Monday, December 7, 2015

December Letter from the Editor

A few mornings ago as my husband and I lay under ten feet of covers, he said to me, “Have you ever noticed that when it’s cold like this, everything just stops? There’s no cars on the streets, people stay home, dogs don’t bark; there’s no singing birds . . . I think I’ll write a poem.”

Now that's the ultimate fiction because my husband doesn’t write--ever. But I wanted to go back to sleep, so I muttered into my pillow, “That’s because they’re hibernating." Still the damage had been done, and like the blankets I burrowed under, his idea about the too-quiet winter stirred inside my brain.

I doubt that as he went back to snoring, he knew the effect he had on me. Everything does seem to stop in December. Oh, we do the necessary things like go to the job, cart kids back and forth to school and events, grocery and holiday shop--you know the drill. But most of us do slow way down.

But you know who doesn’t? Writers.

That’s because writers have the most beautiful jobs in the world. Where else can it be 23 degrees in reality, but in his or her mind, his protagonist is dripping with sweat and slashing  through a rain forest?

For many, these cold winter months can be our most productive time. I’ve seen it firsthand when at the end of November I put out a call for articles for Writing from the Peak. The writers I’m privileged to work with came through like a snap of my proverbial fingers. We have some fantastic posts this month. If you haven’t read Deb McLeod’s Backstory Reverb, which ran December 2nd, do yourself a favor and do so. It really made me think about my own WIP, and how crucial it is (and for your readers) to understand your characters’ backstory.

We have so much this month on Writing from the Peak. Ann S. Hill does a recap of Hillary Retting’s Write Brain on writing prolifically; Jason T. Henry makes a compelling case on stress and breaking points; J.T. Evans gives us another critique buzz word; Aaron Michael Ritchey has a defiant, laugh-out-loud column about Nano; Karen Albright Lin sets us straight on subplots; Stacy S. Jensen explains where she writes; and as always Kathie Scrimgeour shares PPW members’ Sweet Successes.

See what I mean? Writers never slow down. I hope you have the most productive December ever. Writing from the Peak and Pikes Peak Writers are here to help. Check out and take advantage of all we have to offer.

About the author: Donnell Ann Bell is the managing editor for Writing from the Peak and the coordinator for the monthly Open Critique held on the first Wednesday of every monthShe is a best selling romantic suspense and mystery author. To learn more about her books, find her at