"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Is anyone else trying to figure out how it's possible that we're coming to the end of December? Depending on what holiday you celebrate you may have your holiday behind you or it may still be bearing down on you in the next week. We want to wish you and yours the very best of holiday seasons. We appreciate having you as a part of our community.

With all these good feelings out in the air we've been thinking about happy endings. We've collected some resources for you in case you're wanting to write one!

Let's kick off with Sean Platt of Sterling and Stone and his take on whether stories need to have happy endings or not. In this short post he makes some great points about how to leave reader's happy at the end of your story, regardless of how you've left your (perhaps, poor) characters!

If you love check lists (at this time of year it's hard to know if they're a good or a stressful thing!), you'll be happy with this post from Writer's Relief. It's a list of six things to consider when want to write a happy ending that doesn't fall flat... since list-lover or not, nobody likes a flat end.

If you're a short story writer, this post from Cat and Mouse Press has some great tips for wrapping up your short. In this case, the ending doesn't necessarily need to be a happily ever after, but it does have to leave the reader feeling happy about the story. Have a read of Happy Endings.

And this last one... well, it could help you write a happy ending to... a nice dinner party, either for yourself or your characters! Count on our Happy Hour Host, Eileen to think of this kind of resource to help with happy endings! No matter how delicious these recipes look, don't forget that hang-overs are never a happy ending! Check out 40 Christmas Cocktails to Toast the Holidays.

~ New this week ~

New on our YouTube channel

A fun conversation with author Jo-Ann Carson, the host of the podcast for writers called Blood, Sweat and Words. She and Crystal chat about the value of launching a podcast and share some tips on how to get started. Have a listen on the Creative Academy YouTube channel.

Check out in our free Resource Room

On the theme of being happy and happily ever afters, if you've not had a look at our infographic on ways to celebrate your writing successes, have a look. Set yourself an achievable writing goals for the silly season and then make sure you do something to mark your success!

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

This past week our Happy, Crafty Eileen held two office hours during which she and members discussed how to keep going and when to move on (with your story... not your exercise habit!), questions to ask an agent and ways to perfect your workspace (because using that excuse for not writing your words is getting stale!). Find Eileen's Happy Hour sessions here!

In Crystal's Strategic Author office hours she shared how she got here (nope, not by bus or car!), how to manage information when you're overloaded, she spent time discussing Divi and Wordpress 5.0, and completed the Manly Makeover series. As usual, Crystal packed a novel's worth of into into a novella amount of time! Get your Strategic Author fuel here!

And Donna hosted our Creative Academy book club. Nine author-readers shared what they thought of and learned from Spinning Silver, the fantasy Young Adult book by Naomi Novik. Pop in with a cuppa your favourite book club bevvie and see what the consensus on this best-selling title is. If you're a member and interested in our January meeting, we'll be reading something from the Speculative Fiction genre. You can vote for your preferred title until Sunday.

Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings

✏️ Special Event: Virtual Planning Retreat ✏️

Have you signed up for The Creative Academy retreat on December 29th from 10am to 3pm (Pacific)? We've got a lot of exciting things planned for you and it's going to be your chance to get everything together to make sure your 2019 is amazing. Reserve your spot by emailing Donna. And, if you have a writing friend who you think would benefit from some book planning kickassery, let us know their name and email when you RSVP, so we can add them to our reminder email.

🎅 Holiday Hours 🤶

We've got a few changes to office hours and events coming up. Office hours and sprints are cancelled on Christmas Day and New Years Day. However, the writing room is open so if you want to get up New Years Day and get that sprint on, we suspect you won't be the only one in there!

Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.

~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

What is your character's idea of a happily ever after? If they could write their own happy ending, what would it be?

Eileen, Crystal and Donna