The Santa Sessions

file000318189249Paula’s Post #55 – So, in true 5writer fashion, how can I resist taking up quill (metaphorically speaking) to add my own seasonal wish list to that started by 5writer colleague Silk in her post of yesterday?

I don’t want to muscle in on Silk’s ‘Santa Time’ but it occurred to me that we 5writers may be wishing for many of the same gifts this season. Maybe Santa’s workshop operates under traditional economic theory? I don’t know for sure, but I’m wondering if he’d like a little ‘head’s up’ just in case economies of scale come into play here?

For me, the headlong rush towards Christmas is always the season to be reflective. To look back on the year that was (and wasn’t) in an effort to formulate a Santa ‘wish list’ that will make 2014 even better than 2013.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d be the first to admit the last 15 months have been pretty good months for all 5writers. We not only launched our 5writer challenge, but also this website and blogged faithfully about the experience.

Along the way, we each took a mighty big bite out of the task of writing a novel, (from scratch) in just 5 months. Okay, maybe we started that project in 2012, but the big finish line and wind-up party, unequivocally, was during our 5writer ‘Critique Retreat’ in Whistler this past June.

And best of all, we 5writers all stayed friends.

Maybe closer friends than even before this mega 5month bonding experience. An unexpected bonus to what started out as a way to keep our writing life running down the tracks.

So Santa, I have to admit it, so far, 2013 has been a stellar 5writer year.

On a personal level, 2013 was a pretty good year for me, too.  Sure, we were ‘homeless’ for awhile after we sold our home in West Vancouver and embarked on a time of nomadic uncertainty. But we’ve just taken possession of our new house in the beautiful seaside town of Gibsons Landing. Once the renos are complete in a month, (or two, or three or four… please don’t say five) I’m confident life will seem a lot more settled.  And I guess really, that’s the perfect segue to the start of my Christmas wish list. So, without further preamble:

Dear Santa,

1. The Gift of Time: Okay Santa, I’m going to level with you. I’m betting all the 5writers have this puppy on their list. So, just in case ‘time’ is running in short supply, here is my personal plea for a little more time. Because you see I spent a lot of time travelling this year. Clocked hours on planes and in airports. Sure, some of it admittedly ‘quality time’ (like that day last November when the stars aligned in San Francisco and a foggy day at SFO combined with access to  Alaska’s Boardroom lounge to create a perfect storm for power writing. Oh crikey! Maybe that was 2012? Whatever. Oh my Fog that was a good day.

But I need some more of those ‘perfect storm’ days Santa.  I need more good writing days. Bushels of them. I haven’t had many days like that since. Not while waiting in the airport for the trip to Maui, or during that quick business trip to Orlando, or the business trip to LA. Counting them up, in the last 18 months, between work and visits to grandchildren, I think I’ve seen the inside of YVR, PSP, LAX, SFO, PHX, MCO, PDX, YYC, SEA, OGG…


No, not WOW!

That’s YOW! The airport code for Ottawa, where I am now on the run up to Christmas. A whirlwind 4 day trip to meet my new baby grand-daughter and catch up with family in chilly -22 C Ottawa. Brr.


Seriously, I’m so tired of airports, even the foggy ones that are so conducive to writing. So please, please, please Santa? Could I few have a few less airports in 2014? Check it out Santa, I’m making it easy for you here. Both Silk and I have ‘the gift of time’ at the top of our list. Can’t we just double down on that one? I know you’ve got special magic when it comes to airports.

2. The Gift of Focus: See? We’re definitely on a writers’ wish list roll here. Because I’m sticking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth, leaning out of my seat and sneaking a peek at Silk’s list. And just like Silk, though Silk phrased this a bit differently, (I think she asked for discipline and concentration with an extra dollop of resove), I’m pretty sure we want the same thing this Christmas. The sad truth is that all the time in the world isn’t going to do any of the 5writers a wit of good unless we can F-O-C-U-S on our writing. So, the 2-for-1 special please!

3. Hardware and Software Upgrade Gift:  I’m pretty sure Silk only asked for an upgrade to her mental operating system. But while Silk enjoys weekly work outs with her personal trainer, I’m trapped in airports and hotels, overwhelmed by the temptation to succumb to yet another venti, quadruple shot latte in an effort to kick start the brain. Oh, and don’t forget the blueberry scone… or maybe I’ll have a cranberry muffin… or…? Seriously Santa, let’s take a look at where the pixie’s have been sprinkling that ‘inspiration dust’ this past year. Why is my local coffee shop the only place I feel productive? I’ve got my own theory, of course. As one who is easily distracted, that buzz of conversation that surrounds me at the Old Town La Quinta Coffee Company, or Bean Around the World affords the perfect atmosphere to just tune out. In coffee shops, I can focus. In coffee shops, I don’t have any chores or ‘to do’ lists to distract me. In coffee shops, I don’t peer over the top of my lap top and notice the dirty dishes on the counter or that pile of laundry that needs folding. And of course, do a little routing around on the internet and you’ll find that if you’re the least bit A.D.D. like me, you need that coffee fix like a junkie needs smack, baby.

But is there an easier way Santa?

Help me out here. Something a little more calming? Something a little easier on my body and brain than caffeine and sugar? Something that will supercharge my productivity without hot-wiring my central nervous system? Somewhere, way at the bottom of that big red sack of yours, somewhere near the peppermint tea, maybe, can’t you find that little ‘upgrade chip’ that will spark my brain and get me writing without my usual load of sugar and caffeine?


4. The Gift of a ‘Do Over’ –  Okay Santa, novel territory, to be sure, (pardon the pun), but I didn’t see this one on Silk’s list. Seriously, I admit it, I miss the wild, headlong writing rush of our kick off. Maybe I’m the only crazy one amongst us, but I confess. I want to do it all over again. A Do-Over. Maybe I’m delusional, but I think I learned something the last go-round. I know I learned something. I learned that I write best to deadline. Okay, okay… I get it….maybe we should wait for the rest of the 5writers to weigh in before I ask you to wrap that package up.

5. ‘The Omnibus Clause’ Gift – I saved the best for last Santa, yup, the Omnibus Clause. And as a ‘Clause’ (though I note your branch of the family spells your surname a wee bit differently), I figure this is right in your wheelhouse. Yes, corny as it is at this time of year, more than anything, Santa, I’d like you to reach way down deep into that big bag of yours and bring out the gift of health and good cheer to my husband, my family my 5writer colleagues, our families and friends.

Because without that gift Santa, none of the first four on my list really matter all that much, do they?

Thanks for listening Santa. Gotta run now and check in online for my 6:30 am flight from YOW to YYG with connecting service to PSP.

6:30 am ?!?!*&%$#*

Are you kidding me? Do you realize we’ll have to get up at 4:30 am to make it to the airport in order to return the rental car and check in two hours before our flight time? What idiot booked that flight?


Are you sure?


Crikey! What’s the point of even going to bed? Oh, I might as well just stay up and write!


3 thoughts on “The Santa Sessions

  1. Well said Paula! I agree you definitely deserve some quality, settled-in time in the new year, surely Santa can get behind that.

    But I have one wishbone to pick with you my sweet … you riffed off my whole post, but didn’t leave me a comment? Or even “like” it? Sniff.

  2. Sorry, sorry, sorry! I always like your posts.. I mean I love your posts! And mostly I even remember to hit the ‘like button’ – but on this one, I will have to plead mea culpa and in mitigation rely on the absolutely Popsicle like conditions here in Ottawa (-22 today) which frankly has made it hard to keep the blood in my brain from freezing.

    What do you suggest for anti-freeze?


    • Haha! ‘Tis the season to forgive — thanks for the ‘like’! For frozen brains, I recommend a Cosmopolitan, shaken not stirred. If you feel you need something healthier, eat the lime slice!

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