A Drop of Sunshine #15
October 2023: The Art of Fun
Hello Dear Ones,
I’m writing to you surrounded by crisp fall leaves and with a crisp sense of satisfaction: I’m sending my new novel to my agent this week! Part of me is nervous to hear her thoughts, and part of me is thrilled with the book. Such is the life of a writer.
As I wrote this novel, I crammed it full of things that make me happy: animals, whimsy, petty sister squabbles, inside jokes for loved ones to discover. Based on critique partner feedback, I ditched the super-inside jokes that didn’t help the narrative, scrapped a few silly names that were a bit too over the top. But the unabashed heart and fun remained, and I think the book is better for it.
Whenever the inner-snobby-critic jeers at me to overly-censor my work (AKA lose joy for the sake of sophistication) I remind myself of the power of enthusiasm. The power of fun. I remind myself of great writers like Kate DiCamillo and Neil Gaiman who stuff their stories full of silliness and wonder. I remind myself of the Lazy Scranton rap from The Office. If you aren’t an Office fan, please don’t watch this clip, because it likely won’t endear you to the show (and it is a very funny show). If you are an Office fan, click here, you’re welcome.
The silly, ridiculous Lazy Scranton rap could’ve ended up on the show’s cutting room floor, but then we would have lost so much fun. Sheer fun isn’t perfectly equal to sheer joy, but it grows in the same garden. And it is one of the greatest currencies we have. If I write stories that nurture sheer joy, then that’s a career well-spent. Art isn’t shallow for its unabashed fun, it’s deeper for it.
And in the spirit of unabashed fun and joy, I’ll be taking the remainder of 2023 away from the noise of the internet. I’ll be reuniting with college friends, writer friends, high school friends, and much-missed family. I’ll be knitting and baking and watercolor painting. I’ll be playing with my adorable niece, enjoying long walks with my husband and dog, and laughing with family through our favorite Christmas movies.
Lord willing, I’ll write to you again in January 2024. And may what remains of your 2023 be full of unabashed fun and joy.
Quote to Ponder:
“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”
― A. A. Milne / Winnie the Pooh
What to Bake
Easy Butter Toffee - This recipe is perfect for bagging up pretty shards of candy to share with neighbors. This calls for 11 oz milk chocolate, but I love to use 6 oz dark chocolate and 5 oz milk chocolate.
What to Listen To
Christmas Classics — You decide when is too early, and then keep it to yourself. ;)
What to Read*
I reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone every December, and I finish the series through cold January and February. It’s the best-selling book series of all time, and yet I still meet people who haven’t yet read it. So, if you’ve wondered if it is worth the hype, I assure you that it far exceeds it. The first book is a jolly, cozy read, perfect for quiet snowy nights.
Question to Ponder:
What is your number one priority for the final months of 2023?
Mine is quality time with loved ones.
Until next time, wishing you sunshiny trails,
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