“Sunshine” or “When It Rains…”

Dear me, the blog awards are pouring it! Scarcely do I catch my breath following my Versatile Blogger acceptance speech, and in comes news that I am once again a winner – this time, of the Sunshine Award! ‘Twould seem that Emerald Barnes of Dreaming Awake deems Ever On Word “a source of cheerfulness”, and for this, I am most grateful.

As ever, the award comes with recommended rules of receipt:

1.  Thank the person(s) that gave you the award. (Thankity-thanks, Emerald!)

2. Write a post about it. (Like a rule to the contrary could stop me! …Well, actually, it would have done. I’m pretty big on rule-following.)

3. Answer the questions below. (Gladly!)

4. Pass the award on to 10 bloggers who you think deserve it. (See parenthetical note above.)

Righteo – first stop, the Q&A!

Favorite colour? The blues of the sky. (Me and my minstrel both.)

Favorite animal? The red fox. (Me and my fox both.)

Favorite number? 6. (Not me and anyone both, that I know of; I just enjoy the look of the numeral.) I’ve also got a certain fondness for 57. (Me and my momma both.)

Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Fruit smoothies (heavy on the strawberries, please!).

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. The shorter a thought is meant to be, the longer it takes to edit to my satisfaction. Half-an-hour per tweet? No-o thank you.

My passion? Authoring. …Though I’d like to nudge that down to number two, with my Author in his rightful spot at number one.

Giving or getting presents? Giving, if it must be either/or.

Favorite pattern?: Let’s go with… Celtic knots. It smacks of the fantastic.

Favorite day of the week? Ausday – third day of the week on my Wilderhark calendar. I’m not sure why I like it best — (maybe because it feels like the day upon which my tailor was born) — but whenever I try to remember the Wilderhark weekdays, that’s the one that first comes to mind. I’m also fond of Aryaday (day five).

Favorite flower? I don’t generally care about flowers, but I care about a character who cares about peach blossoms, so I’ll say that. I also care about names, and like the sound of flowers like Christmas Bells, Ghost Flower, Glory of the Snow…

And now, 10 bloggers who may or may not have received an award from me in the past, and who are under no severe obligation to pass this particular award along if they’ve not the time/inclination, but they’ve brought me sunshine, so they’re gettin’ theirs.

            1 = Amy Lee Bell of Full Circle Homeschooing – One of my first ever sunny buddies here in Blog Land.

            2 = Ariel K. Price of the blog of the same name – Bringing the book-loving sunshine since… well, I’m not sure. I discovered her in October, in any case.

            3 = Ash Silverlock of Fabulous Realms – Wall-to-wall fantasy, and the latest post was on Robin Hood. It doesn’t get a whole lot sunnier than that.

            4 = Jesse “TheMaddRaven” Duncan of The Film CAT – A young film reviewer new to the blogging scene who brightens my life with lovely, obscure words that even I’ve never heard of. *Respect*

            5 = J.P. Cabit of House of Happy – With a name like House of Happy, it has to be good. (Or was that Smuckers?… Ah, well; it’s sunny over there, in any event.)

            6 = Kate Mardis of the kate that i know – Even on her stormiest days, she looks to the Son.

            7 = Leigh Townsend of Butterflies and DragonsOffers up a quick dose of sunbeams almost everyday.

            8 = Louise Jacques of My Other Book is a Tolstoy – Provider of skylight most lyrical, and Australian to boot. *Jealousy*

            9 = Tirzah Duncan of The Ink Caster – ‘Cause she’s my Tirzah, y’all.

            10 = Tiyana White of Seven & a Half First Drafts – Even the face of her blog is sunshiny yellow!

And that, my friends, is that. Have a sunny one!

“Carols”

A few years ago, I wrote a short Christmas story in which (nutshell version) fifteen-year-old Al Fischer spends the holiday enthusiastically telling his family everything he loves about the Christmas season.

By purist coincidence (or not…), Al and his author have similar ideas about Christmas. And he’ll be pleased to know that I’ve decided to commemorate our mutual obsession here on Ever On Word by dedicating a series of blog posts to The Top 10 Reasons Christmas Rocks My World.

* * *

#4: Carols

            “Music comes in at number 4,” Al announced in his story. (But of course, I’ve already got a blog post entitled “Music”, so I went for more specificity, here – not merely music, but “songs of praise or joy, especially for Christmas”.) “And in fact,” he went on to say, “I should make a separate list for the top 10 Christmas songs that rock my world.”

            I’m all for that! Christmas wouldn’t feel the least bit like Christmas to me without several weeks of Christmas carols everywhere I turn. One of my favorite traditions of the season is playing an ongoing game of roulette with the radio, hoping I’ll tune in just time for some song or another that never fails to make me smile. (There’s even some measure of fun in groaning over the umpteenth time in a single day they’ve played some song I halfway hate.) I can and do enjoy Christmas music any time of the year, but it’s extra special to hear it in December.

            So, Al, here’s another one for you – and for any readers out there who are game for a Deshipley-endorsed playlist. Counting down from ten to one, here are The Top 10 Christmas Songs That Rock My World.

#10 – “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”. Most Christmas nonsense-songs annoy me. This one, I wish I wrote.

#9 – “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”, because I love it when it’s so!

#8 – “Do You Hear What I Hear?”. A long beloved carol plus a Mannheim Steamroller instrumental will tend to equal a happy Danielle.

#7 – “The Kid in Me”. My not-too-deep-down inner child used to sing this along with Donny Osmond multiple times a day.

#6 – “Carol of the Bells”, but not just any old version! Trans-Siberian Orchestra or nothing! …Well, okay, or the one by David Foster. But since I’m only linking one cover per song…

#5 – White is in the Winter Night”, which I owe Allyn for introducing to me this year. Who knows how much longer I would’ve gone without having ever heard this Enya carol, had I not been scouring YouTube on behalf of “Allyn-a-Dale’s 25 Days of Christmas” (hint-hint, plug-plug, more on that at post’s end).

#4 – “We Need a Little Christmas”. Something about this song makes me want to put on a petticoat and dance around a candlelit tree.

#3 – “Angels We Have Heard On High”. I’ll love just about any version of this song, I think, but again, I’m only linking one, so it’s back to Donny O.

#2 – “Twelve Days of Christmas”. Not the Muppets, this time, those of you who are having three-posts-ago flashbacks. This cover rocks harder, courtesy of Relient K.

And coming in at #1, we’ve got… “‘Wonderful Christmas Time’!” Al cheers, jumping around for carol-induced joy.

            A character/author mutual fave, eh? How purely coincidental (or not…).

            What say you, readers? Which favorite carols would grace your lists?

            (P.S. – if you’re in the mood for more Christmas tunes, do drop by the “Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, where Allyn and I have been featuring minstrel-approved carols all December long!)

“Tailor”

Okay, you were promised-slash-warned that this guy would keep coming up (and he had to know that I couldn’t go long without dedicating a piece to him), so nobody should be surprised right now.

            One of my earliest memories with this word is from Tevye’s dream sequence in the musical film “Fiddler on the Roof”. (Haven’t seen this? You’re missing out. I get no kicks whatsoever from the depressing plight of mistreated Russian Jews, and I still highly recommend this musical, at least Part One. It’s like the law of musicals or something, have you noticed? – everything goes downhill after Intermission.) I’ll resist the temptation to go off on a tangent about all the fun lyrics throughout the show and hone in on the relevant bit where Tevye sings, “You must have heard wrong, Grandma – there’s no tailor.

            Thanks to “FotR”, I knew that a tailor was someone who sews clothes. As far as Childhood Me was concerned, that and the funny line in the song was all I needed to know on the subject. But a couple years ago, my perception of this word underwent some major overwriting, and that is thanks entirely to Edgwyn Wyle.

            As it happens, my “Wilderhark Tales” series was not originally intended to be a series at all. It started out as a single book – just one little fairytale, meant to stand alone. Then, a little while after its completion, I decided to write a sequel. That’s where Edgwyn came in, and that’s why there was a third book hot on Book Two’s heels: I wanted more of the tailor, and I wanted more of him yesterday.

            How come I love him so much? That’s a question I’d be glad to discuss for hours on end – (gushing about favorite characters: It’s like the Great Authorial Pastime) – and one which breeds some important follow-up questions for me to keep in mind: “How to keep it brief?”, “how to steer clear of all kinds of spoilers?” and “how to avoid embarrassing him too much?” Well, I’ll just stick to the basics. (And if/when that embarrasses him, tough. I’ve told him he’s too bloody modest.)

            Firstly, I love him because he is kind – “kind” in every sense of the adjective; warm-hearted, charitable, forbearing, the whole shebang. You’re not gonna find a nicer guy than him; a tie, maybe, but he’ll never be out-niced! Niceness by itself, however, can be frightfully dull. No one wants to put up with some saint sans personality. Happily, Edgwyn has personality going for him, too. He’s a goofball and a tease, with a recurrent laugh somewhat reminiscent of a villain’s in its rascally abandon. (Not quite “Muah-ha-ha-ha!”, but well on its way, sometimes.)

            Then there are the glimpses of intuitive emotional wisdom. (My friends and I call him The Heart-Smart One.) And his adorably sweet reactions to… well, most things. His sincerity, his selflessness, his strength… And I happen to think he’s pretty darn handsome, too (three words: Big and green-eyed), but that’s subjective and partially beside the point.

            All that, and he’s a brilliant tailor! So yeah, Edg, that’s why you just need to resign yourself to being talked about. A lot. …Especially once your series gets published, and everybody else loves you, too, muah-ha-ha-ha.

            In the mean-Wyle, I’ve had my gush, and now I’m all ears: Any other writers out there just itching to introduce me to the character they love above all others? Comment away! Edgwyn and I would be pleased to meet them!