Yes well, by now it is the middle of December again, but the fact remains.
And I love December – I really do, but all the same I must admit that writing-wise it is a downright dreadful time. You know how it is. Work crowds, because it seems They cannot live unless you give them one more translation, one more piece of editing, one more whatsit before Christmas. And then there are Christmas preparations – which we take very seriously – and shopping trips to town, and Christmas concerts, and Dickens and Tchaikowskij, and then guests begin to arrive…
And yes, it is partly my fault for embarking every year on ludicrously intricate decorating projects, stubbornly baking my own lebkucken cookies and Christmas pudding, trimming two large trees… but the thing is, writing time is in short supply.
And if the shortage weren’t enough, Christmassy ideas keep hitting me smack in the eye: it’s not as if I hadn’t plenty of projects going and deadlines looming, and yet, what do you think I do when I can snatch an hour? Work on my new play? Tweak my almost-completed three-act thing? Make up lines for my opera libretto?
But no – not on my life: there is this little new play set around Christmas Eve, and then, late at night, while I cut and pasted cardboard ornaments for the tree, a notion for a short story blossomed out of an old play, and how can one disregard a new notion for a short story?
And last night, while dining out with friends, a casual piece of conversation sparked off something like a very wintery ghost story – and I just had to sit up very, very late jotting down at least a shadow of an outline…
Which is why I’m hard put not to laugh whenever someone wonders where I find ideas to write, and why I have learned, over the years, to give up December writing-wise, and roll with the cinnamon-scented current. December is December, after all, and another January will be here all too soon.