Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When Elves Visit

When elves visit,
be they wee bairns,
or white-whiskered and jolly

it is best to
provide snacks

and woolly stockings. 

Might I also suggest
a means of documentation -

for doubters, and writers alike.
How else will people believe us?

I've started keeping a notebook and pens at the ready, 
in case elves, or story lightning strikes.

from How Six Found Christmas - Trina Schart Hyman

Story lightning is what happens to writers
when they are competently going about their business, 
holding a conversation perhaps 
and without warning, they stutter to a stop 
and stare off into space. 

The muse has hit,  
a problem with the novel has clicked into place,
fresh inspiration has upended over their heads, 
or ...

I am pretty sure that Clement C. Moore
had his handy Moleskine notebook
tucked into a pocket of his pajama gown
ready for such a visitation.

The shoemaker and his wife, as well.

The Elves and the Shoemaker - Freya Littledale, Brinton Turkle

The Elves and the Shoemaker - Jacob Grimm, Jim LaMarche

How do you prepare for elves
and story lightning?

Birdy's bonnet is my latest whim. 
I cut up a red sweater that never wore right, 
stitched it and added flower ribbon. 

More visitation stories I love:

How Six Found Christmas - Trina Schart Hyman 
What Men Live By - Leo Tolstoy
The Rainbabies - Laura Krauss Melmed, Jim LaMarche
Tom Thumb - Richard Jesse Watson
One Wintry Night - Ruth Bell Graham, Richard Jesse Watson




Paula said...

OMGEE, what a cute little elf!! And I love the term "story lightning."

My lightning tends to strike in the car on the way to or from work. I dash from car to computer to jot down my flashes of brilliance (ahem) for later pondering.

Have a great holiday.

Faith Pray said...

Paula, why does it always seem to strike in the car? That's my problem, too. Thanks for hopping over. Here's to some great flashes of brilliance this winter!

Jan Morrison said...

First of all - I LOVE THAT BONNET! Brilliant.
Second of all (why do I start lists?) I too like story lightening. I got one at an art opening, one when I just said 'what if?' to something that happened to an ex-husband and well, it goes on and on. I wrote a poem walking across the Halifax Commons once - had to keep repeating it until I got home and could write it down. It was called Colours Have Lied.

Jan Morrison said...
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Jan Morrison said...
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Dawn Simon said...

All of your posts and photos are so beautiful, so joyful. Lovely. :)

Faith Pray said...

Jan, I'm glad that I'm not the only one. I would love to see some of the ripples from some your story lightning. Colours Have Lied sounds intriguing. And lists are the orderly thing. I like lists. Perhaps too much. In fact in the past I have been guilty of making a number of nearly identical lists and trying to keep track of all of them. Now I just keep a big notebook with different pages for different list categories. It works much better.

Faith Pray said...

Dawn, thank you for the joy!


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