But now that my memoir is published and I can finally – truthfully – consider myself an author, I’ve realized that there are many ways that I can write through the holidays without going near my computer at all. Sometimes when the living room is filled with children and presents and the dining room table is encircled with friends and family from near and far, I can find my inner voice more easily than ever.
If I look through my Writer’s Eye, its easier to see that the cast of characters drinking Bloody Mary’s at 9 AM on Christmas morning could be fantastic protagonists for my next novel. The bright sweaters and loud laughter flirt with the senses and invite happiness and cheer. The fog of suspense that danced around my children on Christmas Eve as they slept in front of the fireplace to wait for Santa had the edge and authenticity of the best mystery novel.
Parents and grandparents seated around the Christmas dinner table shared stories of their past which quickly became embedded in the narrative of my persona. The tears I shed of relief and exhaustion as I fell to bed yesterday evening had the bitterness of a drama that will undoubtedly be repeated every year, every holiday, every lifetime.
No matter the circumstances, when I take time to observe instead of react, I can find stories worth repeating and rewriting in even the most mundane settlings. Even the task of cleaning the hurricane of the holidays provides me with subjects to write. There must be a story why that one partially wrapped present was left under the Christmas tree. The candy wrappers mark a path to and from the kids’ rooms like Hansel’s bread crumbs led Gretel. And even in the quiet aftermath of the holiday storm, I can still hear the voices, the stories, and echoes of laughter; a drama ongoing that will last until it’s reenacted again next year
Though the keyboard is unfamiliar after over a week of absence, the keys are warm as I type and recount the stories of the past week. Perhaps writing is not always putting words on a screen but instead being present in the moment to create lasting memories. The words come quickly and artfully from the stories that have been written on my heart.
About the Author
Kristin is a practicing pediatrician in Madison, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and three children. She contributes magazine articles about pediatrics and parenting, and writes a blog about epilepsy, www.oneintwentysix.com. An advocate for epilepsy awareness, Kristin hopes that writing about her disease will help decrease the stigma associated with seizures. You can find Kristin at www.kristinseaborg.com, on Facebook at Kristin Seaborg MD, Author, and on Twitter @KristinSeaborg.
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