My Top Ten Reasons NOT to Write on the Holidays CONTEST


We’re are supposed to write every day. Yes. I know. And I do. Really. (laughing into my elbow)

But let’s face it, there are days when even finding time to turn on the PC/Mac/laptop is just impossible. So, here are my top ten reasons *not* to write on the holidays. They are not funny, but they are real—well, most of them—and they are more personal than I ever get on MW. Why not? It’s the HOLIDAYS!

Put your top ten reasons not to write on the holidays (Christmas/solstice/Hanukkah/Kwanza/combo of them/whatever) into a comment and I’ll draw a winner out of a hat. The winner to receive a piece of jewelry that I make of my choosing and a signed copy of Blood Cross.

10. I have to walk the dogs. (They are newly adopted and we are on a strict regimen of feedings, medication, and walking. This is far more important than word count.)
9.   I have to cook for one of my family events. I have a distended family (as opposed to an extended family. Make up your own reasons why based on social commentary of the sad state of marriage in modern times, the funnier and sadder the better) and each member has his/her own event, plus the hubby’s family. And his is weirder than mine.
8.   I have to take my dad shopping. (He’s legally blind and this takes all day. And OMG that man can shop. He has memorized every store in South Park Mall. And he can give driving directions to all the others, despite not being able to see. And he wants prices read aloud—loudly because he’s deaf too—and comparisons of every brand’s offerings. And he’s all-color colorblind and I have to describe jammies to him even though he’s never seen the color red or green… It’s fun but exhausting. I don’t write that day. I come home and kick off the shoes and fix a stiff drink.)
7.   Making jewelry for Christmas gifts. This year I am waaaay behind because of a family member’s emergency visit to and stay at hospital. He lived, but I still tear up just thinking about it, and my left pupil blows which is what happens when I get totally, completely stressed. It looks really odd and it’s kinda hard to see up close. So I open a beer and relax instead.
6.   Mom’s Family and Friends Christmas Party, is an *all out* event starting at 6 p.m. She cooks for it for a whole week. It usually lasts until 9 p.m. because her friends are getting old. I help out clean up afterward, which takes longer than the party lasts. Another night I come home and crash.
5.   Complete loss of short term memory. I was supposed to write today? Hmmm. Maybe it’s the result of the stiff drinks…
4.   Shock from seeing the number on the scales. I did NOT eat that much!
3.   My own Christmas shopping. Oy… (closes eyes to hide from the balance on the debit card.)
2.   I have to dress up and play Santa Claus. (Not really, but I’m running out of excuses)
And the number one reason I didn’t write today?
1.   I have to digest the last meal.



34 comments to My Top Ten Reasons NOT to Write on the Holidays CONTEST

  • 1. I have seven kids; need I say more?
    2. Egg nog makes me too sleepy to form coherent thoughts.
    3. Carol singers are too distracting.
    4. Writing so many Christmas cards gives my hands writer’s cramp.
    5. Wrapping presents takes up tons of time.
    6. It snowed, and snow doesn’t last long here, so the kids and I have to take advantage of it and play in it while we can.
    7. Baking for the neighbors takes up more of my time.
    8. I have to keep an eye on the Christmas tree because the baby keeps taking the ornaments.
    9. I have to keep an eye on the Christmas tree because the cat keeps taking the ornaments.
    10. I have to keep an eye on the gifts under the Christmas tree because the baby and the toddler keep trying to open them.

    Happy Holidays!

  • My Top 10

    10. The ol’ brainpan is too filled with a million other things that I have to do to focus on one particular task for that long.

    9. The house looks a wreck and needs cleaned up pretty much all the time during the holiday as we’re constantly making stuff, wrapping stuff or pulling things out of their yearly hidey-holes.

    8. I’m in the middle of making a piece of furniture for my wife for Christmas and it takes much of my time…and the garage is freezing! My KINGDOM for a kerosene heater!!! Oh, wait, I don’t have a Kingdom….well, that explains a few things.

    7. I’m making gifts of food this year, peanut brittle, buckeyes, chocolate cherry rum cordials, rum balls, pralines (recipe from N’awlins), Welsh cookies, fudge, and possibly peppermint candy. Pretty swamped right now. Making brain hurt….but…there’s more rum…

    6. Shopping. We’re just now done with this round of shopping. We have another round after Christmas for the January Christmas in Indiana…….of which I will have to make more of the above candy….urkhh…

    5. Lack of energy…yeah. Getting tired… Getting run down. Head filled with mushy brainy sponge stuff…

    …uh…what number was I on? Oh yeah, 4.

    3. Tiii-iii-iii-iiime, ain’t on my side, no it ain’t! I’ve been wishing for the ability to stop time so I can get everything done and still write. No dice though. And believe me, I’ve tried. Maybe that’s why I have a headache now….

    2. Oh, need to make the bath gifts…better do that tonight…head feel fuzzy…

    1. Uuurgluurglllurhhh?

  • Gina St.Phillips

    10: The sugar high makes my hands shake so I can’t type.
    9: There is a brown-out in my neighborhood from all the Christmas Lights.
    8: The Girls Scouts sold everyone in the subdivision luminaries and I am too worried something is going to burn down to think about my characters.
    7: My Boss keeps texting me with Christmas ideas for work that have to be implemented at once.
    6: My hands get too stiff from the cold, so I keep them wrapped around the hot spiked eggnog…yeah that’s why.
    5: Every time I get on the computer I get distracted by the emails advertising last minute Christmas sales…maybe just one more giftie for the nephews…
    4: “Darn that Christmas Music, it’s joyful AND triumphant” and it sticks in my head to the exclusion of all else.
    3: When filling out Holiday Cards it takes a lot of effort to remember who is Jewish, who is Pagan, who is Agnostic, who is Christian, and who is Republican. 😉
    2: There are all these contests on Magical Words…
    1: Between the drummers drumming, the pipers piping and all those freaking birds, who can concentrate?

  • I have no dogs. I have family coming in, but not until the 26th. We have parties to go to, but those are at night, and I write during the day. Most of the shopping is done already, the tree is up, the menorah has already been put away.

    Really, I don’t have ten reasons. I have only one, but it’s a good’un….

    I DON’T WANNA!!!

    Merry Christmas to all, and to work a good riddance….

  • Hmmm… Why not write, computer games of course.
    10. Age of Empires III is really research for a colonial novel I want to write about privateers. Really.
    9. Age of Empires II is research for the historical fiction I want to write about Joan of Arc.
    8. Age of Empires is good for revisiting the ancient times.
    7. Age of Mythology – strategy and mythological heroes, nuff said.
    6. Gothic 3 is all about orcs vs humans, reinforcing the good vs evil that’s been slipping into shades of gray in fantasy.
    5. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion allows me to play a cat-person, which reminds me of Falinor from my book.
    4. Titan Quest appeals to my love of classical mythology.
    3. 1701 AD is a fun trading game that builds a mercantile mind
    2. Thief: Deadly Shadows – mugging, murdering, stealing, all in the name of… a crap, it’s fun.
    1. Finally, Dragon Age is still in shrink wrap, waiting to be opened.

    Happy Gaming, err Holidays.

  • >>>1. I have seven kids; need I say more?
    Becky. Urk… My mind is boggled. Maybe I better open another beer.

    Daniel, I already gained my 5 Christmas pounds. But reading your candy list just slapped another one on me.

    >>When filling out Holiday Cards it takes a lot of effort to remember who is Jewish, who is Pagan, who is Agnostic, who is Christian, and who is Republican.
    Gina, I am with you on this one. I have several Jewish and pagan friends, and then there are the ones who celebrate several. How can I be expected to keep up when my characters are doing stuff too?

    David. Yours is the best and most honest, but you aren’t in the drawing!

  • NGDave, all my gaming friends are turning green!

  • Oh, that reminds me! I need to make some earrings for my mom.

  • Kim

    10. Baking equals holiday for me, and if I don’t bake, it’s not a holiday.
    9. Family lives outside my office, so . . . I gotta get out of it to celebrate with them.
    8. Guy likes to shop. I like to shop. We can spend all day at it.
    7. I’m easily distracted, and everything is so -shiny- when you’re the queen of procrastination!
    6. There’s a tree in the house, and that throws everything out of wack in terms of concentrating.
    5. I usually have a deadline near the holidays, so once I meet that, it’s time to chill for a few days.
    4. Kids come home. See number 7.
    3. Guy is easily distracted at Christmas, and he comes in my office–a lot. See number 7.
    2. New York shuts down, and when NY shuts down, it’s good to shut down, too.
    1. The enforced time away from the office gets the back brain working again, and when I get back, I’ve got tons of ideas and not enough time.

  • Judy

    10. Rudolph ate my laptop.
    9. No pens or paper available.
    8. I’m in Colonial Williamsburg and there is way too many things to do.
    7. The Mother-in-law is driving us all to drink(very short drive).
    6. The brother-in-law and his new boyfriend are…never mind.
    5. I gotta go out and take some night exposures of Williamsburg.
    4. There is a jacuzzi tub calling my name.
    3. My feet are sore from walking on the cobblestones.
    2. My feet are cold from being out in 25 degree weather, taking more pictures.
    1. I want to spend time with my honey.

    For those of you looking for something different to do, check out Colonial Williamsburg at the holidays. Lots of events and it’s not very crowded. The decorations are beautiful and everyone is in a festive mood.

  • Ken

    10. I have a farm and all the little trees I make up for the goats to eat(holiday treats for all you know) take time.
    9. My fingers are so cold from making the trees that I can’t move them well enough to untie my boots let alone t ype.
    8. Must. Clean. House.
    7. Holiday shopping for family…and keeping it secret, requires skills that would put the FBI to shame.
    6. Cats like to *Eat* the tree lights.
    5. Its just so darn beautiful out here that sometimes I forget what I’m doing and s-
    4. Family scattered all over the state, easy to spend more time driving than visiting.
    3. Its the only time (really) when the whole family has time off work/school/etc to be together.
    2. What do you mean “We lost the X-mas tree?”
    1. New puppy for X-mas? You shouldn’t have…seriously you shouldn’t h-Oh how Cute is that…

  • Jackie U

    10. The Christmas gadgets are so much better than my plot.
    9. My son wrapped the laptop so mommy had something to open.
    8. Chocolate pudding pie. Enough said.
    7. A Christmas Story marathon followed by a Christmas Vacation marathon. There simply isn’t enough time to do it all!
    6. Ooh! Egg nog! Words…getting…fuzzy…
    5. I ate so much that my belly no longer fits between my chair and laptop table.
    4. After working both jobs during the Christmas rush, the couch is calling my name.
    3. Still napping. This may take a while.
    2. My son wrapped the cats so mommy had something to open. Must teach him to cut air holes in the paper.
    1. Because everyone, even die-hard writers, need one day to sit back and breathe.

  • Deb Smythe

    10. The house won’t clean itself – lazy pile of wood
    9. My desk is covered with wrapping paper
    8. Haven’t been able to put a coherent sentence together in months, why bother trying?
    7. It’d be rude if I didn’t read my Christmas present books ASAP
    6. It’s hard to type with cookie dough on my fingers
    5. Cats must be watched or they will reign supreme over all things Christmas
    4. Sparkly words written under the influence of nog are demonically altered while I sleep and must be rewritten anyway
    3. Man needs some TLC
    2. Have to keep checking the TV for any and all showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life and “Holiday Inn”
    10. Time with family and friends is precious

  • Kristen, I am still making jewelry! Arrrgggg! Fortunatly one family day is on Monday after Christmas so I have some more hours…

    Kim — I too am queen of procrastination. But then, we are both Leos, so it makes sense.

    Judy, I am with you on the tub. Mine calls my name!

    Ken, I need to see the trees for the goats. Really. Send me a pic!

    Jackie U, my mom made a chocolate trifle (layered with pudding) this year and I simply cannot say no to it. Cannot.

    Deb, our houses have been talking to each other. They went on strike. I got the memo…

  • 10. My husband took off of work for the last two weeks of December. Hello, distraction.
    9. My autistic preschooler is out of school. Hence play dates, interludes to read with him, etc. Of course, he ignores his daddy and goes to me for everything.
    8. My novel needs time to marinate before I read it and commence editing.
    7. Baking. Almost every day. Bread, cookies, pear sauce, pies.
    6. My husband is home to watch the boy, so I can NAP in the afternoon.
    5. Bad allergies have me all congested and miserable, and not at all in the mood to write.
    4. Shopping! Oh, all of the gift shopping was done in November, but there are oodles of pre and post-Christmas sales to enjoy.
    3. A lot of editors won’t read material over Christmas, anyway. I may as well wait to send out submissions until next week or January.
    2. I need to read! My to-read shelf is already overflowing, and I know I’m getting about a dozen books as presents.
    1. After a big honkin’ rejection streak, I had my first pro short story publication this week. By golly, I deserve to take it easy for a bit and bask while it lasts.

  • Squeak

    10 – My future mother in law recently moved in with us. Adjusting to another roommate’s daily schedule and habits takes concentrated patience.
    9 – My future mother in law’s diabetic, 18 year old cat recently moved in. She hacks up her food in the most inconvenient of places and is on a strict insulin schedule.
    8 – My future mother in law is catching up on five seasons of LOST via our Xbox360 & Netflix. This happens to inhabit the same space as our computers and I have been reduced to proofing my pieces in my room.
    7 – I’m the only driver with a car in our 3-adult household. Holidays means I’m the driver for all your shopping needs (and even your non-shopping needs).
    6 – Work. The other one. The one that currently pays bills. Hotels don’t close. The plus side is my manager encourages my writing while between guests at the desk – only place where word count sees a substantial increase this time of the year.
    5 – I felt industrious and baked 9 different types of cookies this year to send and give away. There were ranger, cinnamon oatmeal crackles, double fudge brownie crackles, mint fudge chocolate chip, white chocolate and macadamia nut crackles, lemon macadamia nut, reese’s pieces, frosted shortbread, and butter chocolate chip. The baking took 12 hours, not to mention the cleaning…
    4 – I’m hosting the local, Christmas Eve get together on account of having my future mother in law. There’s much cleaning to be had. Especially because my mother and future mother do not have the same cleaning standards. Oy.
    3 – Sleep pattern changes to accommodate Christmas celebrations. I’m usually on a swing/graveyard-like sleeping pattern. Hard to see what I’m writing when all I’m doing is yawning.
    2 – So many people to see in such a short period of time. Of all those I went to high school with, I remained within a stone’s throne of where we grew up – holidays brings the return of many a treasured colleague with a last minute notification.
    1 – Time to spend with family. Holidays invoke this warm-fuzzy must-hang-out feeling and I get cabin fever. I’ve been reading books aloud to the future husband while he plays Persona4 and been up to my parent’s more times this week than I have all of the last six months combined.

  • Yeeeeeaaa Beth!!! Congrats and enjoy. That first sale is … magical!

    Squeak, I know whereof you speak. I lived with an aged diabetic dog (with insuling shots every 12 hours and the special diet) for years. But the future MIL… Oh honey. Words fail me.

  • Robin

    10. Full time day-job.
    9. Three sons.
    8. Husband wants attention… and a break from the aforementioned three sons.
    7. 4-year-old sick, now better, but there are two more who probably have the germs….
    6. Who does Christmas shopping before December 21st?
    5. Guest coming to town right after Christmas–I should probably have a slightly cleaner house than normal.
    4. Wrapping presents takes much too long.
    3. Just got a new gym membership–I should probably use it.
    2. Can’t have Christmas without Christmas movies.
    1. If I’m going to read more than 170 books this year, I have to get cracking. I only have 168.5!

    (Notice I have nothing to do with Christmas baking, Christmas cooking, or Christmas cards!)

  • Dino

    2. I have to dress up and play Santa Claus. (Not really, but I’m running out of excuses)

    No need to worry about that one, I can cover everyone on it.


  • 10. House needs decorating, and no one else seems capable of sticking things on flat services/branches
    9. All family lives elsewhere so if we want baking, I have to do it, and I don’t want to lose my childhood gingerbread
    8. It takes 45 minutes to get into the city from where I live, and Christmas shopping cannot be done locally.
    7. It takes 45 minutes to get into the city so I try to do at least part of my shopping online…and then the shiny Interwebs calls me away.
    6. It takes 45 minutes to get into the city…and I always forget that one other thing I needed.
    5. It takes 45 minutes to get into the city…and we don’t have enough room in the freezer to shove Christmas dinner in weeks ahead.
    4. Hubby practically always works Christmas, and I need to snatch any free moment we get together, regardless of whether I was on a roll or not
    3. Presents must be wrapped, and I have two cats.
    2. Presents must be unwrapped, because cat is inside box.
    1. It’s the holidays dammit, everyone deserves a break (hear hear, David)

  • Robin, I vote for reading, and really hope you reach your goal! I just bought ten books… Oy…

    Dino — Samurai Santa!!!

    Hayley, I’m starting to get worried about the cats in boxes! eeek!

  • Mia Scozzi

    10. I just finished the semester with all A’s, I deserve a break, especially after the geography class from hell, that covered nothing involving geography. 🙁
    9. Chasing siblings away from the presents mom is hiding, oh brother.
    8. My desk is littered with bits of wire from making gifts, various completed and half done wire gifts, there’s no way I’m putting my laptop there!
    7. Mental/emotional breakdown after realizing that after going and spending the money to buy the gold wire for mum, that I can’t make what I wanted to, because it’s dead soft and round DX.
    6. Baking daily, and making candies, oh joy! (Plus trying to copy the recipes for everyone. I’m wishing for a printer for Christmas.)
    5. Shopping. NOT fun. Trying to keep everything hidden, and figuring out what to get who, and wait, didn’t I get something for them already? Am I making them something or am I buying them something? I don’t know anymore! -brain implodes-
    4. Trying to clean and decorate the house. Honestly, who’s idea was it to NOT label the Christmas decorations?
    3. Job. 🙂 Working at my college’s library is nice, but it means that I’m not allowed to write while working…the boss kinda frowns on that. I really can’t figure out why…..
    2. Dad has all week off from work. I’m celebrating and spending time with him, to remind him that the family does love him, and he’s not just a work horse.
    1. Spending time with friends I hardly get to see, anticipating the arrival of my family for Christmas, anticipating the arrival of research books through the library, and losing all track of what hour it is, let alone what day.

    Does all that count?

  • Dino

    Even though I don’t write, I would not have gotten any done today, because I just got the new Jane Yellowrock novel!!!!!

  • Robin

    Yeah, Faith–170+ is not a goal: it’s more of a geas. Can’t… stop… reading…. 😀

  • Yes, Mia, it all counts! Good ones.

    Dino — Whre di you get it??? It was supposed to be street dated! Eeeek again!

    Robin, I live with that one.

  • Dino

    My indi seller thought it had been released.
    He had had it several days before I bought it.
    Guess he should pay closer attention.
    I ordered it several months ago.

  • Dino

    Just got an email back.
    Other books he ordered will be pulled in the morning, to be put back on street date.

  • Mikaela

    I had a lot of ambitious plans. But they where changed for the following reasons:

    1. My mum hurt her back two weeks ago. The orders from the doctor: don’t do anything that includes lifting or bending.
    2. I bought the christmas food.
    3. I have shoveled snow. A lot. We have had 50 centimeters in the last two weeks
    4. I bought christmas gifts
    5. I wrapped them, and wrote rhymes.
    6. I am looking for a file that will add 3k to my WIP. So far I haven’t found it. sigh.
    7. I am never home. Or at least it feels like it.
    8. I have a new Sony PRS 505, with a lot of books
    9. My shoulder hurts. Slightly.
    10. Uh… It is christmas! ( I have managed to write 700 words so far, though)

  • Dino, you got it special then! Cool!

    Mikeala, I do know about ambitious plans…sigh… It all falls under *best laid plans of mice and men* or best laid plans of writers and women…

  • Dino

    Faith,and have finished it.
    Thank you for a very entertaining read.

  • Thanks, Dino!
    But mums the word!!!!

  • Mike

    The solution to your problem doth be simple…T-O-D-A-Y…there, task complete for another 24 drinks, er hours. 🙂 And as a good writer, we shall diligently repeat for the entire holiday period.

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year