December 14 – White Christmas

Author’s note: I didn’t like any of the prompts I generated today, so I just came up with something on my own. Another Christmas story, Yay! Sorry for any typos and such things, I wrote this on my tablet on the bus and I’m posting using shopping centre wifi before I head to a rehearsal for a Christmas play I’m helping out with next week.

“Pete! Pete! Wake up, wake up, wake up!”

Megan bounced onto the bed and shook her boyfriend. He groaned and pulled the duvet over his head. Megan immediately pulled it back again.

“Pete, it’s Christmas and it’s snowing! You told me I wouldn’t get to see snow on Christmas!”

Slowly, Pete opened his eyes halfway and stared out at Megan. “What?” he said when his brain finally managed to communicate with his mouth.

“Snowing!” Megan exclaimed again. “Come on, get your coat!”

Megan was already half dressed, and only needed to pull on another couple of top layers and her coat before she was ready. While Pete dragged himself out of bed and began getting dressed, she pulled her hair up into a ponytail that she then stuffed into a beanie.

A few minutes later, Peter found Megan by their front door, bouncing from foot to foot in anticipation.

“Haven’t you seen snow before, woman?” he asked, nodding towards the door to indicate he was ready and that they could go out.

“Where I come from, we start complaining about the cold when it hits ten degrees. Celsius.”

“Bloody Australians.”

The snow wasn’t very deep, but it was enough that Megan could mold snowballs in her hands and peg them at Pete. He was much adept at ducking them than she was, and she ended up with a few wet patches on her jumper where he managed to hit her. Other families, mostly children, were appearing in the their own front yards and joyful squeals abounded up and down the street.

Soon the cold was starting to seep through Megan’s several layers of clothing and her teeth were chattering. She squatted down long enough to make make a tiny snowman (his body was only four handfuls of snow) and stuck a twig in his head for a nose, then she and Pete headed back inside to begin getting ready for the rest of the day.

“Well, you got your snow, then,” Pete said, turning the heater on the crossing to the kettle to fill it up. “Do you actually need any other presents now?”

Megan grinned. “Not really,” she said. She moved closer to him and kissed him on the nose. “Merry Christmas.”

December 6 (sort of) – A First Christmas

Author’s note: Another “opening line as prompt” story, using the prompt I received yesterday. I have played catch-up with the writing of these little pieces, but I will catch up on posting a bit more slowly, so that your feeds aren’t full of A keyboard and an Open Mind. 🙂

She knelt on the carpet of her new house, carefully unwrapping ornaments. There had never been so much as a Christmas tree in the orphanage at this time of year, but Katie had always watched with fascination as decorations had appeared all over the city. Snow would catch on the tree in the middle of the main square and the baubles would frost over, making it seem like something out of one of the fairy stories the older kids would tell after lights out.

Now Katie had received a Christmas present far greater than anything she could have come up with if she had been given the chance to sit on Father Christmas’ knee. A lovely couple named William and Barbara had decided to adopt her. She had packed up her things, such as they were,  put on her coat, and then rode in William’s car back to their house. Her house, now.

It was only a week until Christmas, but knowing they would have a little girl living with them soon, Barbara had refrained from putting up the tree until they could do it together. Finally the last of the baubles were hung and there was only one thing left.

Barbara put her arms around Katie’s middle and hoisted her up so she could reach the top of the tree.
Katie placed the angel on the top branch, and then Barbara set her down again and they surveyed their work.

“Very well done, Katie,” Barbara said. “It looks as though you’ve been doing this for years.” She smiled and took Katie’s hand, giving it a squeeze.

“I’ve always wanted to,” said Katie, beaming.

“And so you shall,” Barbara replied, “every year from now on.”

#ROW80 Update – Thank Goodness That’s Over

Well, I won NaNoWriMo 2012, which is nice… My story really started running out of steam at about 45000 words, but I was determined to win again this year, particularly since I will be traveling next November and unable to participate. So I just threw in an epilogue (the title of which was literally “Emily has run out of story before she ran out of words”), which gave me the last couple of thousand words that I needed. I actually like the epilogue more than some parts of the actual story, though, so you never know, it may survive revisions. My villain turned out to be rather useless and easy to defeat; I need to develop him some more so he doesn’t just stand there and do almost nothing and end up being really easy to defeat.

https://i0.wp.com/files.content.lettersandlight.org/nano-2012/files/2012/11/Winner-120x240.jpgI have to admit, though, that while I definitely enjoyed going to the write-ins and meeting other participants, something I didn’t really do last year, I don’t think I enjoyed the writing as much as last year. Maybe this is because last year, though I got three days behind early on in the months when I went home for a weekend, I then wrote fairly consistently until I caught up again two weeks later. This year, I seemed to get behind at the end of each week, and have to force myself to catch up on the weekend, something that wasn’t always fun. I definitely wouldn’t have won without four-hour write-ins on Sunday afternoons, plus a couple of other 3000-4000 word days.

Now that NaNo’s over, I need to give that story a rest for at least a month before I start looking at it again, though I might get it printed in time to read on the way home for my Christmas holidays. In the meantime, I’m trying to come up with a Christmassy idea to spend my December working on.  To quote what I said on my Livejournal, “I have no ideas, and don’t know whether I want to write something like Love, Actually, which is about people at Christmas time, or a more whimsical thing with Santa and elves and stuff. I always feel a bit intimidated by the idea of the latter, because there are already so many good stories out there like Arthur Christmas or that upcoming something of the Guardians movie with the Tooth Fairy and Santa and the Easter Bunny and stuff.” Someone at work suggested have someone plotting to kill Santa, which does interest me, but there was a really good Avengers fanfic where Loki was plotting just that, and it was SO GOOD, and I would just be all influenced by that and don’t think I’d write my own story. But it’s still an idea. Any suggestions or prompts in either vein would be quite welcome.

Of course, if nothing comes of that, I can always just write something else. I am going to be at my parents’ place for two and a half weeks over Christmas and they have limited Internet (1gb/month, which is plenty for them, but I’m like, “PARENTS Y U DO THIS TO MEEEEEEEEE?!) Plus there is the six or so hours of travel each way. I don’t drive, so I’m always on a bus or train or whatever. So there will be plenty of time for new inspiration to strike. And if all else fails, I keep plugging away at that story that I’ve been trying to get out of my head all year, but which remains stubborn.

On that note, I shall love you all and leave you, as I have dinner plans for this evening and should probably start getting ready. I shall catch up with your check-ins tomorrow! 😀

~ Emily