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Even those who know and love tolerate my propensity to follow shiny baubles when an idea pops into my noggin sent “Caution! Late Notice!” emails and tweets when the notion for this blog hop surfaced.

In my own defense, I would NOT have ventured down this path had that feisty little techie guru and YA published novelist Brinda Berry listened to my short answer: No!

I couldn’t launch my long answer (Hell, no!) because that violates the spirit of the holiday season.

SO! Here I am with a nifty Holiday Memories Blog Hop badge—at a time when many of you have your holiday-themed posts written and scheduled.

Curse not!

This blog tour has a suggested format and theme. All holiday themed posts are welcome. Hop on board with WinkyDink Mister Linky. The more the merrier. I love all things holiday, relish the chance to meet new bloggers, love to leave novella length comments on your blog.

For those of you who practice procrastination spontaneity when writing posts, here is the scoop on the suggested blog hop topic.


Okay. You asked. I answer.

When my granddaughter was in third grade, she had an assignment.

“Gather letters from your close relatives. Ask them to HAND write letters to you. Ask them to tell you what the holiday was like for them when they were your age. Get a picture of them when they were in third grade.”

This is the closest I came to a picture of me at that age. It’s Easter Sunday. Notice how all of our coats follow the same pattern? I’m second from the left.

Cool assignment, right? A hand-written letter—a lost art form. Bonus! I have excellent penmanship and a Handwriting Certificate to prove it.

When I started to write my letter to Sydney, something unusual happened.

Forced to focus my holiday memories on a specific time in my life brought those memories to the forefront. All other memories blurred and swirled around them.

I revisited Christmas Eve at our tiny house in Fredericksburg, PA. I smelled the tree Dad harvested on a nearby farm, saw our mismatched eclectic lights, remembered the squabbles we had over placement of icicles (Perfectionist Willie put them up strand-by-strand. Sandy slung them by fistfuls to annoy Willie).

I heard Mom’s sewing machine behind her closed bedroom door finishing handmade clothes destined for wrapping sans boxes. I heard her door open and close, the snappy click of heels on hardwood when she raided the kitchen for brown grocery sacks. Mom never, ever bought enough wrapping paper.

I heard the scritch, scritch, scritch of a Jiffy Pop on the stove, smelled our bedtime treat as heat worked its magic on those kernels of corn, felt the warm, melted butter Oleo coat my fingers and lips.

Experienced the spine-tingling YIKES when Dad shouted “you girls quit fighting over that popcorn or I’m throwing it out!”

THAT letter made that particular Christmas come alive for me again.


The suggested theme for this blog hop is for participants to write a letter to a real or imaginary pick-an-age-year-old. Find and post pictures of yourself at that age. Write a letter showing what it was like during that one window of time in your life.



I’m all about random “what if” thoughts.

My experience with that letter led me to wonder what the characters in my WIP would write if asked to provide a letter to an imaginary pick-an-age-year-old.

What would protagonist Molly remember about Christmas at that age? Hero Jake?

It seemed a perfect venue to explore back story for my characters, expose blog readers to the voices of my characters, share a bit of back-story that won’t be revealed in the manuscript.

“Careful, Gloria, careful,” I said to self. [I talk to imaginary characters. I talk to self, too.] “If you expound on back-story, make sure it’s a sliver that is either not germane to your storyline OR give no more information that what the reader will know in the early back-story slivers.”

“Well, duh…” self said.

What about a letter from the villain’s point of view? Even villains (most of them, anyway) have young family members who don’t appear in the novel. What if your villain became bored one night (dastardly deed downtime) and chose to respond to a request from a young niece/nephew/next-door-neighbor and reveal what Christmas was like for him/her at that young age. Whoa! Talk about getting a peek at that non-stereotypical side of the villain.

That’s it. The Holiday Memories Blog Hop SUGGESTIONS.

A snippet in time—yours, one of your characters, Wile E Coyote.

Me? I’m planning to be a blog-hop-hog and do several.

AGAIN, if you already have your Holiday Posts written, then goody-two-shoes-for-you play in the hop with those of us who don’t.

Participate in the blog hop by adding your name to the Linky List and using the super cool badge. If you want the URL for the badge image, it is located here OR you can right-click the image and access the PC menu to Save As and place it on your computer. Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name to the blog hop!