‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays with Darcy Woods

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Darcy Woods

Young adult author Darcy Woods had three big loves in grade school: Reading, writing, and pizza day. Some things never change. She lives in Michigan with her madly supportive husband, two tuxedo cats (who overdress for everything) and a closet full of neatly organized shoes. Once upon a time, she served in a US Army aviation unit and threw live grenades. Now she throws words.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodreads

Christmas carols are a nonnegotiable in my family. It’s part of what strings us together, like twinkle lights on the proverbial tree — we shine brighter as a collective singing whole. And yet about 0.005% of us actually possess a hangnail of musical ability. So why do we have this tradition?

Well, first you need to understand…

My people are Quirky. It’s a very dominant gene that doesn’t believe in skipping generations. Which means my double helixes never stood a chance — a fact I went from ruing in my early years, to tackle hugging in my adulthood.

Consequently, my family has cultivated certain oddities traditions over the decades. No, I’m not talking about the year it was mandated that ONLY homemade gifts would be exchanged. Hey, man, it was the 70s and my uncle was into some “far out” ideas. But one can only summon so much enthusiasm for lopsided wooden blocks rendered useless for building. Come to think of it, this was also the Christmas my tiny mother got a lovingly hand-stitched nightgown. The size of Alaska. But I digress…

The singular tradition that’s withstood the test of time is, you guessed it, the Yencich Family Christmas Eve sing-along. I remember this ritual from as far back as my mind could hold memories. My aunts and uncles would herd all my cousins and me into my grandparent’s bedroom. Where we awaited Santa’s magnificent arrival — always heralded by my grandpa’s harmonica playing (he’s the one boasting the 0.005% musical talent).

I later learned this mass exodus was just an excuse to get us out of the living room so the remaining family could deliver Santa’s gifts under the tree. Which apparently made them quite thirsty. A thirst cured only by a 12 oz. cold and frosty. Because #Priorities.

Meanwhile, the rest of us waited, jacked up on sugar cookies and the promise of Christmas Yet To Come. So we passed the time by singing carols. You’re familiar with the Greek myth of the Sirens? Creatures whose voices were so achingly beautiful, entranced sailors would crash upon the rocky shore? Hi. We are the anti-Sirens. Sailors would voluntarily crash upon the rocky shore, just to make us stop.

No matter.

We sing anyway, year after year, sour note after sour note — Jingle Bells, Rudolf, Silent Night (a particularly cringe-worthy selection). My favorite is The Twelve Days of Christmas because no one can ever remember the order of the stuff. Six swans-a-swimming or seven geese-a-laying? *Shrugs* Basically the song gets rewritten every year depending on who sings with the most out-of-tune authority. But five golden rings? Ha! That one we’ve mastered with Pavarotti vibrato — sweeping arm movements and everything.

But somewhere amidst the cracking glass and floundering lyrics, a magical thing occurs. We are JOYOUSLY happy. We embrace the fact that we suck. Revel in it, actually. Because our voices overlap, not in glorious harmony, but in something far greater — the harmony of spirit. It’s the unity that comes when you do something with your whole heart. Does it always sound pretty? Um, no. But how often is what’s on the outside ever a true reflection of the beauty within?

Sometimes in life, we have to listen past the imperfect notes (or words or actions) to appreciate the transcendent melody that joins us all.

So what does the holiday season mean to me? Quite simply this:

Find the song in your heart…and sing it.

Title Summer Of Supernovas
Author Darcy Woods
Pages 352 Pages
Target Audience & Genre Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
To Be Published May 10th, 2016 by Crown BFYR
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChapters

As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that the truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a rare planetary alignment, she is forced to tackle her worst astrological fear – The Fifth House of Relationships and Love. But Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her mother’s legacy, when she falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the chart.

Debut author Darcy Woods explores love in all its complexities and how to best honor the loved ones who have passed before us, in a novel packed with both humor and heart.

20 responses to “‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays with Darcy Woods”

  1. Gail Hart says:

    Darcy – The Yencich sing-a-long sounds like great fun! Congrats to you on embracing and exploiting your quirkiness.

    Gail Hart recently posted…My Debut is Here!My Profile

  2. Jennifer says:

    Aw this was so delightful! I loved this line – “But how often is what’s on the outside ever a true reflection of the beauty within?”

  3. AE Jones says:

    Darcy –
    What a great tradition. This is so memorable to you since your family is singing from the heart, talent not required!
    And I think everyone needs to find the song of their heart to make the holidays and the rest of the year work for them. For writers sometimes the song is the stories we write. Thanks for brightening my Friday!

    • Darcy Woods says:

      Wonderfully said, AE! As writers our “songs” can definitely be in our stories. Aww, and I’m happy to hear this helped make your Friday a little shinier! 😉 Thank you for coming, my dearest! <3
      Darcy Woods recently posted…Save the Date!My Profile

  4. Darcy Woods says:

    Hah! Thanks, Gail. 🙂 You should have seen my husband’s first glimpse of this tradition. He was like, wow. You guys are REEEEALLY bad.

    Thanks for dropping by!
    Darcy Woods recently posted…Save the Date!My Profile

  5. Alexa S. says:

    This is a lovely post, Darcy! I love that singing Christmas carols is tradition for you. I think the fact that you gather all together and just celebrate by lifting your voices in song is quite wonderful, and it makes me want to start this tradition in my own clan too!
    Alexa S. recently posted…Not-So-Secret Santa Mini ChallengeMy Profile

  6. Bonnie Staring says:

    Oh, Darcy! As I read your post, the glass frames in my office started to crack and the kittens ran for cover! Thanks for sharing the ultimate joy of your Christmas celebration. One year, my cousins and I thought we’d make our own Christmas crackers, just to make sure we got good stuff. Unfortunately, we thought Pop Rocks would produce a big bang somehow, and ended up leaving brightly colored bits all over Aunt Susan’s beige carpet!

  7. Sandra Owens says:

    I can so easily see you singing with great gusto – although out of tune – carols with your family, Darcy.

    What a beautiful wish…find the song of your heart and sing it. I love that. Knowing you these past few years, I see that you have found your song, and that is a wonderful thing.

    • Darcy Woods says:

      Sandy, you are just the absolute SWEETEST to say such a thing! Have to say, I believe in my heart of hearts you’ve found your song, too. 🙂 And what a melody!!!!

      Thanks so much for that lovely, heartfelt comment! <3
      Darcy Woods recently posted…Save the Date!My Profile

  8. Amy DeLuca says:

    I think I recognize that little doll in the plaid jumper! What a fun tale of Christmas past. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Darcy Woods says:

    Haha! Yup, that’s me. In all my plaid jumper glory. 😉

    So appreciate you dropping by today and sharing your lovely, Amy!!! <3
    Darcy Woods recently posted…Save the Date!My Profile

  10. Love the tradition and the adorable pic! Happy holidays, Darcy!

  11. Love your harmony of spirit, Darcy! Wishing you and your family all the best during the holidays and the new year. Looking forward to hearing how your family celebrate the release of Summer of Supernovas!

    • Darcy Woods says:

      Aww, Jacqui, I’m wishing you and yours the greatest of tidings this season, too! Ha! I’ll keep you posted on the familial celebrations of SOS…I’d be okay if they skipped the singing & saved that for Christmas. 😉

      Thanks for coming! <3
      Darcy Woods recently posted…Save the Date!My Profile

  12. Nan Dixon says:

    Ahh Darcy,
    I can hear the joyous sounds winging through the air! I’m assuming this means you got your gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve?
    We did the singing on Christmas Eve and my dad played the harmonica and I played the piano and sang–even in harmony. Tear-worthy memories. (We apparently stole the musical talent.) And then once I married – my father-in-law would play the sax (he used to play band every weekend for years) while I played piano, sang and everyone supposed joined in.
    Music is so powerful – even more powerful when there is passion, and it sounds like your family had it! Have a fabulous Christmas holiday!

    • Darcy Woods says:

      Nan! Your family sounds like the Von Trapp’s to my kazoo-wielding weirdo relatives. 😉 But I totally agree, it’s the passion behind the melody (for good or ill) that gives it its power!

      Thank you so much for swinging by, and wishing you all the joyous notes the holiday has to offer!!! <3
      Darcy Woods recently posted…Save the Date!My Profile

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