After days and days of holiday gluttony, I have finally stopped snacking on mixed nuts long enough to put my fingers on the keys and finish up the remainder of the outline of my NaNo novel. For the first time in years of writing novels I was a "pantser" this fall as I wrote, just creating outline-enough to get the daily word count down. I GREATLY prefer a road map for where I'm going next. It could *feasibly* be finished by the end of January. A first draft, that is.
Ooh! And on my morning run today I even figured out who the bad guy is going to be (amazing that I could write 185 pages and not quite know who the villain was, haha), AND how and where to write in the scene to introduce him and all his cronies.
It's a Christmas miracle.
For weeks I've had to put my mind to the details of this holiday mania, which is wonderful, but it's nice to start to possess my own brain again. That's kind of how I think of writing, of what a gift it is to me--a place and way I can be just myself, my own thoughts, my own creativity, myself. Without it, I don't know where I'd find that. At a gift-giving time of year, it's one I'm so very grateful for.
Speaking of gifts, I have a child born on Christmas, my oldest, so it's even MORE mania than just the Christmas mania and cooking. We also get to celebrate another birthday on that day. For years I loved it because I'd ask what his favorite meal was so I could fix it on Christmas, and we got macaroni and cheese or refried beans on tortillas. (Way easier than a turkey!) His gift to me this year was his favorite meal, a frozen lasagne. Does Christmas dinner get much easier than that? The other kids were kind of confused when they heard him make his request and I shouted "Yes!" and threw both arms in the air in victory.
His cake was a homemade chocolate cake. Have I mentioned a thousand times how great the recipe is on the can of Hershey's Cocoa? It's the BEST. (Just remember to sift the flour!) But you HAVE to make it with the frosting recipe on the can. It's amazing. It's so amazing that when I ate half a slice, I got an enormous sugar headache--that's what I get for "going off sugar" for eight months. Can I express how troubling that is? I cannot. I am the girl who used to polish off one of those super-syrupy orange sodas at the doctor's office during a gestational diabetes test and say, "Can I get another one of those?" while women all around me were wincing in pain at the tongue-numbing sweetness of it.
I guess I'd better go back to eating muenster cheese as my sugar substitute. I haven't had a grilled muenster cheese sandwich for three days. I might be going through a different kind of withdrawal. I might be getting a "cheese headache."