December 14th, 2010

Xmas Penguin

From The Annals of "Christopher, Stop That!"

Weekend Edition: Do not bounce the basketball off of the (newly painted!!!) house!

That was just one of many moments of flail over the weekend. I did more Xmas shopping, and finally got alllll the lights up for the house. Takes forever to wire it all together, and it always reveals overdue yardwork. The "Christmas Season" is also peak leaf-raking season, and in addition, there are always a few plants that need to be pruned back into shape. You know—the ones I'm trying to string lights around, impeded by all the random shoots sproinging into the air. So it's 40% yardwork, 60% lights.

I also spent a lot of time over the last few days working on my usanetwork_las story. First I had to finish the initial draft, which was a struggle. But the harder part was editing out about 250 words to get it down below the 1000-word maximum. You probably never thought you'd hear me complain about that!

I got feedback for the last round story, i.e., the Burn Notice holiday fic. Interestingly enough, the one negative vote expressed a desire for more stress on the emotion. I weighed that feedback for a bit, but if I were to analyze my intent for that story, it would have been to create exactly what that reader complained about. There sometimes is a fine line between "poignant" and "ick." For me, any story centered around a birthday or an emotional holiday starts on the "ick" side of that line. When a prompt requires one of those two settings, I have to write it so that it pulls the story back from the schmaltzy edge (I have to convince myself that the story isn't overdone). For other people, it doesn't matter how far into that territory things go—it's all good. Funny how different our tastes can be.

Speaking of things Christmas... we mainly do just lights for our outdoor decor, though I like some of the inflatables I've seen (I've been tempted by one very round penguin in particular!) But the part that is NO good is when the inflatables have collapsed. Driving to work, I pass by a house with inflatables on the first-story roof that are attached to the wall. They always look like they're praying to Allah, because they're all folded over and flat. Two blocks up, there's another house with a more free-range inflatable Santa. He initially looked tipsy, because he was listing back and to the right, with his hand raised in a wave. That lasted about two days, before he moved into the "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" position. A week later, the owners still haven't rescued him. Festive! :0

ETA non-holiday blather: Zombie nightmares again? Seriously?