Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Hi, all,

HAPPY HUMP DAY! Well it's the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means .... YES! You guessed! It's time for another INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP post.

By now, you must all know about this amazing group created by none-other-than Alex J. Cavanaugh... On the first Wednesday of every month, Ninja Captain, Alex, gives us a chance to rant, rave, beat our computers, fling them out the window in frustration, or just plain b*tch about our writing lives.

As members, we, the community, pop around to as many of our blogger friends as we can, to share in their "melt down" moments. Our group is LARGE so drop by Alex's for the complete list.

Today, I wish to talk about STRESS before the holidays. Of course, WE ALL look forward to Christmas every year .... UNTIL ... it creeps up on us unaware ... that's where these tips will help you get through this festive holiday season without FREAKING OUT!

Thankfully we still have plenty of time to get things ORGANIZED... yes, you pantsters (me too) need to PLAN. INHALE one LONG, deep breath and take one battle at a time. Don't wait until Christmas Eve and realize you forgot Aunt Sophie's gift and she will be visiting in less than two hours.

As you do you regular shopping, think about all the people you need gifts to buy for. Eventually as the weeks go by you will pick up a present here and a present there and VOILA. All your presents are bought without even batting those thick, plushy eyelashes.

Now... I know we are ALL thinking about the Thanksgiving feast... Why not pick up a few extras for your Christmas dinner or party. BELIEVE ME, EVERYTHING in the stores is geared toward Christmas. Long gone are the days when we didn't see one Christmas decoration until the day after Thanksgiving. I am talking YEARS ago, even before the term "Black Friday" became popular. A few extra boxes of candy, dried fruits, nuts, wine, liquor  etc... because they might not have anything left by the time you get around thinking about what to serve for your festive evening.

In your leisure ... the times you are pulling your hair out because you can't think of one good plot arc ... gift wrap a package. It will take your mind off your dilemma and before you know it fifty gifts are done and your living room or office looks like Mardi Gras with all the glitter, ribbons, and cut off trims littering your beautiful hardwood floor.

Don't wait for the last SECOND to bake ... WHAT?!!! You don't BAKE?!!!  You must and SHOULD. If you wait too long, you will NEVER do it and end up buying the ready made garbage in the stores. As you know from all of mine and my guests' health tips, PROCESSED ANYTHING is not the way to go. Plan ahead... you can make THE most AMAZING concoctions from scratch... HEALTHY, chemical free, and yes, even gluten free if you have wheat allergies. There are ZILLIONS of recipes on line. Plus I will be posting some of my favorites soon ... So, again, at those times when the writing is stale, and you can't form a simple sentence, SNAP the laptop closed and create some wonderful goodie for you or your family and friends.

I can't stress this enough. A few years ago ... before I had started writing,  I had decided to bake all my goodies and you know what, I didn't gain an ounce. NO chemicals... NO excess SUGAR. YOU have control. Now isn't that a great for all you control freaks out there. Imagine controlling your OWN GOODIES> YUMM! Lord only knows I try to be in control of EVERY aspect of my life. LOL. We can't control those picky agents or publishers, but this we can. Raise up those sleeves and take out the flour, sifter, measuring cup, AND GO TO TOWN. Get the kids involved and just think of the fun/mess you all can get into.

I can picture it now... More flour on you and the kids than in the pans... what fun... Life is too short, why not spend some quality time and have fun doing it.

Enjoy this holiday season by just doing a bit of advance planning. It will make a world of difference and you may even have FUN....

On Friday I will be posting an AMAZING EARTHLY ANGELS story... Please drop by...

Have a great day everyone!


  1. I prefer to stretch out the Christmas shopping rather than do it all at once. Of course, I do almost all of it online, which makes it easy.
    I'm not sure we even have sugar in our house...

  2. Always a great post Michael. I love Christmas baking, poring over new recipes. It's such a homely time. At least we don't have Thanksgiving over here, we're just thankful every day for how good our lives are.
    NaNo is humming along for me - 12,000 good words of my new novel. I meet up with 2 or 3 others and we write together most days. Fun.

    Happy Thanksgiving! I know you love the preparations.
    Hope the renos are completed?


  3. Interesting way to deal with stress, since I am not fond of shopping or baking I tend to put it off and get it all over with at once...LOL! Like ripping off a bandage Those things are what create stress for me but I am glad that you enjoy it:) I can't believe you are thinking christmas, there isn't even snow here and I forgot all about christmas. NOW I feel stressed bro...thanks :/

  4. I always bake from scratch for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My kids would be so disappointed if I didn't. I've found lots of new receipes to try on Pinterest.

  5. *hugs this post*

    I love all your posts! I'm still laughing at the "yes, you pantsers need to PLAN." <----So great.

    Holidays can be SO stressful. Especially when money is ridiculously tight. We've got a little boy with cancer, and so we have SO MUCH help from amazing organizations to make Christmas magical! It does take planning. And I know that I'm a lot happier when I'm organized and can check things off my list. (Which is a huge step for me because I'm kinda a wherever-the-wind-takes-me type of personality!)

    Great post as always, Michael! :-)

  6. Oh! And I'll look forward to those recipes!

  7. I've recently started baking bread every week and am looking forward to finding stuff to make closer to the Christmas season; baking is a lot of fun. :)

  8. Another awesome post, Michael, thanks for making me smile tonight.

    Now, about the remodel piccies...?

  9. People still bake?? er, I should say - people still eat baked goods? Yes, perhaps my kids are deprived compared to others, but hey, at least I let them trick-or-treat. ;) And we're supposed to buy Christmas presents? (okay, that one I have to do yet!)

  10. I'm a huge Christmas shopping planner, and my wife isn't--so that makes this time of year interesting. :-)

    I don't bake a ton, but love to cook. We live amongst a lot of people who don't get to travel home for the holidays (we don't either), so I usually end up cooking the Thanksgiving feast for 15 random friends and strangers--which I love doing.

    Definitely my favorite time of year!

  11. I love Christmas shopping but only if I get to do it way ahead of time. I love looking for gifts and ideas and just get a thrill at the idea of giving or doing them myself.

    Been missing your post lately. Glad to be back :)

  12. OMG...Christmas is almost here? Ack!

    I'd love to learn some new recipes without adding processed sugar. Looking forward to your offerings.

  13. I don't bake but my hubby does (while I write). Yes, some of his healthy concoctions are less than appealing, but overall they're pretty good. :)

  14. I try to control every aspect of my life, too :-)
    This is awsome!I am making peppermint bark for the numerous people who help my kiddos out at school. I've done it before, and it's a hit! But I need to stock up early, as you said.

  15. My kids and I love baking Christmas cookies from scratch! Great post!

  16. I give my Christmas presents all year long. I hear about a friend really wanting an item; I give it to them with "Happy Early Christmas!" They get the item they want immediately, and I string out the expenses over 12 months. :-)

  17. I even make my own tofurkey.

    We've used Splenda for years. I'd also trained myself to drink iced tea with no sugar. I have to be careful when I get iced tea around here, because in the South, they like tea in their sugar.