Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nutcracker Advent Day 31

Today's nutcracker is a stocking holder. He has a broken base, however, so he doesn't work for his intended job. (Which is why my two stockings are on the wall using push pins, rather than suspended from him.)

Included in this picture is a selection of my nutcracker video collection. Missing is a Nutcracker on Ice (skated with an Olympic Gold Medalist as Clara ... can't think of her name of the top of my head at the moment, however), possibly another NoI, and Barbie's Nutcracker. There are possibly more, but I can't think of them at the moment.

The one at the bottom of the stack under my nutcracker is, quite possibly, the most book-accurate ballet out there, and it's high in my favorites. I have certainly seen it more often than any other version.

And today is the last day of the year. I was considering showing you the last five nutcrackers of my collection (I have two that I forgot to take pictures of when I did the picture shoot, and then three that I got for Christmas this year), but I might not. We'll see another day.

A popular thing to do on the last day of the year is to look back at that year and see how you did.

Personally, I don't think I did half bad.

In January, I started babysitting my four cousins for my aunt. I also started writing the second draft of The Ankulen out by hand, and worked on typing up Do You Take This Quest? 

In February, I turned eighteen, realized that I now needed to discover my identity, lost the use of my library card, had a wonderful blog party and got kidnapped by a king. I don't think I've been rescued yet. They were trying to solve Kendra's Clues ...

In March ... I frankly don't remember March. It marched right past me. Was that the month that I sewed buttons on dresses for orphans in Africa? I'm going to pretend it is. (I can't keep up with a sewing machine, so I wasn't fast enough to sew the dresses, but I was quite good at adding those little finishing touches.

In April, I released the Kindle version of Do You Take This Quest? It was interesting. My sister fainted and could no longer volunteer at the horse place until she gets an okay from a doctor. (She still hasn't gotten it, by the way ... for complicated reasons akin the the reason that I still don't have a working library card.)

In May I purchased a new computer (my old one had died in December of '12) and I promptly vlogged for the first time.

In June, I released the paperback version of Take, had a party, and did a few critique swaps ... although I didn't do very good at holding up my end ... I gave a valiant effort however!

In July, my sister turned sixteen and got a job so she could earn some money to get herself back to the horse place, and she started to have something called a reliable income .... which is something I didn't have much of .... I participated in Actually Finishing Something in July, though I didn't really finish anything. I did paint a bracelet, though.

In August, I talked about world building as marketing buildup for The Ankulen.

In September, I released The Ankulen and started pestering my sister to bring me home an application so I could start getting a reliable income too.

In October, I read a bunch of Science Fiction as research for NaNo.

In November, I won NaNo, and was hired by the place my sister works.

In December, I talked about Nutcrackers. A lot. And I made a lot of progress on My Kingdom for a Quest. My sister has also quit her job, though I'm still there, since they were giving her more hours than she wanted, and she was not getting enough sleep, falling behind on her school work, and was on the verge of an asthma attack. I'm still doing fine, however, though my fingers are a bit sore from the touchscreen and my feet are killing me. Oh, and I've finally, finally have learned Punch embroidery, which has been my New Year's resolution since I was ten or so.

I'll talk about my plans for 2014 tomorrow, though as heads up, I would like to publish at least my next short story collection and Kingdom. Oh, and I get to see Hobbit 2 tomorrow! (At least, I think that's the plan). I'm so excited!


  1. Shall I tell them the story of "How Kendra Fell In Love With the Nutcracker"?

  2. It was the Christmas season of 1997, Kendra was nearly 3, and a noisy, active child with a non-stop imagination and propensity for getting into trouble. I had learned to listen for quiet - because that meant trouble.

    I was working on cleaning the kitchen and fixing lunch, while Kendra was in the living room watching Barney or something on PBS. I would peek around the corner ever so often and watch her dancing and singing with great gusto to the music - most of which, only she could hear. Then I realized that it had gotten VERY quiet. I knew the TV had changed shows with a quick glace at the clock and realized that the opening song of the Nutcracker was playing. Quick, must find Kendra BEFORE she gets into any real trouble and find something new to dance to ....

    Imagine my shock to find Kendra RIVETED to the TV. Completely unusual for her with even her favorite shows. She stood on one leg, the other leg raised to the side and both arms held high in the air, frozen without any movement, her eyes glued to the TV and her mouth hanging open in awe. After the first song ended, she did finally lower her leg, and eventually lowered her arms, but her eyes never wavered from the little TV screen for the entire hour. As it ended, she turned to me, eyes glowing, and said, "Wow".

    Barney and maybe Mr. Rogers came on next, maybe Magic School Bus ... but 90 minutes later, while she was busy at the kitchen table, the opening sounds of the exact same Nutcracker came on again - she almost FLEW to the living room. Once again, she stood there spell bound watching the whole show. I grabbed the newspaper and quickly found and circled EVERY nutcracker for the rest of the week. She watched the same show 3 more times that day - and by the end of the day, she was dancing right along with the show.

    The next day it showed again in the morning, and then disaster struck as I took advantage of a different channel for that showing of nutcracker. She was NOT pleased. This was NOT the right show. She threw herself onto the floor in a hissy fit, but it didn't last long. The music worked it's way into her dismay and she found herself once again drawn into the story as she laid on the floor, spellbound yet again.

    Over that 4 weeks, she watched 5 - 6 different versions of the nutcracker, and was mighty displeased when the last showing left the TV and Christmas decorations came down. For weeks, she begged me to find the dancing show. Finally, she stopped asking.

    Run forward to the following Christmas, 1998. While eating breakfast, she suddenly froze, head up and eyes unfocused, then flew out of her chair to the livingroom. She paused only a moment before flinging herself bodily at the TV in a gigantic hug. "My dancing show!" she yelled with great enthusiasm, "oh how I have missed you!"

    I got smart that year, and I recorded every show she watched. It became her favorite tape, and she continued to watch it at least once a month throughout the year. She became quite the "expert" on the different versions, and developed clear favorites.

    Then one Christmas, 2000, she decided that she needed her own nutcracker. I guess it was inevitable. She wanted to go dance with the sugar plum fairies.

    Yes, I'm sure she would happily adopt any unloved and unwanted nutcracker. She's pretty sure one day, some mouse king is going to sneak into her room, and at least one of the lovely nutcrackers will fight for her and carry her off in a sugar icing carriage.

  3. Very lovely story. I like that a lot! That's so cool... Lots of history behind it. Now I'm curious, though... do you love the Nutcracker most for the dancing, the story, the characters, the music, or the Nutcracker himself? Or is it all a mix of everything that makes it perfect?

    1. Aww, I loved reading this story!!!

    2. Ah, yes, we do need to rescue you still. We must figure out those clues....


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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