Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

[Wyrd Words Weekly] Pumpkin spice and creative quests...

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Hello Reader,

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. By now, I hope you've had your fill of turkey and pie and all the things that make this a beloved holiday here in the U.S. I'm so thankful for all of you and for this amazing work that I get to do.

I rewrote the opening to this newsletter several times this week. Deleted a bunch of drafts. Added the cheerful image above. Because the last thing I want to do is be a sad sack during a lovely holiday. But the truth is, I'm struggling. I'm a big fan of the tradition around turkey and pie and Jolly Old St. Nick. Heck, I've got my Christmas lights up already and have been reading Holiday romance since July (Christmas in July, amiright?).

But it's also been a tough couple of weeks for my family as we deal with an on-going medical emergency and I know I'm not the only one white-knuckling it through the proverbial most wonderful time of the year. Whether you're with me on the struggle bus or not, here are some things that are bringing me joy right now. Maybe they'll help you too...

As you can intuit from the photo above, cooking is my love language. And going through the steps to make something fairly detailed like a Thanksgiving dinner is meditative to me instead of stressful. So while I can't fix what's going on for my family, I can sure as shit make a bunch of really delicious pies. I paused in the pie making long enough to appreciate that my Thanksgiving CSA box had parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in it (yes, I sang along as I took a quick photo of myself with my herbal bounty).

Another thing that's been bringing me a lot of respite from the real world is honestly losing myself in this new story. As I reported last week, I had to press pause and spend hours (and hours and hours) on world-building. But I made great progress and feel like I might be ready to write forward. Next week, November shifts to December and for some of you, that means NaNoWriMo is coming to a close. If, like me, you'll be continuing to draft into the new year, try to find some time to lose yourself in story, even when things get busy.

Reading (Murderbots!) has been a great escape as well. But my eyes are also tired, so I've been listening to a lot of things recently. In fact, my monthly subscription can't quite keep up with the pace of my audiobook consumption, so it's a good thing I can get audiobooks at the library as well! Right now, I'm listening to Creative Quest by musician and creative powerhouse Questlove.

He digs into different techniques for living a creative life, talks about the artistic temperament, and I could basically just listen to him talk forever and ever. So check it out for a big dose of creative inspiration.

If you need something in slightly shorter form, might I suggest the following holiday-themed podcast, which has absolutely nothing to do with writing, but does feature a brief history of pumpkin spice and a less-brief history of one of its primary ingredients, nutmeg. I listened to this as I baked my pies on Wednesday and it was fascinating: Pumpkin Spice Hero: The Thrilling But Tragic True Story of Nutmeg.

What's helping you find the joy this holiday season? I'd love to hear from you--there can never be too much holiday cheer.



PS - Don't forget to register for my next Craft Magic webinar, The Synopsis as a Planning Tool, on December 11 at 4pm Pacific. As always, the recording will be available for 30 days after the event if you're not able to attend live.

Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz helps writers who dream of a life spent telling stories that matter slay their doubt demons so they can send their work out into the world with confidence. An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP. A social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Seattle, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a couple of naughty furry familiars. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

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