A New Blog Theme + A New Season!

Well, friends, what do you think? I’ve given A Writer’s Tale a much-needed update: a more modern, minimalist theme featuring new photographs taken by my sister Katie! (If you’re reading this post in an email, no problem: just click the post’s title at the beginning of the email, and it’ll take you to the actual site.) It took me a long time to find a new theme I truly loved, but this one is pretty close to perfect.

I often feel stiff and unnatural when someone’s taking pictures of me, but when I sat down with my laptop, Katie told me to just think about Ben Solo and Baby Yoda. I laughed, and she caught it.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting my life back together, so to speak. I’ve finished some books I’ve been reading for a long time (like Julia Cameron’s fantastic The Right to Write), redesigned my blog, established clear goals for my social media platforms post-hiatus, and made some important personal decisions–like deciding once and for all which of my various story ideas will be my major writing project of 2021. It’s been a good, refreshing time, and I’ve definitely stepped into December feeling reinvigorated and confident.

But I’m also really, really excited about Advent and Christmas, guys. This will be my third year of deliberately observing Advent not as “that vague period leading up to Christmas Day,” but as a distinct season of reflection, quiet, and deep communion with Jesus. The more I celebrate Advent, the more convinced I am that without some grounding rhythms, traditions, and deliberate “stewing” in the season’s true meaning, December becomes just another stressful, resentment-filled month.

I’m certainly not saying Christmas automatically becomes stress-free whenever I dwell in Advent! On the contrary, I’m still a bit anxious over all the gift-making and gift-wrapping yet to be done. But steering my mind and heart towards Jesus and the breathtaking miracle of His First Coming makes a huge difference…especially in a year when the darkness of the world seems so overwhelming.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

On that note, I have a fun announcement for you! The December edition of my monthly newsletter, The Wordsmithery, drops on Wednesday. I’ve not only created a special downloadable/printable gift for all my subscribers, but I’ve also put together a bundle of Christmas music recommendations and Advent/Christmas-themed resources and quotes. I know I promised a big newsletter this month to make up for November’s unavoidably meager offering, and I meant it!

If you aren’t subscribed to The Wordsmithery yet, you can sign up here. But if you stumble upon this post after the deadline, you aren’t subscribed yet, and you really want to access the Christmas goodies, I have a special holiday promise for you: go ahead and subscribe to The Wordsmithery, let me know in the comments, and I will personally email you a link to the Advent newsletter even if you missed the original launch. (This newsletter “extension” lasts through December 25.)

I even updated my newsletter logo–whoo-hoo!

I think that’s all I wanted to say in this post…but I hope it finds everyone happy, healthy, and hungry for the goodness and glory of the Christmas season! Stay tuned for a new movie/book/TV review on the 14th!

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

–Madeleine L’Engle

6 thoughts on “A New Blog Theme + A New Season!

  1. Dear Maribeth, Thank you so much for sharing this! I too am putting a special emphasis on Advent this year, in my humble attempt to reach out and become more in tune and aware of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know throughout history there have been society’s that included Fasting in their traditions. As one who really enjoys fasting and especially the health benefits I am vowing to fast 3 days every week from now until Christmas! Wishing you a most meaningful holiday season….. Love you, Aunt SueLynn!


    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Aunt Sue Lynn, and that you’re leaning into Advent this year! It’s truly a wonderful season. Hope y’all have a wonderful holiday!


  2. The theme looks great! And I love that L’Engle quote – we cannot wait till the world is sane to sing. And this, “…without some grounding rhythms, traditions, and deliberate “stewing” in the season’s true meaning…” I think you’re right. I’ve been slowly reading Psalm 119 lately, and I’m wondering if by “the Law” the psalmist is intending us to think of the whole Pentateuch? If so, then he doesn’t just mean that the so-called ‘rules’ give us life, but that he wants to steep himself in the revealed narrative itself through which we are involved in God’s very life. Anyway, your thoughts reminded of that. Keep up the good work!


    1. That is a fantastic observation about Psalm 119, Matthew! I think the phrases “the Law” and “Your word” are interchangeable in that psalm, and both phrases encompass all of Scripture, not just the Ten Commandments (which we often think of when we hear “the Law”). And how can we ever draw near to God if we aren’t saturating ourselves (or “stewing”) in His Word?


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