While I honor and respect all the national and religious celebrations during this month, my holiday is Christmas. It’s been a bit difficult getting in the mood for all the pandemic and political and problems we face these days. So I thought I’d have a little Christmas fun. Today, Frosty the Snowman answers some questions from the personality test I use in character reveals. So, do you know Frosty like I know Frosty?
Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson wrote the song “Frosty the Snowman” in 1950. Written to capitalize on the success of Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” it never reached that level of success. But the story persisted. Frosty lives on in the song, a Little Golden Book, Dell Comics, several animation television shows, and in a parade in Armonk, New York.
1. Who is your role model?
What’s a role model? Is it something you eat? Snowmen don’t eat.
2. Who knows you the best?
Why the children, of course. Especially Karen.
3. What would your friends say about you?
That I’m a jolly, happy soul. Though their parents often say I’m a fairytale.
4. What is the question people ask you most often?
What was that magic in that old silk hat?
5. What is the thing you’d never say to another person?
I would never say anything sad or mean to anyone.
6. What is your greatest achievement?
That I’m as alive as I can be and I can laugh and play.
7. What is your greatest failure?
It’s when you try something, and it doesn’t work out.
Hm, that sounds very sad. I don’t do sad. But maybe I had a failure when I paused only a moment when I heard the traffic cop holler, “Stop!”
8. What did you learn from your greatest failure?
That traffic cops holler stop really loud.
9. What is the thing you are most proud of?
That I help children run and have fun before I melt away.
10. What would you like to change about yourself?
It would be wonderful if I never melted, but don’t cry. I’ll be back again someday.
Do You Know Frosty?
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Frosty the Snowman. And now, you know Frosty like I know Frosty. Which character that we know from December holidays would you like me to interview next Monday?
It’s November, and that means a lot of writers are taking up the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month—this month. This is an annual challenge that many enjoy. And one that many “fail.” Rather, they don’t write 50,000 words within the month. But this, the eleventh month of the year, is also a time when the long-running pandemic is flaring, a contentious election is happening, and social outrage is high. Most people are worn out. Many are struggling to stay motivated to get through the day. Here are a few strategies you can use when your motivation needs a boost.
Know What Your Ultimate Goal Is
You may think this is obvious, especially a writer. You might say my goal is to write a book. Maybe it’s that simple, but in this case think bigger. Do you want to be the author of one book? Perhaps you want to have a retirement nest egg? Or do you want to move to a tropical island?
Visualize your future self. You’ve accomplished your big goal. What does your daily life look like? What does it feel like? How do you feel about the road you took to get there?
Journal or draw out these ideas. These will be important
Your why is usually pretty simple. Why do you do the job you do? Remembering this is key to keeping you on task. Here are a few suggestions that may help you remember your why.
Remember Your Why
Monetary Gain—you will get paid. Maybe your goal is to keep a roof over your head, food on your table, and clothes on your body.
A Sense of Accomplishment—it may be important to you to be better at something or to have reached a goal.
Personal Gain — you’ll get the degree you wanted, you’ll learn something new. Be careful about this one. It can easily slide into something you have no control over (if someone else has to agree to give it to you—such as applause or a job promotion—you might influence the outcome but you have no control.)
A Step Toward a Larger Goal—you know your big goal and the steps needed to get there. Word your goal as a fraction of the way to the ultimate goal.
Other motivational discussions mention fear and power being reasonable motivations. They may be for some things, and they can definitely be positive motivations. But there’s a danger that they will become soul-crushing for you or someone else. There’s enough negative energy in the world right now. Try to find a positive energy motivation. It will take you further.
Whatever your why, write it down on a self-stick note or poster or white board and stick it about your workspace.
Set a Goal
There are the big goals, such as writing 50,000 words in a month. But it takes many little steps to reach that ultimate goal. Break your goal down into smaller steps. Smaller, until you get down to what you must accomplish in a day.
Be realistic about the daily steps. To write 50,000 words in a month, you must average 1667 words for each of thirty days. But will you really write every single day? If you can, great. If you have a day job, a family, holiday or other commitments, that daily activity may be impossible. So figure the realistic number of days you can expect to spend on your goal. If you spend five days a week for four weeks, that’s 20 days. You must write a lot more words (2500 words per day).
Whatever your daily goal — write it down. Put it up where you can see it.
Prepare for the Unexpected
If 2020 isn’t a crash course in this, I don’t know what it. But you know life rarely goes exactly as you’ve planned. Plan for the unexpected. Know what you’ll do if you need a temporary change of goals, if an urgent family or life matter interrupts and keeps you from your daily goal. How will you adjust? When writing a novel, have a digital or handwritten backup in case of mechanical failure. Hire help to deal with the other issues or order takeout so you have another hour of working time. Have a plan.
Prepare for Flagging Motivation
This may be where many of us are right now. It’s been an unusually tough year. Perhaps you’ll want to have some inspirational quotes on standby.
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
Martin Luther King Jr
Find quotes that motivate and inspire you. The best source of quotes I have found is Brainy Quotes.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.
Francis of Assisi
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
When Your Motivation Needs a Boost
Don’t give up.
You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don’t give up.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to step back from 24 hour roller coaster of Corona Virus News. Not that I don’t understand the significance and the scale of this thing. But my brain and my emotions need a break. I need a distraction—Do you need a distraction too? Music? Learn? Read on. I’ve distractions a plenty.
Up Beat Sing-Along
Long time readers know I love music. It’s my go-to stress reliever. Here are four songs and lyrics that will lift your spirits. Belt it out. You’ll feel better.
Que Sera Sera—Doris Day
Uptown Funk—Bruno Mars
Bob Marley – Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Mary Poppins (1964) – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”
Your family won’t let you sing out loud? Sic these ear worms on them. You’ll all be singing.
Don’t forget to check out TED Talks for topics you’re interested in.
And you don’t have to go online. What about that jigsaw puzzle in the bottom of your closet? Play a game of Old Maid or work a book of crossword puzzles.
The Need for Distraction
In uncertain times being frightened, anxious, or just plain emotional is normal. But it’s also exhausting. Take care of yourselves. Give yourself permission to do something fun or silly or creative. You need a distraction or two or three… I need some too. What have you found that helps you?
It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, the twenty-fourth of December. Tomorrow is Christmas. A religious holiday for some. A pagan holiday for some. Part of a week or two or a month of holidays for some. And just another day for some. Whether or not you celebrate a December holiday, my Merry Christmas wish is that you find a bit of charity, peace, and love on this day and each day for the rest of your life. In that spirit, here are a few of my favorite versions of Christmas carols.
Deck the Halls
I love a cappella music so it’s no wonder I’m a fan of Pentatonix.
“Deck the Halls“ (originally titled “Deck the Hall“) is a traditional Christmas carol. The melody is Welsh, dating back to the sixteenth century, and belongs to a winter carol, “Nos Galan“, while the English lyrics, written by the Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant, date to 1862. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deck_the_Halls
Carol of the Bells (for 12 Cellos)
This version is a clever use of technology to create a beautiful version of this old carol.
“Carol of the Bells“ is a popular Christmas carol, with music by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 and lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk“. Wilhousky’s lyrics are under copyright protection (owned by Carl Fischer Music); the music is in the public domain. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_of_the_Bells
Joy to The World
Von Smith & Tambourine Guy
An energetic and fun version of this old favorite presented by Postmodern Jukebox is sure to help create a Merry Christmas.
Isaac Watts wrote Joy to the World in 1719 based on Psalms 98:4.
As of the late 20th century, “Joy to the World” was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America.
This YouTube video of one of my favorites sung in Navaho has become a new favorite. It gives me the chills. If you listen to nothing else, listen to this one.
“O Holy Night“ (French: “Minuit, chretiens” or “Cantique de Noël”) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) written by wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877).
It’s been a long and difficult year, but you have been a bright spot in that year. Thank you for reading, for your comments, and for your support. I value each and everyone of you. And no matter your circumstances or your religious and holiday preferences, I pray that you each have a wondrous and joyful day.
Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the day that changed history. The Allies sent soldiers in a massive assault against the Germans. Thousands went into battle. Thousands died, thousands were injured. We honor this day and remember those who fought and those who died. There is little new to be said, but we mustn’t forget the men and women who sacrificed to stop the fascists. This musical and literary tribute for D-Day is a small attempt to honor those whose lives were forever changed because of World War II.
“I’ll Be Seeing You”
Billie Holiday, 1938
Billie Holliday sang this soulful song in 1938. In the lyrics she tells her love she will see him everywhere she looks (even though he’s gone away). It became the farewell anthem for soldiers and has been sung by many others.
German-born and Jewish, Anne Frank got a diary for her thirteenth birthday. A short while later, she and her family went into hiding. Her diary shares details of her daily life, her wishes, and her desires until the Nazis captured her and her family. She died in a concentration camp at the age of fifteen. Her father, the family’s only survivor, published parts of her diary in her memory.
The honest, raw story is a study of optimism in dire circumstances.
Sung by a veteran of Normandy this song expresses his memories in an effort to support the British Normandy Memorial. Its lyrics have touched millions and reached the top of the charts.
There have been hundreds of songs and thousands of stories written about or in reaction to the war. Read about another way to learn stories about the war in my post Remembering: Veterans History Project (not just WWII or D-day but all wars).
This musical and literary tribute for D-Day is small but heartfelt. The songs and stories have earned a spot in my heart and I hope you will sample them. Please add your favorite musical or literary D-Day or WW2 tribute in the comments.