Monthly Archives: January 2010

The funny thing about Christmas Cards

Well, I hope everyone had a great REL/MLK day yesterday. If you were off from work, good for you. If you weren’t, oh well. We’ve just about got all the Christmas decorations put up. Yeah, I know, we’re running late. Well, mostly it’s me running late. We’ve had most of them actually down for a while, but I’ve yet to re-“store” them…y’know, put them up in the attic.

Is it just me, or does Christmas seem to fly by? And I mean that both ways: it gets here in a hurry each year, and then it’s over in a hurry. It feels like we just get the tree up and we have to take it down.

But with all the technology, I wonder if the art of the Christmas card is changing (not that it’s an art, but you get what I mean). A decade or so ago, folks stopped sending cards and opted for the “family update letter” in place of a card. Usually, it’s a Cliff’s Notes version of what that family has experienced over the last year. We hang our cards on a string every year…those letter-updates just don’t hang right. Oh, I’m not pointing fingers…we’re guilty of the occasional update letter.

In the last year or so, we’ve started getting email cards. There’s several places online you can get free cards, some of them pretty nice. I’ve grown to like them more and more because I feel I can more easily include folks. The last two years, my family has recorded a “Christmas greeting” video. That’s been fun. But the online cards have messed with my list a little, though.

Yes, I keep a list. Hey, Santa does it, I figured it was in the Christmas spirit to do so. Actually, my list started as a way to keep up with addresses and such. That, and I was always afraid I would accidentally forget someone and then they’d either be hurt or offended. Since I wanted to do neither, I started a list…and checked it twice. When I was heavy editing, the list grew very large—I used to send cards to all the creative talent I worked with. Talk about stamp licking.

The funny thing about my list, though…after a few years of keeping it, I got to noticing that some of the folks on my list never—and I mean never—sent cards to my family. Now I know there are some folks who just don’t do it and I know that the idea is give not receive—I know all that. But if we don’t get a card from someone after five years, they go off the list.

Another funny thing about keeping up with the list: on occasion, I have been late getting them out—like not mailing them until the 23rd. It’s funny because I’ll get cards then the week after the new year…very rarely (actually almost never) from someone not on my list…when I get to thinking about it, I think “ah-ha. They just got the card from us…they weren’t going to send us one but because they got one from us, they decided to send it.” Haha

Whether that’s true or not, I have no clue. But it is funny to watch how the art of Christmas cards have changed and continue to do so.


Filed under Columns

2010 shaping up

2010 is shaping up to be a busy year…and I’m excited about it. While I’d planned to write something witty about Christmas cards, I think I’ll save that until the next time or two…let Christmas pass on by some. Therefore, I’ll dive right into why I’m excited.

I didn’t get this in early enough to mention my attendance at ShadowCon 14 as a writer guest of honor. Held in Memphis, the city of my birth, it is primarily a science fiction/fantasy convention heavily attended by members of the regional SCA—which stands for Society for Creative Anachronism. Basically, they’re Renaissance era reenactors. Except when they sword fight, they really hit each other! I had a great time and met a bunch of new folks!

In March (12-14), I will be one of the comic/writer guests at MidSouthCon 28, once again in the city of my birth! It’s been about ten years since I was last at MidSouthCon!

The summer is going to be hectic! May 21-30, I’ll attend the second residency for my MFA. June 3-5, I am the Featured Speaker for the Sixty-Sixth Annual Arkansas Writers’ Conference to be held in Little Rock, Arkansas. I just received a copy of the flyer. As soon as I find it online, I’ll post a link to it. I’m excited about this as it is the first time for me to attend a conference as a “featured speaker.” I mean, I’ve been to dozens and dozens of shows as a guest, but never in this capacity. Yes, I’m stoked about it!

I’d like to post that I’ll be somewhere June 6-8, but I haven’t received final confirmation yet, so that’ll have to wait. Trust me, though, it’s very exciting, too! I spoke with them yesterday, so I hope I know by the week’s end.

In July, I’ll be one of the several comic guests at one of Mississippi’s growing comic conventions: Mississippi’s Southern Fried Comic-Con. I heard really great things about 09’s show and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m not 100% certain on the dates, but I have the 10th and 11th penciled in on my calendar. I’ll let you know when I am 100% certain.

November will see the 3rd Annual Hemingway Writer’s Retreat (Fall Retreat, actually, there’s another one in the summer) in which I’ve been the mentor there for about a dozen writers each time. It’s always a great getaway for the writers and they generally produce some pretty amazing writing while they’re there. November is also the month for my third MFA residency and will also signal the half-way point for my degree.

I’m also anticipating finishing up both The Interns, the new novel I’ve started for the MFA program and Cat & Mouse, which already has 25,000 words.

So, I’m pretty excited about the year!

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