Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Time for Christmas Letters

I can't blog right now! I'm writing our family Christmas letter! This year, again, I can't bring myself to write neat paragraphs describing our year. (Sarahlynn likes to read. Paul has a new job. Ellie is cute. Ada was born! The end.) So I searched around online, and I'm trying to write a menu that describes our year, as though we're a restaurant.

For example:

Haggis, served family style (we took a 10-day family vacation to Scotland in June)

And so forth.

Do you know that some people think that writing longer things takes more time? Unless we're talking about a novel vs. a postcard, I find the opposite to be true. It's hard, very hard for me to edit, refine, pare down, keep the meaning without all the words. Words, words, words are easy.


  1. I've heard that short stories are a lot harder than a novel. Short stories are concise and to the point. I'm not much for short stories. But I also fall short on word counts for novels. Too concise not enough meandering. I've got to get my Christmas cards going too. Your idea sounds good. I'll have to think of something interesting since we've spent the majority of the year abroad. See it's difficult to write short. :)

  2. Working in newspapers, I can concur that it's much, much harder to write short than long.

  3. Which course is your writing a novel in November? That seems like an entree to me, but does it conflict with the haggis? Maybe the family trip should be a round of single-malt instead.

  4. Amanda, I think that the form depends on the writer. I love Lorrie Moore, but it seems that short stories are a more successful form for her than are novels. For me, I know that I spend many hours, over a matter of years, often, on a short story before I think it's "finished." This only works because I never plan to publish anything. But, yes, they do take a lot more work (for me) than one might think, given their brevity.

    Re: your word count, what about YA novels? They often come in around 50-70K, don't they?

    Krup, you would know!

    Orange, I'm currently trying to move chronologically through the year and down the menu, but we'll see how that goes.

    I like the idea of the novel being a dessert (lots of late night coffee and cocoa went into that work!) but I love the idea of the single malt too.

    Currently, the second beverage on the menu is breastmilk, for Ada's birth, with a chaser for her cousin Arria's birth a day later. :)

  5. That's funny you mention novel vs. postcard, because I just wrote a post about failing at the Novel Writing Month, and said I should stick to postcards.
    As for a Christmas letter, this year I started a blog, so I'm telling everyone: Read my blog!