Year-End Break

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

December 24, 2020

Happy Holidays to one and all, no matter what or how you are celebrating this year!

Last night, I bundled up and stepped out into a howling snow-gale, making good on my Solstice intention to walk every day. Wind whipped snow from every direction, burying my neighborhood in drifts. I walked down the middle of the back alleyway and when I turned toward Roberts Street, tall maples cast shadows against the house lights.

We never know when creativity will call us. In the middle of the street in the middle of a blizzard, I played with the shadows, walking up and down trees, crossing over on branches. When I returned on my walk, I laughed at my own tracks. It looked like booted elves had danced in the road. Just one elf. Me.

I continued to have fun and made a large peace sign in the snow covering my driveway. Sometimes we don’t need to share our art with the world. Sometimes we create and let the storm obliterate our moment of inspiration. Yet, the part of us that wants to share creation, we act thoughtfully on the what, how, where and when.

This end-of-year closes a chapter in my calendar book and I like to reflect on what was and deliberate on what will be. This is my visioning time of year and I take my vision play seriously. If you are serious, you might be interested in a download of my course, Writers Vision Planting.

If 2020 doesn’t blow up 2021, I have plans to graduate with a completed thesis. We do not receive a grade for a thesis — either the program accepts it, or not. My advisor has five weeks to give me feedback and she’s cautioned me that second drafts are not ready. She says it took her six months to get her accepted thesis ready for submission. I will do what it takes but anticipate shifting from student to professional.

My MFA has a dual path. I’ve also been training to teach creative writing online. I’ve crafted a plan with feedback from my profs, and I want to break it into phases. So I’m taking a year-end break to dream, think, play, and plan. Oh, and write my second draft. There’s always that!

In the meantime, I want to encourage you all to find moments to celebrate, rest, dream, and plan for what next. D. Avery, Ruchira Khanna, and H.R.R. Gorman will see you through the New Year. D. will be at the Saddle Up Saloon, December 28 and January 4. Ruchira and H. will post their columns December 29 and January 5. We have lots lined up for Carrot Ranch in 2021! The Saloon will continue every Monday, featured columns on Tuesdays with three new writers, including Hugh Roberts, T. Marie Bertineau, and Anna Rodeiguez who is in my MFA cohort.

Weekly challenges resume January 7, 2021. And Mause comes to live with us January 10!

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  1. Sam "Goldie" Kirk

    You’ve been doing so much, you need a break. I’m glad you’re able to have some fun in the dead of winter. Enjoy!

  2. Liz H

    Have a terrific break, and make it both fruitful and renewing. Best always!!

  3. Chel Owens

    Merry Christmas, Charli! I’m excited for you! ????

  4. Ritu

    Merry Christmas, Charli, and here’s to a fabulous 2021 ????????????

  5. joanne the geek

    Merry Christmas! I hope 2021 is a better year for everyone!

  6. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    I love the celebratory walk described in this post! You are going places!

  7. Becky Ross Michael

    Happy holidays and a better new year!!!

  8. Jim Borden

    good luck with your thesis!

  9. dgkaye

    Good for you Charli. Sounds all so promising. Good luck with everything and Happy New Year. <3

  10. Hugh W. Roberts

    What fun you had in the snow, Charli. We all need fun in our lives, but it can often hide. But never forget that the starts as soon as you start looking for it. So always be on the lookout for it. Have I been on the sherry? I’ll leave that up to all of those who read this comment.
    Enjoy your break. See you in 2021.
    Seasons Greetings. ????

  11. Anne Goodwin

    Enjoy your break. Enjoy rounding off that thesis.

  12. Jules

    Enjoy your time – Enjoy your space
    Embrace those you love!!

    Happy New Year!!

  13. Marsha

    Have a wonderful break!


  1. #WQWWC 5 New Beginnings – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write - […] get a new pet like Charli […]

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