12 Days: Nov - Dec 2011

A couple of days into Christmas I heard a few conversations about Christmas being over. The newspaper comics were full of people taking down their trees. What? Haven't these folk ever heard of the 12 days of Christmas? Five golden rings, leaping lords and pipers piping? How could you count all those weeks of preparation as CHRISTMAS and then just pack it in? What a waste!

I plan to enjoy the full twelve days. Boxing day, the day after Christmas is always lovely. Stay in your jammies all day, everyone happy with their new toys. The big relax after all the festivities. This year my husband and I were Two Turtle Doves, a great feeling of quiet and love after our terrific family all left.

I'm writing a 12 - Days journal in the notebook Lynn gave me. It's way to keep my eyes open for the gifts arriving every day of Christmas. On the day of Four Calling Birds, there were six of us around the table in the back room of The Word Shop working on setting up our new walk-about phone. (How many Birds does it take to screw in a cordless phone.....) You can hear their cheer on the answering machine as I recorded the message with only the tiniest flub.

This is not the first time I've done a 12 - Days Diary. It starts the new year with a gratitude journal. You could try it next year. Meanwhile, my current hope is to get this newsletter out before Epiphany . . . or Lent.

"We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. He who has faith knows this truly; let him rejoice." - Pope Paul VI

My grandson and I have been gifting pop-up books. I gave him Star Wars and Wizard of Oz for his birthday. While perusing possibilities, I discovered a pop-up book by Chuck Fischer: In the Beginning; The Art of Genesis. All the reviews said that this wasn't a child's book, what with the various pictures taken from classic art. So I asked for it for Christmas and my grandson gave it to me. Pop-up books have made an astonishing leap in beauty and complexity. I will bring The Art of Genesis into The Word Shop for a few weeks; you can come and oogle.

"What is art but a way of seeing?" -Thomas Berger

The problem with starting a Great Plan, is that sooner or later it collides with reality. One grand idea was to give 50% discounts on books in the genre or theme we chose for our monthly literary parties. For December's party we choose Christmas books. I DID put a sign in the window saying that Christmas books were half off. However, since I didn't get a newsletter out, many of you never knew about it. (Probably just as well, given the number of Christian books we have, three quarters of our books are arguably Christmas books.)

January's literary party theme is last year's lit party books. They are listed on our website: companyofsaints.com/litparty. (Well, they aren't listed YET, but in theory they'll be listed by the time you get this.) Some of those books may actually be in the store. Just to make it more exciting I will add to the 50% off sale any book that was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the first fifty years of the Times List. I just happen to have a book that itemizes those first 50 years of # 1 Bestsellers. I will bring it to the store for reference. No, you can't buy THAT book. I haven't finished with it and Steven wants it next.

BTW Steven wandered into the store on Christmas eve to pick up something Carolyn left behind, and he ravished the writer's shelf of what was left the hot writing books I didn't talk about in last month's non-newsletter. If you joined our First Tuesday Writer's group, where writing books are regularly passed around, you would know about these things.

I am currently reading How People Grow by Cloud and Townsend of Boundaries fame. We actually have two copies of Boundaries, which is amazing. People regularly ask for this life changing book. Several other titles by Cloud and Townsend have also appeared. Maybe they were in the boxes from Wayne. It's all rather fuzzy. I just remember one day when there were three boxes of donations inside the store and another three sitting on the stoop. I made book piles all over the floor. Sasha helped unmake them, wagging and wiggling when her public happened by for their daily pats and air kisses.

"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul." -St. Augustine

New Year's Plot: I am thinking about a three day Literary Arts Retreat at The Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg. It would include quiet time to read or write and loud time for discussion, singing, and general merriment. We could talk about things like managing writing/creative time, great books and/or the changing face of publishing. We could get together in small groups focused on fiction or poetry or nonfiction or specific books or favorite genre's. We also need some other side of the brain opportunities like dance, collage, art, music. This is a grand plan that has not yet collided with reality. I'm trying to get a sense of how many people might be interested. The cost would be $200 - $300. Would you prefer Friday, Sat, Sun or Sat, Sun, Mon or midweek? Let me know.

"Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer." — Verbena Woods

Happy Twelfth Night.

Alliee +