The eve of a new year, a night of reverie and good tidings. Hopefully tomorrow all of you will remember what you did this night. The beginning of s new year brings us humans a chance to start anew. Fresh look at 2015. It seems only fitting that everyone should have fifteen resolutions. Five that can be attained relatively quickly, five that take a bit of time, and five that should last all year. Join me in writing those resolutions and sticking to them.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Next week a party night is coming. I will tell you that it is before Wednesday. Keep reading to find out the what the party is for.
Time is ticking down for 2014. No use dwelling on what you didn’t accomplish but what you did. Make a list of things you did in 2014. Keep it until next year December. See how you accomplished more in 2014 or 2015 then try to figure out why. You may be the reason your not reaching your potential. Try not to stand in your own way. Words I need to live by!!
Lily’s Lagniappe: It getting closer and closer the best way to start a new year. Keep reading everyday it’s coming soon!!!
Christmas has come and gone. Every child basking in the warmth of love coming from their families. Love may be all they received this Christmas. I remember being disappointed at Christmas but I also remember it not lasting long. I knew I was loved and wanted. My wish for the coming new year is that every child may not have everything their contemporaries have but that they have everything they need and all the hugs they can stand. Hugs don’t cost a dime just time. I remember the time that was spent with me. Be the one that spends time with children in your family, your church, your neighborhood. That will be the lasting memory they will have not the gifts.
Lily’s Lagniappe: The season coming up in Louisiana is over the top, outstanding party time and a tradition like no other. Keep reading to find out all about it!!
Christmas is here! Shopping over until tomorrow for all the after holiday deals. I love this day… the wonder in small children’s eyes, the older folks watching the kids tear open their gifts from Santa, the teenager trying hard to be unimpressed, the college kids thankful for the new computer or the cash, and then the parents who made all of this happen. Usually family is a very complicated thing – keeping your mouth shut on those occasions when you really would like to put someone in their place but it would only hurt you, trying desperately to give confidence to someone who has hit rock bottom, and wishing a special someone could see themselves through your eyes because then they would see how special they are. But Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior and we should try to be more like him everyday. So we will honor our elders, we will hold small children a little longer, we will be kinder to others and we will treat ourselves better.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Pere Noel or Santa has completed their night long journey and is back at the North Pole resting until next year. But things in Louisiana will hold the memories of this Christmas for a while but something special is coming…stay tuned.
Two days before Christmas, crunch time for most. My family is celebrating in mid to late January. A time when we can all be together. We know the reason for the season is the baby Jesus but we celebrate his birthday every day at our house. So celebrating when we can all be together is not a problem. The little ones just get more presents at two different times. They don’t mind. I hope you and yours have a special day where you concentrate on each other and put away the smart phones and computers. Perhaps watch some Christmas parades and possibly some football and argue about the calls and the scores. But most of all I hope you are surrounded by those you love and that love you. Hold dear to these times there will be moments when you reflect on the memories and wish you had said I love you or I cherish you. Don’t let these times go by without saying how you feel!!
Lily’s Lagniappe: I can remember as a kid that we used to drive around the city looking at lights. In New Orleans, Al Copeland, the owner Popeye’s Fried Chicken, has major display at his house. Make this kind of activity a tradition. Your kids will remember this forever and do it with their kids.
Four days to Christmas.. The shoppers are cramming every little bit of shopping into the limited time available. It’s manic time. Frenzied, wild-eyed beasts lurk around every corner, searching for the right color and size. RELAX!!! The person would probably prefer a gift card.
What about your characters? Gift card? Personal gift? No gift? No family celebration? Love to have family near them? A loner during the holidays? If you don’t know the answers to these questions you must find the answers. They tell us a great deal about the character’s core.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Shrimpers and fishermen decorate their boats and have a Christmas Eve parade on the water. If you haven’t ever seen a floating Christmas parade you have really missed out. On most lakes in Louisiana there is a parade of the boats; it’s lovely and small children love it.
Well, six days till Christmas. The crowds are getting more frantic and the commercials are television are ramped up so that every child is still adding to their list. The grocery stores are busier than usual because the feasts are being planned. I still see young mothers shopping for the ingredients for the special cookies for Santa; but don’t forget the reindeer. Carrots or grain is always nice. The reindeer need their energy to make that one night trek around the globe.
I know the little ones in my family are looking forward to the night. Anticipating the visit is almost as exciting as the following morning. Anticipation is a true guide to how you deal with life. Some folks wait for impending doom, others wait for the light at dawn, others still have no idea whether to be anxious or excited; characters in your novels have the same feelings. Explore how your character waits for events in their life.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Small children everywhere are getting excited about Pere Noel, Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or Babbo Natale. If you don’t have the Cajun Night Before Christmas please purchase a copy. It is a lovely read written and illustrated by James Rice.
Eight days till Christmas. I’m working on finishing a middle grade novel with the working title Basketball Ballerina. My main character is in conflict dealing with family issues and school issues. Being torn between two worlds, one place she needs to be more grown up and the other place she just needs to be her age. The emotional impact is so stressful. How will she deal with it? How would you deal with it? I’m not sure at that age I would have dealt with it very well. I’m working a variety of scenarios. None of which I’m really happy with but it will come. She, the main character, will lead me to the right conflict. I have to be patient because good things come to those who wait.
Lily’s Lagniappe: The desserts in Louisiana at this time are amazing. Pound cakes, coconut cakes, red velvet cakes, enormous varieties of pies but pecan being prevalent, Ambrosia, fruit pizzas, family traditions of bread pudding with praline sauce or bread pudding with rum sauce, these and many more are sold and made during this time.
Exactly ten days to Christmas. The rush of shoppers trying to find that last great gift, Moms and Dads buying the latest want from one of their children, Grandparents getting long awaited hugs, your work family seems a little more jolly, even your boss seems happier and you feel melancholy. The Christmas blues are real for a number of people. Does your main character have a reason to hate the holidays? To love the holidays? People bury themselves into books so they won’t be disappointed. The only time some characters are alive is during the holidays while others can’t wait until they are over. I hope your characters direct your thinking about their wants and needs through the plot conflicts you have given them.
Lily’s Lagniappe: One of the best things firemen and Coke Distributors in and around the Baton Rouge/Denham Springs area is they ride Santa down the streets so that children in need or handicapped children can get visit from Santa. Warms my heart to know men/women who are heroes already give their time and off hours again in service of others. I’m sure other Fire Depts do the same thing but I’m only familiar with the ones in Louisiana.
There are exactly twelve days to Christmas. The streets are flooded with shoppers after that last present. Mothers and grandmothers are grocery shopping for the last few things needed for their Christmas feasts. The hustle and bustle of this time of year reminds me of the period of time right before a big hurricane hits. Being raised in southern Louisiana, June to November every year was hurricane season. We were perpetually prepared for a hurricane to hit. Water, can food, bread, milk, crackers, anything to munch on for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple of days or a week.
I really never thought about this process much because it was what I knew. It was my norm. I’ve never been around a tornado like the ones the folks in the midwest experience. They scare the bejesus out of me. I’ve never been around a blizzard like the folks in the north experience. I truly hate the cold and know I could never live through a winter like that.
It made me start to think about the characters that are in my manuscripts. Do they like cold or hot weather? Are they southern dwellers or northern dwellers? How would they react in a weather phenomenon? Would they cower or take charge? These questions and others like them can provide insight to your characters and their traits.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Louisianians create unique ways to celebrate and party. Most of the natives in the beginning of our state were from Europe or French Canadians. These folks on both sides of the pond know how to celebrate. Most of them were Roman Catholic so the story of Mary and Joseph was very prevalent. It still is to this day; but the bonfires on the levee, the parades where treats are thrown to the parade viewers, and the unique pastries of the area make this time of year special.