November 26, 2012

Santa, Smiles, and Stress

So this totally happened:

"You smell like beef and cheese! You don't smell like Santa!" - Buddy the Elf

About a week ago, I was kind of bummed and was sick and tired of lazing about the house feeling like a cotton-headed ninny-muggins*. So I decided to head to the mall to take in some of the Christmas cheer that I knew I'd find there.

I was strolling around, and that's when I saw him. Santa!

I don't know if I've ever had my picture taken with Santa before. If I have, I really don't remember it, likely because there's no proof of it anywhere. Crazy, right? So of course I had this wacky notion that 34 years of age is not too old to get your picture taken with Santa. I was alone, so I didn't have to worry about embarrassing anybody besides myself. There were no kids waiting in line who I'd be forcing to wait while I took my turn. So I did it. I got my picture taken with Santa.

He was a pretty good mall Santa and only made a couple of slightly frisky comments when I sat on his knee. (For example: "Mrs. Claus said no kissing today." Hmm...'cause that's going to happen. Not.) He gave me a candy cane, I bought some pictures, and then I went on my merry way. You guys, I could not stop grinning for a full half hour after that. I felt silly, brave, and kind of like a kid again. It was exactly what I needed that day—something to get me out of my head for a while.

Life is stressful. Querying is stressful. And waiting for the results of querying is also stressful.** It's easy to start feeling negative, to get down on yourself and throw a one-woman pity party (or one-man if you're a dude). But nothing good ever comes from that, as I'm sure you know. So sometimes you just have to do something zany like get your picture taken with Santa while people stare at you funny. Trust me, it works wonders. And I dare you not to smile 'til your face hurts. ☺

* I watched Elf last night. Can you tell? I'm singing. I'm in a store and I'm siiiiinnggiiinng!
** I wasn't stressed about querying before. I am now.

45 comments:

  1. Aww! I was wondering where you'd got off to, and it turns out it was the North Pole! This is super-cute. Way to go!

    And listen: you wrote a fantastic book. I completely get that querying is stressful and I'm sure if and when I ever get to that step I will also be a basket-case (oh god it's like auditioning for a show but they take so much longer to post the cast list) but for right now, I can calmly, quietly remind you how much you have to be proud of. Try to keep hold of that idea through the cloud of stress.

    And when all else fails: more candy canes! And Christmas movies! And cookie-baking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jess! Between you, Elodie, and my sister, I have a great bunch of cheerleaders. You ladies keep me from losing my mind while I wait. :-) As for your more candy canes, Christmas movies, and cookie-baking idea? I like the way you think!

      Delete
  2. That's right. Don't let the query doldrums get you down!!! & the picture is SO adorable. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan. :) I'm trying to remind myself that it's also the time of year. I started querying about a week before Thanksgiving, so that's probably not overly wise. :)

      Delete
  3. This weekend, my little town is having a holiday festival downtown and I am totally putting my cat on his leash and walking down the street to have his photo taken with Santa. Even the idea of seeing Santa makes me happy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it! I don't know why, but cats on leashes totally crack me up. And I love the idea of getting his picture taken with Santa. How cute! :)

      Delete
  4. This totally made me smile. I have a picture of me sitting on Santa's lap from when I was in grad school. I was probably 28. Santa was a good friend of my dad's and now I have pictures of my kids on his lap. Also I love the word "frisky."

    Waiting to hear about your queries does totally suck. I'm sorry that you're stressing about it. Sometimes I feel like I'd rather just get the no over with because the waiting is so dreadful. But your yes will come. Read your favorite books. Remind yourself that those authors waited, too, and were told no. But eventually they got the yes they were looking for.

    Speaking of favorite books.... I see your on to Sapphire Blue! :) Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excuse, that should say "you're" on to Sapphire Blue. Gasp!

      Delete
    2. Haha! I totally laughed at your "you're" comment. :)

      I agree with you on getting the 'no' over with. I think at least then I'd know that someone looked at my query. Otherwise, you're just left wondering.

      I just started reading SAPPHIRE BLUE and can't wait to dig in more. I did a re-read of RUBY RED the day before and enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it. :)

      Delete
  5. I'm pretty sure we got our picture taken with a mall Santa when we were kids because I remember standing in line. I suspect what might have happened is that you cried when it was our turn though, because you were so shy back then (and possibly because Santa was creepy). Have to ask Mom if there's some wackadoo picture of us dressed in polyester, with boy haircuts, sitting on scary Santa's fun fur knee. Whatever happened back in the early 80's though, I'm glad it put a smile on your face now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom said the same thing. She's going to dig through old photos and see if she can produce the evidence. You're probably right about me crying beforehand. That seems a likely situation given other photos from around that time period. And you're also probably right about polyester garb and boy haircuts. I can picture it now. Unfortunately. :P

      Delete
  6. How fun is this?! I'm with you on the crazy stress thing, Jaime. I've been unwinding by spending tons of time with my girlie, though Santa looks like a pretty awesome buddy too. And the ELF quotes... Win!

    Hope things calm down for you soon... I'm thinking of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's great that you've been spending so much time with your cutie patootie. She looks (and sounds--I'm thinking of the elvish/parseltongue combo here) like lots of fun! I've been reading a lot lately and watching Christmas movies. :)

      I hope things become less stressful for you too, Katy!

      Delete
  7. I need to watch ELF, too. :) I had planned to send some queries out last month, but wasn't able to. So, I guess now I'm pretty glad because I hear you, the query waiting game can bring a girl down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly think ELF is Will Ferrell's best movie. So many funny parts in it. :D I'm thinking of sending out some more queries in the next week or two (pre-Christmas), but I'm not entirely sure that there's a good time to send them out this time of year.

      Best of luck with your own querying, Rachel! :)

      Delete
  8. What a cute picture! I love it!

    I know querying is stressful, but we're all rooting for you! Go Jaime go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Thanks, Jessica. :) I have a weird look on my face because I was trying not to laugh at the weird things Santa was saying to me before the camera clicked. O.O

      And thanks for the cheers. It's very helpful to have the support of all of you!

      Delete
  9. Aaaaaaaaw Jaime how lovely! ^_^

    Yeah, querying changes quite a bit once you're actually doing it. I'm still mostly excited, but it's tinged with disappointment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was totally fun. :) When I initially queried, I wasn't stressed out yet. But after waiting and not hearing anything, not even receiving rejections, it starts to get a little nerve-wracking.

      Delete
  10. That's a great picture! Congrats on daring to do that. I think as adults, we forget to simply enjoy life sometimes. Oh, and I hope you remembered to tell him what you want for Christmas ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I don't even think I remembered to tell him what I wanted for Christmas. I think "getting an agent" would have been up there on my wish list. :)

      Delete
  11. Good for you for getting out and doing something fun, Jaime! It's hard not to think about your query sitting in agents' inboxes, and things like this help shove the thought to the back of the mind for a while. I completely identify with that querying feeling--especially waiting for the first few responses. The anticipation, though, can be fun as well as nerve-wracking. Think of it like Christmas: you look forward to the season, and you hope you get nice gifts, but there's always the chance Aunt Myrtle sent you another pair of ugly socks. But then again, she may have sent that book you always wanted. :)

    I wish you all the best with your querying, Jaime. May your inbox be filled with many books, and few--if any--socks. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose as long as I'm not getting rejections there is still the possibility that someone could be taking a look at my query. Man, I sure hope I get a 'book' for Christmas and not 'ugly socks'. :P

      Delete
  12. I love that picture! It's adorable. We all need to do something crazy/nostalgic/fun/silly to relieve stress and break routines.
    Best of luck with querying--I'm cheering for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebecca. :) I have a silly look on my face, but it's partly because I was trying so hard not to laugh. I think Christmas is the perfect time to do fun, child-like things. And for a while at least, it took my mind of off other less fun things.

      Thanks for the cheers! It means a lot. :)

      Delete
  13. I love this!

    I've been stressing about querying and I haven't even started yet! (Will be very soon, though.) I'll have to find fun ways to distract myself too. Good luck! Fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I wouldn't be stressed, but I think it's the waiting and not hearing anything that's so stressful. Distractions are always a good thing! Good luck with your querying too. :)

      Delete
  14. This is hilarious! Stepping outside my comfortzone always makes me feel brave! (but I wouldn't dare this particular thing, Santa sort of frightens me).
    I hope "no news" means "good news"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mall Santas can definitely be on the creepy side. Mostly it felt like something fun and silly to do. I hope you're right about the "no news" thing. :)

      Delete
  15. LOVE the picture :D And what a great way to put a smile on your face :D

    I understand the stress over the querying but you´ve just started and you always need to keep in mind that some might not answer, some might in a few months :P You know what you could do? Pick one of the fastest responders (if you don´t have access let me know), check that they´d be a good match, and then off send another one. Even if it´s a fast "rejector", at least you´ll have something in your inbox :D

    You know I want your book to be picked up - loved it and I want the sequel! :D Your writing is gorgeous, vivid and the story is great!

    No matter, please keep on writing, remember the fun in it too, and your readers. Because you already have quite a few :D And soon enough you´ll have plenty more :D

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elodie! :) You always make me feel so much better about my writing and just about life in general. I think there may be something to finding a fast responder with the query. I'll definitely have to consider that! :)

      Delete
  16. Aw, I never did get a pic with Santa, but mall Santa sort of freaks me out, lol. Very cute picture though. You're adorable and Santa looks perfectly jolly and not frisky at all :)

    Good luck in the query trenches! It really is hard to spend so much time not knowing, but Christmas is the best time to re-charge your cheer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mall Santas can definitely be creepy! This guy wasn't too bad, though, and he really looked the part.

      Thanks for the good querying wishes. :)

      Delete
  17. Jaime, I'm so jealous of you! Also, I laughed out loud at you commenting on Santa being frisky. Good luck querying. I'm right there with you on the stress that comes post-querying. But here's the hoping!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was totally fun! As for the querying thing, I wish it was a little more so. :) And you're right, here's to hoping!

      Delete
  18. Oh my gosh... I wish I lived in CA and could be your best friend! How cool is this??? Seriously, I love it. And you are one of the most photogenic people on the planet. *jealous*

    And man, querying... it is the most trying, difficult, emotional experience I have EVER been through. Ever. Especially when it gets slow this time of year! Gah.

    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How 'bout I move to Utah instead? I'm sure it's gorgeous. :)

      The Santa photo experience was tons of fun. I should have done this sooner! It really was a great way to stop thinking about querying for a little bit. I know that querying is necessary and that it's stressful for everyone, but still. Wish it was over and done with! :)

      Delete
  19. Great pic! When I was younger...in my twenties...I used to carry bubbles in my car. I'd blow them out the window if/when I got stuck in traffic. It's a great stress reliever to do something child-like and let go like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bubble-blowing thing is awesome! Such a great idea. :)

      Delete
  20. I think he might be *the* Santa Claus. That beard! Those red cheeks! Just saying... I'm sorry you've been so stressed with querying. I think that time of the writing process is a free pass to eat as much stress-relieving chocolate as possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He looks legit, doesn't he? I think that's why it didn't creep me out to sit on his knee. :P I figure stress is par for the course with querying. I got my first rejection yesterday, and that's normal too. Makes me feel like a real writer now! I don't know about chocolate, but I do have a stress-relieving soft pretzel with caramel in my future. :)

      Delete
  21. Haha that sounds like a great idea! I just gave my book to Beta Readers so I'm feeling the STRESS. And there's no writing to be done to take my mind off it!

    Santa, though . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so nerve-wracking putting our work out there like that, isn't it? Fortunately, I have another project on the go to help distract me. And yes, there's always a visit to Santa. :)

      Delete
  22. Haven't been around in a while because of NaNo. Just wanted to tell you you've got another cheerleader! Querying is a not-so-fun roller coaster ride, and I'm right there with you. I wish you quick requests and a smooth next step on your journey :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm pretty sure I lost hair while querying. It's so nerve wracking! Good luck, and fingers crossed for you!

    ReplyDelete

I ♥ comments. They make me smile.☺