Sunday, December 16, 2012

Baby, It's cold outside!

A little romance...





This is DAY THREE
of the GREAT HOLIDAY ZAMFEST!
what's in it for you?



Welcome to the twelve days of ZAMfest All you have to do is comment to enter the daily drawing and I'll pull a new name from the hat each night. The TWELFTH day will be Christmas, that's when I'll put the name of anyone who leaves me a comment on all twelve blogs, into a drawing and one very lucky person will win the grand prize-- a $50 dollar Amazon Gift Card. If you're new to the ZAMfest, it's not too late to go back and comment on earlier blogs. Good Luck!

DAY TWO's winner is Erika! I'll be contacting you to see which ebook you'd like!

So come back EVERY DAY and comment on all twelve blogs to be entered for the GRAND PRIZE! A $50 Amazon gift card. (If you're coming just now, you're not to late to comment on the previous blogs; you will be eligible for the grand prize, but you won't be entered in those daily contests.)

There is nothing I like more than holiday music. I like the sacred pieces like Handel's Messiah, and secular music like the one above. Today I thought I'd share three musical experiences my holiday would not be complete without!

A little Muppet love...





And of course for Hanukkah, festival of lights!





And my favorite sacred song:






Music plays a rather lively role in my process, even though I don't necessarily listen to music while I write. I am much more likely to use music to put me into a kind of mood, a frame of mind, depending on the scene I'm going to write, and then I'll turn the music off and get to work.

Lately I've been exploring the possibility of making up certain "rituals" around the act of creating, as if by listening to a piece of music, or lighting a candle, I might more easily get down to work.

Someone suggested ritual would be a good way to clear my mind of the minutiae that seems to intrude. I can just picture myself lighting a candle to banish the non-work related malarky that goes on in my house, (if only because I would tell my kids if they see the candle lit, that means I'm not to be disturbed.) I figure the candle would be my signal to put away anything but the words I need in the moment.

So, two questions for today's blog post, what's your favorite holiday music (doesn't matter which holiday) and how do you carve out time for your acts of creation, whatever they are? Readers and writers both, you know what I mean. Everyone needs generative, or regenerative space. Does anyone else beside me have ritual surrounding and protecting the time they use for creative endeavors?

Share!


61 comments:

  1. I love Glee. I have the first two seasons on DVD. Thanks for the video ^.^ I've never been a big fan of the moppets because Beaker freaked me out when I was a kid and he still kind of does :P

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Glee too. I love the warblers. How can Beaker freak you out! He's so... adorable. Each to his own, I guess... :D

      ZAM

      Delete
  2. Great videos. I do like a good carol (hark the herald for me) but my current favourite cd is a swing christmas cd, great fun! The kids always like to make cards for grandparents and I do the creative cooking! - cake was baked in october and being fed brandy regularly, making the marzipan next week, along with the cranberry and apple sauce and the cranberry vodka is coming along a treat!
    Suze
    Littlesuze at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow you should be doing the recipes for us, not me... I make cranberry sauce with apples in it, no vodka though... I LOVE fruitcake. I have to be the only one alive who still enjoys it. And I love little marzipan shapes too. That's all kind of old fashioned stuff nowadays I guess but I enjoy every bit of it.

      ZAM

      Delete
  3. I love holiday music! The Glee "Baby it's Cold Outside" is my second favorite version...have you heard Lee Ann Womack and Harry Connick, Jr. sing it? So awesome!

    morris(dot)crissy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Crissy! Oh, I would enjoy that, Harry Connick Jr. is one of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by!

      ZAM

      Delete
  4. Yay, Muppets! (Though the Christmas specials always were a little too poignant for my taste. I'm sorry Erica had traumatic experiences with Beaker...he's one hell of a torch singer, even if it's all in Meepish.) My favorite holiday song might be Pearl Bailey's "Five Pound Box of Money"--it's so sassy and funny! I admit I've had a harder time multitasking this year than usual, but I try to insist on quiet time when I can...

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trix, I love the muppets Christmas Carol. It's a must every year. As for Christmas specials, I still like "A Wish for wings that Work" with Opus and Bill the cat. I think that and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" are my favorites.

      ZAM

      Delete
  5. I pretty much love all Christmas music. I usually just turn the radio on a listen to what they play. I'm not creative at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rhonda! Me too. They seem to turn it on earlier and earlier, every year too, don't they?


      ZAM

      Delete
  6. i adore the muppets. My favorite Christmas song is the "Christmas Can Can" by Straight No Chaser http://youtu.be/7E-47VmFopE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE Straight No Chaser. I love A cappella music. I know it well! You're absolutely right. I like the Twelve Days Of Christmas that ends in Africa by toto, too. Isn't that them?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8

      ZAM

      Delete
  7. Thank you for the music interlude. Nothing better to have a reminder of what and where we are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the Holidays, love the music. Thanks for stopping by Tina!

      ZAM

      Delete
  8. I love holiday music! These are some of my favorites...:) Merry Christmas, Darling is a sentimental favorite of mine because my Mom listened to The Carpenters a lot when I was young. I really love O Holy Night. Josh Groban does a beautiful job singing that one. There are so many versions of Carol of the Bells. A really new version is done by Pentatonix. Love them!

    All I know is that I am a much more productive person when I listen to music. Whether it's cleaning house, baking, or wrapping presents, I get a lot more done. I think this started when I was in school. I always listend to music while doing my homework. It never was a distraction for me.

    lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa, Pentatonix is one of my very favorite groups. I have a son who sings in the jazz choir and I listen to a cappella music all the time, Pentatonix is really, really great. I fell in love with them in the sing off.

      Very smart to use music for motivation. The only time I can't do it is when I'm writing, (I start typing the lyrics.)

      ZAM

      Delete
  9. I love Christmas music and, since i barely ever forget any words set to music, i know all the lyrics of several verses to most carols. I have developed a great fondness for All i Want for Christmas is You because i loved the film Love Actually and it reminds me of the movie. I write in cracks since i work pretty much all the time. So shifting from writing a magazine article for Wast Water Digest to writing the newest MM WIP is just your regular for me. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tara! Haha. I really enjoyed the movie Love, Actually. I have a harder time shifting gears I think!

      ZAM

      Delete
  10. I love Christmas music, but my mom was a whole different matter, she had Christmas music playing all year long, July. February, November didn't matter, she had CD's in her car at her office everywhere! :)

    Now, I can't listen to it, without thinking of her.

    Doublemom2001(AT)aol(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mandy, Hahah. I did that for a while, listening to a cappella Christmas music all year long in fact, this last year. But it cheered me up while I was driving my kids back and forth to school last year while we were in our apartment. (They laughed at me because of course, it was like... 100 degrees outside.) They're sick of it too!

      ZAM

      Delete
  11. I love Christmas music it is hard to pick 1 favorite song... so I 'll just mention one I love but is not as popular " Marshmallow World". I am a painter. I usually like to have either music or an old tv show or movie that i have seen before on in the background while I work. Also some time I know I won't be interrupted(sometimes hard to find)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tara, I haven't heard of Marshmallow World, now I have to go look that up! It is hard to find time you won't be interrupted isn't it? If it's not family, it's someone trying to sell something at the door, or someone on the phone. Or the neighbor lost their turtle. (found.)

      It's always something, isn't it? It's amazing anyone gets anything done. :D

      ZAM

      Delete
  12. I didn't know any of those songs, so thank you for sharing. The boys singing for Hanukkah rules :)))

    0401romance(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joanna, Nice to see you! Those Maccabeats are a hoot aren't they?

      ZAM

      Delete
  13. Aww, the Muppets. Can’t remember the last time I saw them!
    Hmm, when I’m “creative” I usually put some music on, doesn’t really matter what. Just what I’m in the mood for. :)

    goingtoreadnow(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julie, I like music to get me in the mood, but if I keep it on while I write, whatever I write, sounds like the music I'm listening too... I have to be careful I'm not writing a car crash to something like "Call Me Maybe."

      ZAM

      Delete
  14. I love Christmas music, particularly old carols although I cannot claim to being religious. I think it may be the harmonies because I'm also totally into vocal harmony in any genre. I'm not that creative, but I do find that my day is much improved if I can take an hour to just enjoy a latte and some "me time". It relaxes, but also reinvigorates me. Perhaps not a ritual in the purest sense, but it is something I try to do every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... Me time is soooooooooo nice. I remember that. It seems like it's a ritual in the purest sense because then you have enough energy and patience to help other people! YOU GO!

      ZAM

      Delete
  15. Replies
    1. You are counted! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  16. I like all kinds of Christmas music, traditional and modern. As far as time to be creative, I guess it's important to get rid of some of the big and small things to do on your list, so that your mind feels less burdened about them and can feel more free to be creative.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I love checking things off. Particularly those little things that seem so numerous. Then it looks like I got a whole bunch done!

      ZAM

      Delete
  17. I love Annie Lennox! Thanks for all the music treats. I also love Christmas music. Merry Christmas, Baby by Otis Redding, This Christmas by Donny Hathaway, and a Charlie Brown Christmas (soundtrack) are probably my top Christmas songs. I also love The Nutcracker very much.
    I am a very chaotic person but my ritual for creativity involves fountain pens. I like to have one on hand, even if I'm using a computer. Using one makes your brain slow down. I like the candle idea, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, OH.... Fountain pens. That is so very nice. You have to slow down, fill them, write carefully, blot sometimes. Oh. Using a fountain pen is so very elegant. My handwriting sucks so very much though, it's kind of disheartening! Still what a lovely ritual.

      ZAM

      Delete
  18. I've always loved the Muppets "12 Days of Christmas". Miss Piggy is hilarious. I love most Christmas music, but I like the classics the best. The Osmonds have a Christmas album (I've had it for ??30?? years) that I've always loved. As far as creativity goes, I was born without the gene. Oh well.

    aelnova@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I had that Osmond album. Well, it's funny about creativity. It shows up when you aren't trying. I think I like the Carol of the Bells best, maybe Trans-Ssiberian Orchestra version. I love that piece.

      ZAM

      Delete
  19. I love The muppet's Christmas Carol! Thanks for the great musical posts! I love listening to songs from Christmas movies! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is still my favorite!
    Juliana
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Juliana, I can't live without the Muppets. Seriously. Rudolph too, although that abominable snow creature scared me to pieces when I was a kid.

      ZAM

      Delete
  20. Love the song from Glee I then proceeded to watch a bunch more of their songs that popped up as suggestions!! So my favorite holiday song is Santa Baby & Silent Night but I think Silent Night is most beautiful sung in German.

    cherrieluv4 @ gmail .com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cherrie, I think you may be right about Silent Night sung in German. It is very lovely.

      ZAM

      Delete
  21. Love the Muppets! I do enjoy almost all christmas music, though I like the modern songs better.

    I do craft, and it is hard to put aside time. It is usually under pressure that I get things done - like my dad needed gifts today for some coworkers so I was up till 1am making them last night! But I've always been more efficiant under pressure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan, Isn't that funny how some people work well under pressure? I don't know if I do. I once made an entire prairie costume, complete with pinafore and sunbonnet between nine a.m. and four in the afternoon when my daughter needed it, because that's the only time I could squeeze it in. '

      (ZOMG, gold rush history fourth grade. I also had to take our wagon and turn it into a conestoga for a wagon race.) Now that the kids are older, they do their own stuff...

      ZAM

      Delete
  22. I have a very old Boney M Christmas cd that I love to put on when I do the housework. When I'm quilting I will put on something softer. Susan Boyle or Dusty and sing along merrily. That usually clears the house and maybe the street I haven't checked that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zanara, My favorite housework music is broadway shows, Evita or something like that. Funny Girl is very empowering. Rent. I don't know why but Broadway makes me dance.

      ZAM

      Delete
  23. I love Christmas Carols - especially "O Holy Night". My favorite crafting activity is scrapbooking and I only find the time when I sign up for a weekend away with my sisters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kaytee, I tell myself someday I will scrapbook. For now though, I think writing is about all I can handle. I used to buy scrapbooking stuff, so I suppose I'll be supplied. (If I can find it!) I don't think I'm very crafty. It's a good thing I have other skills.

      ZAM

      Delete
  24. Carol of the Bells by Transiberian Orchestra is my alltime favorite Christmas carol. I will play that track on my DVD over and over again in my car this time of year. I also love to see when people synch their Christmas lights to it. This time of year, I spend a couple hours looking at all the people who have done this. THEY certainly are creative!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp5Fufx0_kA&feature=youtu.be

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F44d2IzCrKo

    Oh my God, I just looked at the first person's website and discovered they are only about 20 miles from where I live! LOL I might have to drag a friend or two out to see this in person.

    margec02 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, WOW! That is amazing. That first house is almost a ringer for mine, well, mine had three dormers, but now my daughter thinks we should do that. RIiiiiiiiiiight. Nope. I hope you get to see it in person, that would be so fun.

      ZAM

      Delete
  25. Wow, something on a m/m blog I could show my little one : ) Right now I don't carve out time for things I like. Someday though, I will.

    Issa cojazzchick AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahah. Tis the season! That Santa isn't so kid friendly, but the muppets are universal, aren't they?

      ZAM

      Delete
  26. I love the Muppets! I'm not big on holiday music, but I like the song Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses. And, I'm afraid that I'm not very creative, except maybe in the kitchen. If I have spare time I'll whip up a dessert or something. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kerry, I think cooking is very creative. A lot of us find a creative outlet in that. I think it has the added bonus of bringing everyone to the table and a lot of satisfying yummy noises, if I get things right.

      ZAM

      Delete
  27. Celtic Christmas, is one of my favorites Cd's to listen to. It doesn't get on my nerves like many of the traditional holiday songs do. Just because everyone is playing them over and over and over.... My creative time usually involves pulling out a bunch things and making organized chaos around me. Organized to me, but looks like chaos to any onlooker. (Grin)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tawny, Here's to organized chaos! :D

      ZAM

      Delete
  28. I find it hard to choose my favourite Christmas song as I love so many of them. My top two would be Silent Night and The Little Drummer Boy but I'm also kinda fond of this Australian one I grew up hearing
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FdVXca9hys

    I do like your candle idea for your creative time :)being an empty nester now I don;t really need something like that when I want to do something creative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helen, I like consciously switching gears. I do it even when the kids aren't home. I am hoping it becomes like a Pavlov's dog thing, where I get a surge of creativity when I see a lit candle... I could happen, right?

      ZAM

      Delete
  29. I love Christmas music and the one that's usually pops out at a moment's notice is "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!" because I like making the long 'Wiiiissshhh' sound, lol. Another favorite is Carol of the Bells.

    As to carving out time for creative works. I just do it when I feel like. I don't work so I can create whenever I want.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. My favorite Muppets for Christmas is their version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Truly fun.

    Not so creative except in the kitchen, but a bath with nice music and a good book is always nice.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love the muppets- the only Christmas album we have. Fav all time holiday music is Sousa at the Forth of July. My sacred time/space is after the tenth time in a row the baby has woken me up, he's fallen to sleep but I'm wide awake in a quiet house. I can grab a couple hours to do housework, sleep or even sew or create in other ways. A candle is a great idea, sometimes scents can put you in the mood... Like nutmeg and cinnamon in Dec, pumpkin at Thanksgiving, tropical scents when you'd rather be on a beach somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Adding my name for the grand prize. Thanks!

    taina1959@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I work in retail, where I have to listen to Christmas music over and over for about nine hours a day, so I tend to be pretty bah humbug about it these days. Having said that, I do actually like one holiday song - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. As far as creativity goes, I don't have any rituals or anything. Reading tends to be my main stress relief! Otherwise, I indulge in little acts of creativity whenever the mood and opportunity strikes :-)

    ReplyDelete