Gertrude's Writing Room · On Writing · Writing Life

‘Tis the Season!

I’m feeling the yuletide spirit, friends! Are you as well? I’ve put a fancy word tree up at Gertrude’s Writing Room. Workshops and classes continue to happen. Overall, I’m feeling pretty darn good.

Last evening I finished reading a beautiful book by Kyo Maclear called ‘The Letter Opener‘. Maclear is one of my favourite writers! And aren’t I super lucky that I know her! She was my teacher at the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop! It’s extra amazing when you read a book you love, and you can hear the author’s voice narrating the words in your mind! What a gift!

I’m onto Mitch Albom’s newest book, ‘The Next Person You Meet in Heaven’. And, right on schedule, by page 17, I was teary and fully engaged…having to force myself to stop reading so I could finish eating my breakfast and get to work!

Remember when I used to write a letter to Mitch Albom every new year? I haven’t done that in awhile. Maybe I will again this Christmas. ‘The Next Person You Meet in Heaven’ has a theme of connectivity. My connection with Albom dates back to when I was a teen in high school…beginning to hone my writing skills and reaching out to him for a sports writing assignment I was doing for class. Didn’t I nearly pee my pants when he called my house to set up a meet and greet date at the WJR radio station so he could read my writing and offer feedback. Those moments remain at the forefront of ‘the-things-that-changed-my-writing-life’ story. Turns out Albom will be in Windsor on Wednesday, December 12 at the Indigo Bookstore at Devonshire Mall for a book signing. (Facebook event page here!) Last time he came, I got my booked signed, and had a photo snapped of the two of us. It hangs on my office wall and brings joy each time I look at it.

So let’s talk about gift-giving.

‘Tis the season for gift-giving, is it not?

If you’re like me though…you don’t need Christmas to give gifts…! Heck no! I love giving gifts as often as I can! Alas, since it’s that time of year when we’re collectively giving, I’ve been thinking about how great simple, free gifts are.

Simple, free gifts to give this season – and always!

  1. A hug – I mean, really. What’s better then a tight, boob-crushing squeeze between friends. Try this – don’t let go first, okay?
  2. A smile – Lately, when I’m stopped at traffic light or standing in line, I look at the people around me and smile. Sometimes they look away…surprised, maybe to make that slight connection. Other times, they smile back. One time, a woman was yawning and I saw her. Then I yawned (darn it, I’m yawning now! you too?!) and she saw me. And we both smiled. It was sweet.
  3. A kind compliment – Let someone know you dig her scarf or his funky holiday tie. Telling someone they look good makes you feel good too.
  4. A gentle thank-you – Manners are soooo important! Use your please-and-thank-yous and you’ll be a guaranteed smile-maker.
  5. Listen – Really use your ears and heart. Listen to what people have to say and don’t interrupt. Listen. Take the words in. Then take a moment to respond…or keep listening.
  6. Laugh – What I learned from the Laughter Yoga & Writing workshop I took is that laughter is some magical medicine! Open your mouth wide! Let out a guffaw! Laugh often and laugh hard. And others will laugh too. Seriously, pretend you’re reading something on your phone and laugh out loud. You’ll have others chuckling, in the least, if you don’t have them laughing full-on too!
  7. Share books – Share the books you love and when you do – share why. Tell a friend why the book touched you deeply or made you think or made you rage…share the book and the feels. All the feels.
  8. Random I love yous -these are the BEST. Send a text or email. Leave a voicemail. Just – say I LOVE YOU to the person/people you love at random times. It feels so darn good.

Oh – and our friends at Firefly Creative Writing are offering some incredible writer-esque gifts! Check their gifts here – and give a writer a gift that keeps on giving!

Thanks for reading, friends.

We’ll talk again soon!

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