CHRISTMAS 2020 – CELEBRATE! by Jean Hall

I'm baking. The wonderful aromas of spices, vanilla & chocolates fill my house. My kitchen is a big mess with flour & sugar everywhere. Chocolate chips & sprinkles decorate my island. My little freezer is bulging with the goodies I'm making to share with the people I love. It’s my thing. Baking and cooking delicious…

Always Winter and Never Christmas

 A few years ago I was doing some shopping in our local mall (formerly the largest in the nation, at a time when malls were a new concept.) I, of course, expected to see the typical Santa scene, with lines of tots waiting to sit on the lap of this fatherly figure to share their…

Light in the Darkness

I’m usually an optimistic person, but lately it’s become more and more difficult for me to muster optimism as I read the newspaper or watch the evening news. Even my Facebook and Twitter feeds are not immune to the avalanche of bad news. Headlines and links are posted in real time as the events occur—the…

Showing Christmas Using the Five Senses

Show; don’t tell. We hear it all the time. Don’t tell the reader, show the reader. Draw readers into your story. Make it easy for them to feel as if they're in the middle of whatever you’re writing. Prompted by a recent series of blog posts on the Hartline Literary Agency website, I’ve been thinking…

Christmas Reflections—Benefits of Christian Writing

For me, this has been one of my best Christmases ever, though you probably wouldn’t have guessed it: My daughter’s family lives in North Carolina, and they spent Christmas with her husband’s family again, where there are plenty of children of all ages for the grandchildren to play with. Our unofficially adopted daughter who lives…

Hopes and Fears

The Christmas season is filled with hope . . . and for many of us, with fears too. One Christmas hymn in particular speaks to my writer’s hopes and fears. “O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy…