Well, the Big Day is over, presents that didn't fit have been exchanged, and now it's time to put the whole shootin' match back in the attic. Yep, I want it all gone -the red candles, the crystal snowflakes dangling from the chandelier, the tree(s). First, though, I'm heading out to RIR to pick up my season tickets for the May race. (NASCAR, of course!) There's hope in this sad little heart of mine that just holding the tickets will sustain me until Daytona and Race Week festivities in February. Daytona, here I come!

I've been thinking a lot about the creative process this week. My dear husband gifted me with MOCKINGBIRD, a biography of Harper Lee, for Christmas. Friends of Miss Lee gave her a year's worth of financial support so she could write her book. I keep thinking, what if these 'angels' hadn't taken the author under their wings and provided her with the means to produce what is a classic novel about the South and racism? Would TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ever have been written? Every artist needs the support of someone who believes in him/her. Van Gogh had Theo. DaVinci had the wealthy Medicis. Michelangelo had patrons all over the place. But they're visual artists. Who supports the writers of this world? Grants, yes, there're some of those out there. Film institutes give film makers some moolah. But most of the writers I know either teach (sucking creativity out of you by the ton) or labor at boring jobs they hate, praying to get home to their true work, albeit exhausted at the end of a long day. A few of us have the unwavering support of families who believe in us, and for this, I'm truly grateful. What a wonderful gift, that of emotional and financial support for something that seems so esoteric to those who don't write. It's rare, believe me.