Light One Candle.

“We light candles in testament that faith makes miracles possible.”
~Nachum Braverman


For as long as I can remember, Hanukkah has been one of my absolute favorite holidays. It’s not just the message behind it. It’s not just the spirit of light and warmth it infuses. It’s not just the time spent with family and friends. It’s all of those combined. It’s the idea that miracles can happen, that hard work counts. It’s the candles shining brightly, their flickering flames dancing like glowing fireflies. It’s the inspiration you get from looking at those flames and finding a spark within yourself.

The story of Hanukkah – that oil that burned for eight days, lighting the eternal flame against all odds – reminds us that miracles can happen. Hope, faith, and promise do play a role. Yes, of course the practicalities do, too. There will always be things that are beyond our control. There will always be that figurative darkness lingering somewhere. But there will also always be light. There will be the power to dream, the power to dedicate yourself to something like the courageous Macabees did to the preservation of their synagogue, the power to realize that sometimes miracles can happen if you only believe in them enough. I just came across this quote, and I think it speaks volumes:

A candle is a small thing.
But one candle can light another.
And see how its own light increases,
as a candle gives its flame to the other.
You are such a light.
~Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner

Tonight marks the third night of Hanukkah, and I’m looking forward to continuing to celebrate this special holiday. Get-togethers with family and friends, watching the candles burn in the menorah, playing dreidel – I love it all. And the message behind it? I love that most of all. No matter what holiday you celebrate, take some time to remember the true meaning of this season. Faith, hope, the light we can all share with one another … isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Happy Holidays, everyone!! What miracles and dreams are you hoping for this season?


4 thoughts on “Light One Candle.

  1. We always put a paper plate under ours too!! It has been a quiet Hanukkah for me this year – just me and my fiance each night. But I enjoy it! It is our first holiday as an engaged couple (and first with two pets) and I love celebrating with my new little family.

    • It’s helpful, isn’t it?! It sounds like you’ve been having a wonderful holiday so far. Sometimes the quiet ones turn out to be the most special – especially when it’s your first with your new family. I bet it’s a Hanukkah you’ll always remember :-)

  2. Hi Shari,
    Do you have advice how an amateur can approach writing? I need a little bit more direction. Do you follow a specific outlining method? Do you think it is important to read and study grammar and structure first? Do you write out goals in a notebook? Do you do all your writing on one computer only? And how long did it take you to know your true voice and niche/genre?

    P.S. Have you ever read the blog “Between Fact and Fiction” by Natalie Whipple? It is terrific.

    • Hi!

      Yes, I’ve read Natalie’s blog a few times! I first saw it linked on another blog and really enjoyed going through some of her entries. I need to become a more frequent visitor there!

      Hmm … I wouldn’t say that I follow a specific outlining method, no. With my new novel, the premise honestly just popped into my head randomly, but I knew it was something that needed to be at least somewhat fleshed out before I began. I did research, plotting, and brainstorming for a couple weeks before I began writing and ended up with a loose outline that was kind of a road map for the story but also left a lot of room for letting the characters lead. There are definitely major plot points that weren’t planned ahead of time. I didn’t write out goals,but I did jot down ideas of where I wanted the story to go along the way – even some sentences/paragraphs that came to mind (some of which I ended up using as I wrote). Yes to doing all my writing on one computer. It might sound a bit goofy, but I honestly think it would throw me to write on something other than my laptop.

      As for studying grammar/structure … well, I guess that’s probably different for everyone. I took quite a few English courses in high school/college (journalism major, plus I’ve always loved that sort of thing), so it was kind of ingrained in me already. It’s definitely easy to get caught up worrying about that type of thing – and obviously it’s important – but sometimes if you just sit down and let the writing flow, everything else falls into place. Grammar and structure are really important, but so is everything else involved (at least, in my opinion). Hmm … my voice. Well, I knew what genre I wanted to write from the beginning because it’s what I’ve always been drawn to as a reader. I think my voice has evolved over time. It’s definitely there in everything I’ve written, but it wasn’t until these past two novels that I was really able to understand it .

      Okay – how was that for a long-winded answer? ;-)

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