Holidailies 2022, Writing

Advent! Plus, a NaNoWriMo post-mortem

It’s Advent season, likely my favorite time of the liturgical year. I’m not sure why, because while it’s not Christmas and it’s not Easter by a long shot. I think it’s because, in the Episcopal Church at least, we are in a season of anticipation and waiting for the world to change in the presence of the Christ Child. And the world is changing, in some ways for the better, in some ways for the worse. We’ll see what the next few years bring.

Of course, Advent Season also means Advent Calendars! They’ve been around forever, and I’ve been getting them since I was young. One of my favorites that I can remember was shaped like a zeppelin. It was a folded cardboard zeppelin that you could fold and glue yourself, and the doors of the calendar were attached to the body of the zeppelin. It was super cool. Behind each door was a little picture of an elf or a reindeer or something; I don’t remember that part. I was pretty young, and memory is sketchy with me, unfortunately. Side effect of the bipolar 2 and anxiety disorder, I’m told.

For this year, Jennifer found me Pancake the Penguin’s Christmas Adventure Advent Calendar, and we had to buy it on Amazon because it has penguins and I like penguins. Here’s the, uh, unboxing of this silly calendar.

First, the exterior:

La! It’s an advent calendar, atop my closed laptop! I won’t show all the details of the opened box and all its components because some mystery should remain. But the first assembled penguin sculpture looks like this:

Ta da! A folded paper penguin! He’s called Pancake because he likes pancakes so much that he utterly eschews the traditional penguin diet of herrings and whatever else penguins eat. Peanut butter, probably. I should look that up.

Of course, the problem with having little paper statues of penguins and associated adventurers is that our house is full of cats. I placed Pancake in a place of honor on top of the molding above the door between our dining room and living room. Here he is:

I just realized he’s lurking in shadows in the first picture above. Ah well. I will photograph the rest of them better for you.

And that’s the first day of my Advent calendar for you, but by no means is today the actual first day of Advent. That was last Sunday, the 27th of November. And now you know.

In other news, I did not complete NaNoWriMo this year. It’s interesting to me that I completed this challenge every year from 2001 to 2017 (though I did skip 2002 because I was on the road a lot that year), then… stopped. I haven’t managed it since.  This year, I started The Outer Darkness with grand hopes and only reached 14,370 of the hoped-for 50,000 words. It was interesting, and I had some great ideas, but it wound up being a story about a transwoman and her girlfriend, and ultimately, I felt weird writing about it. I don’t have a problem with transwomen, but it felt weird because this is not my story to tell. I’m not trans, so it’s not in my experience, so how much justice could I have done the topic? I suppose I could have finished and gotten a slew of sensitivity readers to go through it, but ultimately, I just chose to stop writing.

Next year, though… Next year will be better! I swear!

Holidailin’ all over the place in December 2022!