Writers’ Christmas Acrostics

Cynthia Ruchti

Blogger: Cynthia Ruchti

Acrostics! That’s the word I was looking for. Anagram? No. Acronym? Nope. Oh, this language with which we are tasked to write!

And these few brain cells with which to work.

ACROSTICS INFORM

acrostic lightFlurries fly outside my window. Brain flurries make concentration a mid-December night’s nightmare. I checked the word acrostic to make sure that’s the one I needed. As writers are fond of doing, I was momentarily distracted by a tidbit of history.

Lewis Carroll used an acrostic in the final chapter of Through the Looking-Glass. Through it, he revealed the real Alice’s name: Alice Pleasance Liddell.

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July –

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear –

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream –
Lingering in the golden gleam –
Life, what is it but a dream?acrostics time

ACROSTICS INSPIRE

Many a sermon or lecture has relied on an acrostic to make its key points memorable. ACT (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving) is an acrostic for a meaningful prayer pattern. “F-A-C-E” and “Every Good Boy Does Fine” are phrases that root themselves in the minds of young musicians learning which note falls on which line or space of the treble clef.

acrostics wonderWhat does a writer need to remember–during Christmas and always–that an acrostic can aid?

Choose carefully. Choose your genre carefully. Is it as fun to read as it is to write? Is your choice of genre bettering your opportunities for success or limiting them?

Handle yourself with dignity. Begging shows up in queries, book proposals, and marketing efforts.

Resist the urge to overwrite. Strive for stronger words and potent word pictures that express what needs to be said without cluttering the page.

Insist on your best. An author who “phones in” book seven or cheats the editing process, too weary or rushed to give it his or her wholehearted effort, will lose readers. And future publishing opportunities.

Stand firm, no matter the whims of publishing weather. Remain open to adjustments, as a surfer shifts feet, posture, and arm positions when a wave roils and drops.

Temper your impatience. On every level of the publishing industry stand human beings who are dealt blows that affect schedules–sick kids, power outages, surgeries, deaths in the family, caregiving, supply delays, financial pauses, meetings piled upon meetings… Apply every effort to stay on target. When others can’t, ladle more grace than you thought you had on hand.

Manage your moments so they don’t become regrets.

Adopt integrity as a non-negotiable. (Have you read the news lately?)

Soar. Enjoy the gift you’ve been given. Let your soul celebrate the wonderland of working with words, the joy of communicating, the indisputable power of story. And let your spirit soar as you and your family consider the Christmas story again this year. Drop the burdens of what is yet undone, or what’s still on your list. Soaring requires outstretched arms. acrostics soar

ACROSTICS IGNITE

Your turn. Take a familiar Christmas word–Noel, Peace, Joy, Navidad, Nativity, Holiday, Star–and create your own short acrostic of must-remember principles for writers. Let your imagination soar.