Tis’ the Friday before Christmas, and I’m thinking of all the people I’ve shared Christmases with over the years. What a marvelous group of people to know and remember…AND…what great examples for Character Sketches.
One of my Great-Great-Great Granddads was an Indian Scout and married a Native American woman from a traveling clan of the Cherokee Tribe. It is also told that he was “small-town” Sherriff who “held no account” with those who might discriminate or treat others unfairly.
Another Great-Granddad was a livestock buyer and “knew his horses.” I’ve heard that one day—around 1905 or so in the big city of Denver, Colorado—he saw a freight-hauler standing beside a pair of horses hitched to a heavy overloaded wagon and someone whipping them unmercifully. Great-Granddad jumped from his own horse, grabbed the whip from the hauler’s hand and whipped him “a bit.”
My Great-Grandmother, and Grand-Aunt raised Doberman Pinchers, lived in a small mountain community and owned and operated “the best bar & grille in town.” When we visited with them, my treat was to help open the bar for lunch by “tasting” a vanilla-malted-shake made in the blender that normally mixed “other” beverages.
My Mother has been gone almost 20 years now, and yet I clearly hear her voice and recall her year-‘round example of love and faithfulness toward family and friends. She also held the belief of excellence in work, giving quality effort for her pay. She was an accountant/office manager by profession and a mentor to business owners and coworkers alike. I remember one of our conversations when she wondered “where” I got my inclination to be a writer. “No one on either side of the family has ever been a writer!” And yet, my Family Tree is ripe with intriguing characters and potential storylines.
SO…maybe it’s time for you too to pause and collect your Christmas memories. What were (are) the personality traits that have remained most solidly etched in your remembrances? Was there someone who seemed so carefree—talking about God’s love so much that you wondered if they ever experienced any hardship and later learned that they’d been abandoned at birth and grew up in awful foster homes? Did you sit across the table from an ancient ancestor who looked like her face was etched in stone only to discover that she’d been runner-up in the Miss America Pageant? Were you a little frightened by the homeless family your Dad met outside the bakery and invited to dinner—then saddened as they shared their “story” of a fortune won and lost overnight?
What stories of humanity—of human nature—would the Christmas Trees tell? Would they reminisce about that first St. Nick (circa 315) who dropped coins into the shoes of the needy? Would they speak of the German woman—the mother of a son about to be conscripted into Hitler’s army who fled the city, then befriended three American soldiers and three German soldiers leading them to discover the true meaning of courage and the true spirit of Christmas? (True story: starring Linda Hamilton, 2005).
OH SO MANY stories to write about! Have you started planning your next writing project? NOW is the time. Write—Re-write—Publish! And, may all your Christmases be BRIGHT!
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|