Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Oh my gosh, so much has happened since my last Sunday Letter. Since I can only write in snatches of stolen time, I’ll jump right to it.
First things first. I’m happy to report that we received a bonafide snow last week, one that didn’t begin or end with ice. The trees were exceptionally beautiful.
I’m dreaming of another snowfall this winter. After that, I will be watching for my tulips to pop up from the soil.
I recently spent six days at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, and I am thrilled with the progress I’ve made this year on my manuscript. I started this novel when COVID hit the country, hoping a writing project would keep me occupied and give me something to show for such a crazy time. Last week while at the colony, I ALMOST finished my rough draft.
I’m so, so close.
Even though I still have LOTS of work to do on the story, having a completed first draft feels like a huge milestone. Future drafts will never exist without a first. And a final book will certainly never happen without cranking out the first draft. So yay.
I’ve heard lots of people say they’ve barely been able to read a book this year, much less concentrate on anything creative. For me, this new project has provided an escape.
More on this later. Much later, probably…
You’ve probably heard our puppy news. Since Gracie scampered into our lives last Saturday afternoon, I’ve barely written a word! Yes, we named her after my protagonist in The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, and so far she is living up to her spitfire character’s name.
I forgot how busy puppies are, and how one tiny bundle of energy can completely uproot a peaceful routine. I didn’t realize how peaceful my routine was…
Isn’t she the most adorable thing?
She’s also part snapping turtle...
Chew toys occupy her for a split second. Shoestrings and sock feet and bare fingers taste much better.
These tiny puppy days never last very long, and being unable to write for long stretches of time is temporary. The entertainment value and happiness a new family member provides is priceless. Who needs all ten fingers anyway? Ha.
Even though we provided plenty of warning, it has taken Annabelle a few days to embrace such a whirlwind of change, especially when that whirlwind came in a furry package that could possibly be vermin.
Annabelle has always been a cautious girl, suspicious of anything new in the house. Once, when she realized our piano was actually capable of making sounds, she began taking the loooooong way around it for a solid week, avoiding the massive thing at all costs.
For Gracie, it was love at first sight the instant she saw Annabelle. One week later, Annabelle is coming around to the idea that Gracie is now part of our pack. Sometimes, she accidentally has fun with her.
Annabelle has not only gained a little playmate/sister, but she now has a permanent little black shadow chasing her.
We aren’t exactly skipping Christmas, but if we aren’t careful, the entire season could easily pass us by.
Things that haven’t happened since my last Sunday Letter—we haven’t put up a Christmas tree, nor have we strung twinkle lights along our porch railing. These things aren’t going to happen for us this year. And I’m okay with it.
I have two nativity scenes on display, and our red berry wreaths are hanging in the dining room windows. Our collection of bottle brush and tinsel trees add ample sparkle.
Frosty waits beside the front door to greet, well, no one, other than a few masked-up neighbors who come to meet Gracie, and our mailman who brings much appreciated Christmas cards. Much like Thanksgiving, our Christmas group will be small this year.
Minimal gifts and minimal decorations. Even so, we are filled with good cheer.
This year more than any other, I am reminded of the words of the lovable ole Grinch—
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
Upcycle Christmas Cards
Speaking of Christmas cards, don’t forget to save yours and upcycle them for next year’s gift tags!
Click HERE for how-to.
Things Momma Says:
I have been having one of these in my coffee every morning, and my days have been going better.
Sunday Letter readers,
Thank you for adding joy to my life this year by being a Grace Grits and Gardening follower, for commenting on blog and Facebook posts, and by sharing those you especially enjoy. This has been a rough year in many ways, but there is still so so so much good to celebrate.
To those who have lost friends and loved ones in 2020, my very deepest sympathies.
Be kind, spread peace, and have yourself a merry little Christmas!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Carol Murry says
Gracie is so, so cute!!!! Love the snow picture – we just got a dusting on the deck here (Hot Springs). I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and the new year brings blessings beyond measure. Thank you for your rays of sunshine each week in your Sunday Letters.
Gracie is a doll. So glad she found you! Have a happy Christmas!
Sissy Abbott says
Gracie is precious! Love your Sunday letter! Merry Christmas!
Jo Ann Wardein says
This week was surely PACKED with good things!
Gracie’s just darling, and you’ll always remember this unusual Christmas alongside the joy she’s bringing!
Congrats on your book progress…is this book fiction, or non?
Happy Christmas Week to you and your family, Talya…
Trent Fleming says
great thoughts, and congrats on the almost first draft. Glad you are doing work. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Cathy Lattus says
Your mother and I could be best friends. Loving her choice of marshmallows for morning coffee.
Little Gracie is precious. I could just give her kisses all day long. Have a Merry Christmas. Going to be quiet in the northeast corner of the state.
Sweet, sweet Gracie! Thank you for putting her little sparkling face in your weekly letter! I too want to express my thanks for the weekly letter! Always relevant and uplifting. Merry Christmas!
Love the black and white in your doggie photo options now with Gracie in your family. Congrats in getting the first draft under control. Since Isaac took a decade, I think I better switch to short stories!! 😉
Sharon Collins says
Gracie is just darling. Please continue to send us pictures. I am sending virtual smoochies to be planted liberally all over that precious face.The only thing sweeter than a sweet napping puppy is a napping sweet human baby. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am wishing only the best for you and your family.
Dorothy Johnson says
I am so late, but I had to say how adorable Gracie is and congratulations on that first draft. Our Dec had been strange but ok. I guess I’ll send New Year’s cards. Belated Christmas greetings and wishes for a wonderful 2021.
Talya Tate Boerner says