Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas by the Bay

This post comes to you through several distractions: I'm writing on my sister's Mac (why is there no right click button? WHYYYY?); my niece is running around in her adorable lady bug outfit making bee noises, and the Big Red Chicken needs our help saying the magic word so he can perform his magic show for Dora the Explorer and her friends.

I'm up here for the week to celebrate Christmas with the family.  I've been enjoying everyone elses' posts about Christmas traditions, so I'll share some of our family's.

Mostly, our traditions revolve around food.  My family is of Armenian descent, and Christmas is our time to spend days cooking traditional dishes.  Armenian food is something of a mix between Greek and middle eastern cuisines.  We'll do cheese boereg (cheese wrapped in filo dough and baked until cripsy), paklava (similar to baklava), and kefta, which is (wait for it), lamb and bulghar stuffed with more lamb and spices, molded into a small football shape, and then deep fried. They're amazing, and completely worth all the effort they take.  I'll be spending several hours on Christmas Eve shaping them.

(Oh god, the map is singing again. Who came up with this show anyway? And why do they have to go through the castle instead of just walking around it? And why is Dora's monkey so creepy?)

Other assorted traditions include going out to look at nights on Christmas Eve with cups of hot cranberry cider (imagine boiling cranberry juice until its almost syrupy, and so tart that it'll practically take skin off the back of your throat. Good stuff).  And the reading of "A Night Before Christmas" on Christmas eve, by just the light of the Christmas tree.

(By the way, this post is going to be pictureless, unfortunately, because I honestly don't know how to download a picture if I can't right-click on it and hit 'save picture as'. Stupid Apple.)

 Again, none of that has much to do with writing.  But I've been frustrated with how little time I've spent writing lately.  I suppose I'm in one of those periods again where I try to get myself in the "mood" to write, and just end up spending an hour playing minesweeper. I have to remember that the best way to get me in the writing mood is to, you know, actually start writing. For something so obvious, it's amazing how hard it is for me to remember.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


  1. Your traditions sound wonderful, and exotic, and...scrumptious.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and on 'The Map', have you ever heard Brian Regan's bit? He is so funny, but sadly, I couldn't find a decent youtube clip (you can get his stand up on Netflix, however).

  2. Boots isn't creepy. He's so cute. :) My little one loves him. My older girl loves Swiper. I fear she may go after the bad boys when she's a teen. She seems to like those type of characters already at age seven.

    Your Christmas dishes all sound so yummy, and we read T'was the Night Before Christmas on Christmas eve too. Love that poem. :)

  3. I love your traditions, Sabrina. I may have to try cranberry cider.

    As a writer, I go through long dry spells too. Imagine me as the wizard of Oz bestowing a gift to you when I say, "There are writers all over the world who are known for their impressive...writings, and yet they have no more talent than you. What do they have that you don't have? A deadline." So I'm getting you a deadline for Christmas this year. :)

  4. Those are wonderful traditions, Sabrina. I love how every family has such different ways of celebrating holidays, how it's all in the little touches like cranberry cider. I love all things cranberry, so I will definitely have to try that.

    I go through long dry spells, too, though I sometimes find that when I force myself to write, I produce better work than when I'm "inspired." I think it has to do with the "murder your darlings" idea - inspiration often comes with many pesky darlings :)

    Merry Christmas!

  5. That lamb thing sounds amazing! It sounds extra delicious in part because although there are numerous sheep farms around here, I can't find lamb or mutton in any grocery store! Insanity! I hope you enjoy your holiday and manage to find some writing mojo too.

  6. lol, Melanie. I actually have a deadline coming up for the second Dark Faith anthology. Stories are due by... let's see... Jan. 31? Yikes! That's lots sooner than I thought.

    Okay! Maybe you could have gotten me a slightly longer deadline? ;) I have the story idea all set, at least, but I've never written a story from idea to finished that quickly. Sounds like a challenge!


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