everything that comes along with it. You probably didn’t know that by now, did you? 😉
  • Checking my mailbox. Not the real mailbox, but the holiday mailbox Mom started for me when I was little. Every day of December leading up to Christmas, I get something–a book, article of clothing, foodie item…anything, really. I’ve been getting some pretty great stuff, like fuzzy Winnie-the-Pooh PJ’s (for my inner child/Pooh nerd) and a pine-scented, wood-wick candle that crackles as it burns.
  • My youth orchestra’s annual winter concert. I have two huge violin solos and I can’t wait to share my music with everyone!
  • Going to the Bahamas. The KLOVE Cruise is in January, which means that I get to hang out on a Royal Caribbean cruise liner with MY FAVORITE BAND EVER (We are Messengers) and a bunch of other amazing singers like Britt Nicole and Danny Gokey. Plus there’s a private island. And we’re going to go early and hang out in Florida.
  • Editing my second book. Okay, so this is a bit of nervous excitement…right now it’s a huge mess! But I know my content editor, the amazing Jenny Mertes, will help me get everything in place.

I’m reading…

I just finished Christmas at Carnton, Tamera Alexander’s holiday “novella.” (A 256-page novella? Sign me up!) and absolutely LOVED it. And my mom just surprised me with a copy of How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method, which I can hardly wait to dig into!

But right now, I’m strangely hooked on the middle-grade Mr. Terupt series. No idea why, but I found one of the books languishing on a shelf and picked it up out of…boredom? Nostalgia?

Okay, I’ll be honest–I just wanted to read it. I really have a soft spot for kid’s books. Even picture books. I love reading so much that I can’t bear to turn away from a perfectly good book, even if I am way outside of the target audience.

I’m hoping…

  • That everyone loves the Christmas presents I’ve found for them
  • That I can remember to get to the post office today and mail off Christmas cards/presents
  • That I can keep my focus on God even when everything around me is crazy and busy
  • That I can find tons of people to join my street team when it launches in March
  • That my book cover will be just as pretty as I envision it will be
  • That I can get Robin Jones Gunn or Melody Carlson to endorse my book
  • That the Christmas season lasts forever 😉

 

I’m listening to…

Christmas music. Everyone I know thinks I’m either crazy or just have really bad taste because I love to listen to Christmas music by the oldies. Not even the “normal” oldies like Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole but people like:

  • Brenda Lee–you know, the one who first rocked around the Christmas tree? I agree that her voice isn’t the best out there, but my grandparents listened to it, my mom grew up listening to it, and…by now, it’s just tradition.
  • Kenny G–the saxophone-playing guy who made jazzy Christmas instrumentals a thing. Some people (who shall not be named) think it sounds like elevator music. I respectfully–and loudly–disagree.
  • Amy Grant–because she is AMAZING and her Christmas music perfectly evokes the holiday spirit.
  • Kenny Rogers–why not?
  • Mannheim Steamroller–because I have a thing for classical music. And also a bit of rock. Which is why Mannheim Steamroller, the “American Neoclassical new-age” rock orchestra has my heart. But I have no idea what makes their stuff new-agey. It’s not. Just a little…unique 😉

 

Tell me–is my taste in Christmas music really that bad? What do you like to listen to?

Also, what have you been up to? I’d love to chat! Leave your answers in the comments below.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Great post! Where did you get your cranberry-pecan cake with cream cheese frosting & sugared cranberries on top? Or did someone make it? Is it a recipe you can share?

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