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Clare and Chrissy Get in the Mood!

Clare and Chrissy: Happy 2012 and welcome to our first post of this New Year. For those new to our fun, we took January off and spent our time enjoying the month-long adventure that is the Clare London Birthday Blog Bash. Go ahead and swing by for a wide variety of posts and free fiction for all tastes. But now we've cast the inaugural confetti for 2012 into the air and coffee in hand, we are ready to start our February by getting *in the mood*.

 Chrissy: The question is, the mood for what?

Clare: Take a look around any store, scan the advertisements on the web, or watch any television commercial played during February and you might think you know the answer.

Chrissy: Subtlety is not an advertiser's strong point.

Clare: It's hard to miss all the red satin, candy hearts, and jewellery adverts coming at us from all angles.

Chrissy: Don't forget the phone ads. Because hey, nothing says Happy Sensual Valentine's Day to me like a cell phone.

Clare: That doesn't exactly ooze passion, doesn't it?

Chrissy: I suppose it *is* a vital necessity when it comes to phone sex.

Clare: And surely there's some study out there wanting to tell us the endorphins from talking on the phone are the same as those released during sex, or found in a good box of chocolate.


Clare and Chrissy: Naaaaaaah.

Chrissy: But we're romance writers. And that means while the rest of the world is buying roses and chocolate at inflated prices, we need to channel a different kind of mood this February. We need to forget about our rose-petaled sheets…

Clare: …toss our satin thongs over the bedpost….

Chrissy: …and leave our inner Ho behind.

Clare: Yep, it's time to get in the mood to write our Holiday story for this year.

Chrissy: A ho' different mindset.

Clare: Chrissy…

Chrissy: You get it? Ho? And then Ho, ho, ho?

Clare: I got it. I got it. *rolls eyes* Now I want to forget it.

Chrissy: Pfffffft.

Clare: Most of us start out January with a plan for our writing in the year ahead.

Chrissy: *sings* Lists, glorious lists!

Clare: We might divvy our plan up via word count, decide on specific work lengths (say 2 novellas, 1 novel, 1 short), or just swear to finish up some of our old works-in-progress.

Clare and Chrissy: *groans*

Chrissy: But no matter our favorite method of planning our work, somewhere along the line we'll take a look at a variety of publisher's calls for submission and the accompanying deadlines.

Clare: Which is how we end up in the middle of the Valentine's Day Frenzy struggling to reclaim that Holiday spirit in time to meet deadlines than seem to end before we even send the kids back to school.

Chrissy: You might think it's easy, seeing as how it was just a month or so behind us.

Clare: And surely we might have actually been inspired during the festivities and planned for our next year's work?

Chrissy: Speak for yourself. Right now everything in me is striving for spring, and the sweet sweat of summer. I want tulips in my life, not poinsettias.

Clare: Balmy walks along the seaside, not dashes through the snow.

Chrissy: And as much as I love butterscotch schnapps and cocoa après ski, a tall strawberry daiquiri après swim sounds pretty darn appealing.

Clare: That's it. We’re heading to the Caribbean and not coming back until July.

Chrissy: In our dreams, sweetie. In our dreams.

Clare: So how do we set the mood and write something that's not even close to being on our radar?

Chrissy: Every writer has his or her own little trick. Some surround themselves with props. Imagine a miniature Christmas Tree with twinkling lights on the desktop, gaily wrapped presents; maybe even a bowl of potpourri to recreate that unmistakable Holiday mood and scent.

Clare: I can just see the men of my household if I try spraying a pine-scented freshner throughout the house.

Chrissy: We've talked with other authors who set aside a period of time and read nothing but Holiday-themed stories to get themselves in the mood.

Clare: Others watch classic Holiday movie favorites.

Chrissy: Or listen to their favorite Holiday music.

Clare: The trick is to trick your senses and recreate the magic of the season…

Chrissy: …even if you and your laptop are sitting on the beach under the tropical sun.

Clare and Chrissy: How about you? Authors, what are your tricks for finding that Holiday spirit out of season? Readers, do you enjoy Holiday-themed stories throughout the year, or do you prefer to match your reading to the calendar? Let us know what you think and win. Everyone who comments to this post will be entered in our random drawing to win some Clare and Chrissy Swag. One lucky Winner to be announced during next month's post.

pic credit: four seasons by vxside at deviantart


December Winner: marasmine- Congratulations! Please email your mailing address to Chrissy at chrissymunder@yahoo.com for your festive Clare and Chrissy Swag.

Missed any of our posts? Follow the 'sticky' post for these rambles of ours HERE.

Reclaim your own Holiday spirit with our anthology release, Winter Warmers with Lou Harper, Josephine Myles, and JL Merrow.

Here's Chrissy! website // blog.

Here's Clare! website // blog.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
I can read holiday stories at any time of year, although I do prefer them in season.
Feb. 15th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Hi Stevie. You used a very appropriate icon for your comment! Maybe it's my better (other?) half walking around the house throughout the year saying "(*insert appropriate holiday here*) is every day around here" - but I enjoy seasonal tales out of season. Of course, it could just be the advertisers have worn me down with their "Xmas in July" sales.
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
I'm the same, Stevie, I can read a good story at any time of year, whenever it's set :).
Feb. 15th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Holiday season = Christmas? I immediately thought of sunlit beaches and I can always write about those. I don't think I've tried to write a Christmas story out of season. I'll have a go and see what happens.

Meantime have a listen to In The Mood.
Feb. 15th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Loved the link, Elin! Many thanks. Should Clare and I make it to the Caribbean and the sunny beaches we'll ask you to come with us. Let us know how your experiment turns out - I'd love ot hear any tips you may have.
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
*packing furiously for the flight to Antigua*

That's rather an interesting experiment - but then, I don't think it's a problem that authors can/can't write out of season, I think it's publishers that like to pop those stories on specific shelves :).
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
I will read Halloween stories year around, but rarely Christmas ones. Valentine's stories are kind of versatile because it's not a "holiday" with family get-togethers and vacations from work, so I can read those in August.

Writing? I'm not sure I could write a Christmas story now. October yes. Now? Eh. I'm too lazy.

We need a good beachy summer holiday. We have Canada Day on July 1 but that's not exactly a huge romantic moment, unless you're in love with a country, or a politician *shudder* (you notice there are very few of those in romance books?) I think it would be much easier to write about hot summer days and sand and sea and mostly nekkid boys in February, than snow and ice and shopping in May. Unless you're in Australia I suppose.
Feb. 15th, 2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
Great point about the lack of politicians in romance books. I never thought about that before. Looking at the current crop of Republicans battling it out in the US I guess I see why, *wrinkles nose fastidiously*. Seriously, could I ever moan "Newt, Newt," or "Mitt, Mitt," *blech*. Still, power being an aphrodisiac and all, it could work. Hmmmm. But the characters would have to have real names.

Okay, now I'm totally off track here....

Come on, don't be lazy, give it a try.
Feb. 15th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
Any Republicans would have to closeted, like in Narnia. Someone posted on Tumblr maybe, all of the Craig's List ads that shows up in Washington at the CPAC. "Bi bottom attending CPAC looking for discrete encounters with men". Oh yeah, the cats away, the closeted gay Republicans will play. There were dozens of them.

"Oh Mittens," he cooed. "Talk dirty to me. Tell me about your economic plan and why the gay Mexicans are ruining our country." I think it's a horror.

Usually politicans in books are the bad guys, power corrupting and all that jazz.

Then there's this ill-timed picture of our Prime Minister with a Panda in China. http://www.calgaryherald.com/6140282.bin?size=620x400s Really, you want romance with that? Visualize Stephen + Newt. Stewt? Newphen? It would never sell.
Feb. 16th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oookay. This is one of the those freaky, I can see this in my email - but not on the journal. What's up with that?

And, call me naive, The Tumblr thing just horrifies me.
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
I like that idea of writing a romance with a politician. There's a challenge!!! :)
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Feb. 15th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
Hi Liam, congratulations on your new release today! What is it about Christmas that appeals on so many levels year round?

Those stories you have started are little gems. Just the thing to bring out and polish up when the out of season deadline approaches.
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Feb. 16th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
What a lovely description of the seasonal magic! I'm British of course so the weather is part of our psyche *lol*. We love our seasons however much we seem to moan about them all the time. I chose that last picture for the post today because I loved it so much :).

I suppose we should be used to writing in advance of the season, because of the lead time at publishers.
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:35 am (UTC)
I'll read holiday stories at any time of the year, in or out of season.

A lot I don't celebrate anyway like Independence Day - never seen a Waitangi Day story. And I'm always reading about winter Christmases and to me that's summer weather and beaches. So I guess I'm geared up for reading them that way anyway. ;)

Happy 2012 and good luck with the writing for this year. *hugs to both of you*
Feb. 16th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
Hi Anne! It is interesting to think how weather conditions are different around the globe and the impact that has on a reader.

I offer you my best wishes for 2012 as well! (and I can always use more hugs) *hugs back*
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon.
I think you should write that Waitangi Day story! And/or the sunny Christmas story :).

I think I'm just happy to read good fiction at any time. If I'm reading a snowy scene in summer, or a beach story in my Novemebr - well, it's a little taste of something exotic!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )