MERRY CHRISTMAS $ALE FROM CWI
Any 8-week writing course with a PERSONAL TUTOR for only $169 USD. Sign up at regular USD price and receive your $31 rebate check immediately. Start any time within a year. $ale ends Dec. 31, 2012, midnight EST.
Limited seating in each class. HURRY! Sign up HERE!
A Cheery Newsletter to Warm Your Heart
The Gifts of Christmas
by Julie Canfield and D. Owen
One King held the frankincense
One King held the myrrh,
One King held the purest gold and
One King held the hope of the world. (Jeff and Gayla Borders, Lowell Alexander)
About 2,000 years ago, three wise men presented gifts to the King of kings when He made an unremarkable entrance into this world and a star shone with incredible brightness to lead the Magi to Him.
They had studied the prophecies, watched for His sign, bowed before Him, and offered presents, but did they recognize the various gifts He brought to a needy world?
This baby, a physical representation of God, later called the King of the Jews, brought salvation, fulfilled prophecy, and showered mankind with uncompromising love and sacrifice.
In later years, Paul revealed how God gave gifts to individuals… gifts that we may call talents, unique to each one, yet shared by many. Ephesians 4 lists some of the gifts, not only to be used as a way to earn a living, but also as a means to uplift God.
O Emmanuel, God with us
Spirit revealed in us
That we may be your hope to the world
Be God in us
(Point of Grace)
Proverbs 25:11 tells us about the gift of writing. Proverbs 25:11 says, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. We writers are united as those who have been blessed with the gift of writing in conjunction with the gift of hope!
We struggle with words, concepts, conflicts, plots, editing, and publishing, but the gift of hope sustains us when writing takes us to our knees.
Christ used parables, preached in allegories, and lived an exemplary life. The apostles chronicled His stories, sermons, and memoirs. They were talented writers, and so are you. Nurture your talent. Invest in it!
Articles lurk inside you, along with hordes of shorts stories, poetry – and maybe even a book. Use your talent for stringing words together to craft well written, thought provoking pieces that will minister to people you may never meet.
Use humor to lighten someone’s load and drama to identify with tem. Strengthen those who are unsteady in faith. Use your God-given talent for Him.
As we approach December 25, let's say Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thank you for the wonderful gifts you've given. Use them in the coming year.
To whom much is given, much is required. (Mark 12:48)
Honoring a Loved One at Christmas
by Dr. Helen Tucker
Creative Writing Institute's School Counselor
Losing a loved one is a very painful experience and although the pain and grief usually eases with time, memories remain. I know, because my husband died this year. Here are some suggestions to help keep those memories alive:
Create a new tradition for special anniversaries as a way to celebrate his/her life.
Light a candle on special holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries to remind you of the light your loved one brought to your life.
Organize a trip that will bring back memories of a wonderful experience you shared.
Carrying a small item that belonged to your loved one can make you feel their nearness.
Place a favorite photo and some of his/her special items in a spot you see daily.
Say your loved one’s name aloud to feel closer to him/her.
Plant a memory garden, tree, or favorite plant in his/her honor.
Regularly use a specific item around the house that will symbolically remind you of your loved one.
A new pet may bring joy and new meaning to your life. Give it a name that reminds you of the one you miss.
Concentrating on others in need or taking a volunteer job will help you focus outward instead of inward. Share yourself with others.
With Christmas just around the corner, try to think of three ways you or someone you know could honor a missing loved one. Have a problem or a question? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Sends S.O.S. to CWI
Story by Julie Canfield
Santa groaned and flipped papers on the floor. Children wanted stories this year. He was a toymaker, not a writer! How could he fill these requests? Mrs. Claus recognized the holiday groan and served hot chocolate and cookies.
“This will help. What’s the matter, Santa?”He laid his glasses aside and buried his head in his hands.
“Children want stories. I don’t know how to write them. What should I do?”
“Why don’t you write to Creative Writing Institute and seek advice?”
“Seek professional help?” he said, stroking his beard. “I’ll do it! Thank you, my darling.”
Santa nibbled on a cookie as he composed a letter.
Dear Creative Writing Institute,
I am in dire need of your assistance. Children the world over are asking me to write stories for Christmas. How can I make a story enjoyable?”
This was the reply.
We’re happy to offer assistance. Let the following list guide you on your writing journey.
A Writer’s Story Guide
1. Make all characters memorable, even the minor ones. Give them a personal signature, such as smell, look, habit, or speech, to help set them apart. Remember that the readers want to love your protagonist and dislike your antagonist, some, if not a lot.
2. Create a fictional world. Make your story a place where the reader dwells.
3. Choose your point of view carefully. You will have several characters. When in doubt, tell the story through the character's eyes who can give it the most emotional punch.
4. Stick to your throughline. Throughline is a term borrowed from film, which means the main plotline of your story. The plot weaves a conflict and answers the question, “What happens to the protagonist?” That will keep your reader engaged.
5. Keep it plausible. Readers must be able to suspend believability. Be sure the details make sense, and keep the reader in suspense. Don’t just imagine your story. Write the experience in your character’s voice so the reader can share it, too.
6. Trim it. The best way to edit is to focus on the major points. Read the story aloud for the best effect. When in doubt, leave it out! If the story no longer makes sense, replace the point concisely and efficiently.
Santa read the guidelines. With a wry smile, he took pen in hand and began writing. Smiling, he thought of the perfect gift for Creative Writing Institute - he would provide a personal tutor for every student.
by Angie Butler
Holiday shopping can make you feel like you’ve just spent hours with a lousy friend: used, betrayed, stressed, taken advantage of, suckered in, deflated and exhausted!
The enticement of good deals, bargains, early sale hours, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, coupons, and rebate cards sucks the most disciplined shopper in. Standing in a crowded checkout with an armful of merchandise, stomach grumbling, and nerves frayed while Andy Williams croons “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” can turn sweet grapes to sour.
Writing is our true friend during the busy season. It’s a productive way to list our wishes, vent frustrations, complain about financial strain, record memoirs, and yet provide inspiration and creative energy to produce new material.
Extra demands of the season can make it especially difficult to devote 10-15 minutes a day toward writing, but do it, you must – or chance writer’s block – a condition in which you can lose the ability to produce new work. When other priorities top your writing time, you may inadvertently shut down the muse – that wonderful little voice that thumps until you let it out.
Writer’s block can vary in intensity. It can be a temporary condition or, quite the opposite, lasting months or even years. Make a commitment this holiday season to prevent it. Write while the rolls bake or as you wait for dinner guests to arrive, but DO some practice writing. And what better inspiration could you have than a writing course!
Join our once a year Christmas $ale. Eight great weeks with a personal tutor for only $169 USD! Sign up at the regular price, begin any time within 12 months, and receive your $31 rebate check immediately. Ends. December 31, midnight, EST. Hurry! http://creativewritinginstitute.com/registration_step1.php. Sorry, no refunds at this price.
Interesting Christmas Facts
by Victoria Pakizer
Snow is falling. People are placing statues of a fat man dressed in red on their lawns. The streets light up at night, and if you’re quiet, you may hear a distant carol. This can only mean one thing. It’s Christmas!
Christmas brings parties and friends and family, some of which you haven’t seen in a long time. Use these interesting Christmas facts to jump-start conversations.
Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25? Almost everyone knows we celebrate Christmas to honor the birth of Christ, but Pope Julius I, a bishop of Rome in 320 A. D., chose December 25 as the official date.
When did it become an official holiday? Americans have always celebrated Christmas, but it didn’t become an official holiday until June 26, 1870. The first state to recognize it officially was Alabama in 1836, and lastly, Oklahoma, in 1907.
The roots of the abbreviation – Xmas: Some people are offended by the abbreviation X-mas because it takes the word “Christ” out of Christmas. However, the abbreviation has a religious root. In Greek, the letter X stands for chi, which means Christ. Before the printing press was invented, people used the abbreviation "Xmas" to save ink, space, and time.
Christmas vs. the Government: Today’s politics are making an effort to remove the name of Christ completely. No more prayers in public schools. The government bans nativity scenes on public property. We now have holiday trees, holiday sales, and happy holidays all over the place. What happened to good old Merry Christmas? The shocking truth is many news and store employees admit they have been instructed not to use the term.
Tradition of Tree Decorating: Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, seems to be responsible for this. As the story goes, Luther was walking home when he saw stars shining through an evergreen tree. He thought it was so beautiful that he wanted to share it with his family so he copied the effect by placing candles in an evergreen tree. The tradition grew.
Santa Claus: The legend of Santa Claus was based on a real person named St. Nikolas of Myra. He doesn’t appear in the Bible, but this popular saint has been painted more than any other, with the exception of Mary. However, Nikolas represented discipline, whereas today’s Santa spreads joy. St. Nick is the patron saint of many things including pawn broking, butchery, sailing, royalty, orphans, thievery, pirating, banking, and New York City.
Christmas Favorites: It’s a Wonderful Life is the most shown Christmas movie on television. “Jingle Bells” was not written for Christmas, but Thanksgiving. It only took six weeks for Charles Dickens to write “A Christmas Carol.” As writers, we can say from experience, that’s fast!!
Numerical statistics: Grab your pencil and paper!
Seven out of ten dogs will get a gift from Santa
One in three men will not get their Christmas shopping done until Christmas Eve
Only 45% of the world celebrates Christmas
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CWI
Any 8-week writing course with a PERSONAL TUTOR for only $169 USD. Sign up at regular USD price and receive your $31 rebate check immediately. Start any time within a year. $ale ends Dec. 31, 2012, midnight EST. You can even buy on the payment plan. $50 every two weeks.
Limited seating in each class. HURRY! Sign up HERE!