Happy Christmas [ + Know the Novel part 3 ]

Hi friends! This post is going to be my last one until the New Year. I’ve been pretty busy with school, so I’m excited to have the next couple of weeks off to spend time with my family, read a ton of history + plan for my biography paper, organize all my school books, read Brandon Sanderson, write my novel, and catch up on all my letter writing.

Oh, and celebrate Jesus’ birth. *cough* That too.

Unfortunately, with all of the busyness and crazy stuff this year, I keep forgetting the most important part of Christmas. WELL, that stops today, because today I’m talking about Christmas to all of you!

I’m also going to be doing Christine’s Know the Novel linkup, but since I only wrote 10k in November and haven’t gotten back to the story much since then, I don’t have a ton to say and so I decided to combine it with this post.

~ Happy Christmas ~

(I think that sounds so much more lovely than “Merry Christmas,” don’t you?)

Friends, my very favorite holiday is Easter, but without Christmas, there wouldn’t be an Easter. Before Jesus could die, he had to be be born — as a baby — for us.

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus was God, but instead of holding tight to his divinity, he chose to be born as a human. So that we could be free.

That’s my favorite part of Christmas. Not the tree, not the presents (though those are nice :P), and certainly not the elves and reindeer (*shudders*). No, Christmas is truly marvelous because Jesus Christ, true God, came down and became true man for us.

My favorite Christmas hymns are those that talk about Christ’s future death (a bit morbid of me, I know). Here are some lyrics from two of them…

nails, spear shall pierce Him through
the cross be borne for me, for you
hail, hail the Word made flesh
the Babe, the Son of Mary
[ what child is this ]

image source

wanderers in the wilderness
now hear, a voice is crying:
“prepare the way, make straight the paths”
your King has come to die
[ behold the lamb of God ]

image source

If you want to listen to them, here’s one of my favorite versions of “What Child is This” (a medley with “Child of the Poor”), here’s a non-medley version, and here’s Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God album. (If you want to watch it live — plus lots of other songs by Christian artists — you can get a ticket to watch a recorded livestream at the Ryman through January 1 here.)

~ Know the Novel ~

This linkup is from Christine Smith Author, and it’s part three of the Know the Novel series! You can participate whether or not you did NaNo. Click here for all the info.

1 // Firstly, how did writing this novel go all around? // Ha. I wrote 10k, and if you look at my stats on the site, they’re a bit… all over the place.

I know I can write over 2k a day, but I obviously didn’t do that every time I wrote. I almost didn’t write any in November, changed my mind on the 6th, stopped for a week (I don’t even know why. probably school), started again, then gave up decided to stop around Thanksgiving.

The days I did write went pretty well, except the 21st (the last day I wrote).

2 // Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome? // Since the story is still not done, I’m going to refrain from making a judgment on how I feel about it. 😉

3 // What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? // Ooh, definitely the characters! I love Marelle and Kalrona and Nigel and Lyriona and… who am I kidding, I love them all.

4 // How about your least favorite part? // None? Aghh, I really love it all! The plot is still a bit clunky, and I have trouble with walking scenes. Like, my book is full of walking through the wilderness and I am terrible at writing that.

5 // What do you feel like needs the most work? // The walking through the wilderness! Also, I kind of think the first several chapters need a rewrite. I’m forcing myself not to do that right now.

6 // How do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details! // My favorite is Nigel!!

“Karen,” he whispered. “I’m here.”

Yes, his sister’s name is Karen, and no, I have no plans to change it. (A lot of my names don’t fit in my world. But I love them anyway.)

“I’m not,” he said, his face deathly pale. “I’m not. I want nothing to do with your doomed revolution. I have no help to offer. Do you hear me, Lyra, I said I have no help for you, go away!” He tugged off one of his gloves and threw it at her feet. Then he stepped back and began to shut the door —

I seriously have such fun writing him. He’s dark and confused and haunted, but also, he has chickens and paints his doors fun colors and really likes philosophical discussions. *squeals*

My least favorite is maybe Raldin, because I can’t figure him out. He used to be a copy of Brom, but he’s changed to be even less likable, and I honestly don’t even know what he’s doing in the story anymore.

Kalrona surprised me…

“My lady,” he said, his sober face cracking into a smile like sunshine. “You look as beautiful as the day I —”

7 // What’s your next plan of action with this novel? // Write it! FINISH IT!

8 // If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be? // Publication! I want to share it with the world! (But first… I have to write it! Oh, the awful things we writers must do… we have to write.)

9 // Share some of your favorite snippets! // I’m going to follow Christine’s lead and share a scene I like.

I stand on the edge of forever, looking out into the abyss.
Flames surround me but do not consume me. They burn hot and furious, coalescing into images of my past. 
Those I’ve loved, and those I’ve killed. All who have gone before. They stride past me in a deathly assembly, smoke and embers. 
And then he is standing beside me, his eyes glinting like ice amidst fire. “Was this worth it? Was it all worth it?” 
“What do you think?” I ask him. “When you left behind everything you cared about to find something new, was it worth it?” 
I see flames in his face as he says, “Yes.” 
I see the denial in his eyes.
“I say the same,” I whisper.
We stand there a while. Then, finally, I speak. “I know you’re not real. You can’t walk in dreams.”
With my words, he fades away. Instead, a woman stands there, an elven princess clothed in silk. 
She looks out at the flames, at the hell I’ve created for myself. And when she speaks I think she pities me. 
I cannot stand pity. 
“We are coming for you.” 
“I’m ready,” I say.
“No, you’re not. You’re alone.” 
“I’m ready. I’m strong. I’m prepared.” 
“You’re so broken. You were once so lovely, but now you’re broken.” 
I hate pity, but I hate the truth even more. 
“Some of us still think there’s hope for you,” she says. She reaches out a hand, mouthing ancient words I do not know, and fire forms into a crisp shape over her palm. The symbol of Brand Dragonslayer, the proof of heirship. 
“You’ve found Brand’s necklace,” I say. 
“You’ll fall,” she says. “The only question is whether you’ll rise after. You’ll burn, but will you be reborn? Will you emerge from the fire a new woman? Or will you let it destroy you?” 
“I dislike elves and their metaphors.” 
She smiles. The fire in her hand becomes a jewel formed of embers. “We’ll offer you peace and hope. It’s up to you if you accept it or not.” She hands it to me and she leaves, disappearing through the smoke. 
When I wake, I find ashes in my hands.

I rewrote a few sections in first person present and I love them. I had to change this one a bit to get rid of all the spoilers (:

10 // Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel? // Well, I learned that I like writing in first person present (despite how weird it feels) and I need to do more of that. Also, I learned that it’s okay — even good — to write less than you want to, because it’s more than you would’ve written if you hadn’t tried. (Did that make any sense? XD)

Until next time, my friends, may your Christmas be happy and full of Jesus’ love, because even if this year didn’t go how we wanted, He is in control and He loves you.

May Christ’s peace be with you,


P.S. Get ready for something exciting here on New Year’s Day!

P.P.S. Did you do NaNo? What do you think of my first person present scene? Have you ever tried switching POVs for a section of your WIP?

Published by Maya Joelle

classics student, bookdragon, wordsmith, forest girl, incurable romantic seeking to adorn the dark with my words and kindle hearts with legendary fire looking for beauty in the ordinary but the men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark

13 thoughts on “Happy Christmas [ + Know the Novel part 3 ]

  1. 10k a month is a LOT of progress! Especially during such a crazy month that is November (whyyy they put NaNo during one of the busiest months of the year is a wonder…) Those 10k words are absolutely something to celebrate! 😀

    I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying your characters and story. And OH MY GRACIOUS. The snippets. GIRL. THEY’RE STUNNING. That one scene you shared was absolutely riveting. SO GORGEOUS. ALL OF IT! I do hope finishing it goes wonderfully because the world needs this gorgeousness!!!

    Thank you so much for joining the linkup! And I hope you have a very merry Christmas! I absolutely loved the Christmas thoughts you shared. Such important things to remember during this time. Happy Christmas! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Christmas! (That does sound much more elegant and old-fashioned than “Merry Christmas”)

    I love your snippets! I also don’t usually write in first person present, but that’s what my current project is in, and I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every time I hear about Nigel I like him more. Those snippets were just…soo good!!
    Yep, that’s about all I have to say. XD Happy Christmas to you as well, and God bless you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *makes a face* I don’t deserve your compliments, but I’ll take ’em. (Or maybe they were direct at Nigel? In which case… Nigel also has a hard time with compliments, unfortunately.)

      God be with you this Christmas!! (Also! Letter coming in the mail soon-ish! *astonished cheers*)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pshaw, I wouldn’t go out of my way to give them if that were the case—you know me, brutally honest. 😉
        Yay! Expect a monster in return, lol, ‘cuz the past three months have felt like a year and I’ve got a lot to say…

        Liked by 1 person

    *dumps galleons of confetti on your floor*
    (i can clean it up once you’re done partying)

    hahahaha my books are ALWAYS full of walking through the wilderness
    it’s an easy place to get stuck??
    First person present is fun. ((:

    “Also, I learned that it’s okay — even good — to write less than you want to, because it’s more than you would’ve written if you hadn’t tried.” HEY ME TOO
    Congrats again and happy Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved the little snippets you shared with your characters and OH MY WORD, that first person present tense scene is GOLDEN. I love it!!!
    I enjoyed the Christmas message and reading all of the details/update about your WIP.

    Liked by 1 person

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