I'm back! It's been a nice long break, but I'm ready to enter the blogosphere once again. I'd like to start by addressing a comment left on my blog last week. Big brother Ed would like to know how our gingerbread house decorating tradition went this year (another one of those holiday traditions - gotta love 'em!)
It went okay, though to be honest, I've been getting lazy on this one in recent years. Long, long ago, when the children were very small, I bought a Pampered Chef gingerbread house mold. The kids and I made the dough from scratch, pressed it into the mold, baked it, glued it together with homemade icing, and then the kids decorated it. I took pictures, made black and white prints, and hung a new set up in frames on the kitchen wall each year. It was an all-day project, but back then the kids and I had a lot more time on our hands, and everyone looked forward to this special event.
As the years went by, eventually I realized they actually make kits for that sort of thing. What a revelation! I started buying the kits with the prebaked pieces and the premade icing. We did this for several years, and more than once I couldn't get the house to stand up and ended up throwing away the whole thing. But this year I discovered something even better - a kit with a preassembled house. This is the easiest way to go, for sure, though it does take something away from the sense of accomplishment.
So we did decorate our gingerbread house this year, and it sat on the kitchen window throughout the month of December, as is our custom. Does anyone else out there decorate gingerbread houses? Do you buy the preassembled houses, the prebaked pieces, or bake it from scratch? Do you eat it when you're done? We keep ours on the corner window sill for a month, so we don't actually eat it, though I'm sure the kids wouldn't hesitate if I'd let them.
Another small note: thanks for the blog topic suggestion, Ed! And if anyone else out there would like to make a suggestion, please do so. Your ideas are always most welcome.
In closing, here's a quick update on my WIP (work in progress). I finished the second draft of Killing Kessler (my time travel/romance/young adult novel) right before Christmas. I had one of my critique group buddies, my sister, my 14-year-old niece, and my 13-year-old daughter read it. They all had nice things to say, but a lot of great constructive criticism, too. Now, instead of a manuscript, it feels like I've got a big bowl of spaghetti with loose ends leading everywhere and nothing really connecting. Such is progress, I suppose! I know it will all pay off in the end and result in a much better book. And a huge THANK YOU to my critiquers - you guys are the best!
Until next Sunday, happy writing, and may your coffee pot never run dry.