Saturday, November 21, 2009

Eating My Words - Terri Brisbin

Ohmigosh! I’ve been proclaiming loud and long about the lamentable practice of celebrating Christmas long before even Thanksgiving Day. About how we skip from Labor Day to Christmas without a by-your-leave for the wonderful holiday when we take a moment to give thanks for all our blessings.

But. . . gulp. . . it turns out I am an offender! My turkey is not even thawed in the fridge and I’m observing one of my favorite Christmas season traditions today – TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA!!!

I discovered this group years ago and then began going to their concerts in December. After a couple of years, my youngest son decided to come with me and was shocked by how much he enjoyed the show. Now, four years later, he’s turning 18 and we’re spending the afternoon seeing TSO!

So, why TSO as the way to mark the Christmas season for me?

Well, first , it’s the story they tell. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that I am a sucker for a good story. I think all writers are or must be… It’s one of the reasons I am a Disney geek – Disney, in all its forms and variations, is ALL ABOUT THE STORY! (more on that in January!) So TSO tells a great story. The show opens with a narrator, singers, orchestra and musicians telling the story of an angel who comes to earth looking for a gift for his Lord.

It speaks of dreams and hopes, fear and isolation and finally of believing and redemption. All set to music that is stirring, joyful, solemn, playful and Christmas-y! They use a mix of classical music all the way to hard rock to tell their story and there’s something for everyone who listens.

Then, there’s the showmanship of the group….or groups. TSO is actually made up of a huge group of musicians, singers, composers and performers who travel all over the US each November and December, performing their show in two different teams – an east and a west show, so that no area is left without TSO.

Also, they use lasers, lights, flames and moving platforms to ramp up the excitement of the audience and the drama of the music. Once the Christmas story is finished, the group moves into its classical music transformed into rock music. It always surprises me that many people leave the concert after the Christmas story is finished and never get to enjoy this ‘other side’ of this talented group. Anything from Carmina Burana to Beethoven’s Fifth is fair game and fun.

And this is the part that I use to draw my son in! You probably know that it’s tougher and tougher to get your kids to continue to do things socially with you as they hit those terrible teenager years. This is one thing that my son loves to go to with me and now we bring along a friend of his and his parents, too!

But lest you think me the perfect example of a perfect mother, let me tell you my secret reason for liking the TSO show so much – it’s the men! LOL!

The men, both the singers and musicians, range from late 20’s to late 50’s and all are dressed in tuxes. Loose tuxes, buttoned-up tuxes, open collars and rolled up sleeve tuxes. There’s just something about a man in a tux!

And I confess, the first time I watched one of the bass players walk around on the stage, I understood with clarity what Regency authors meant when they wrote about Regency rogues who moved with the lethal grace of a predatory animal. Mmmmmmmmmmm… I would never say that I go back each year for more inspiration but maybe I do!?

So, today, I’ll be spending the afternoon with my newly-18-year-old, listening to Christmas music, getting into the holiday frame-of-mind and being shallow at the same time!

Tell me – how do you get into the Holiday frame-of-mind? Is it shopping? Writing out Christmas cards? Getting past Thanksgiving? Post a comment and I’ll pick two people to receive a copy of my award-winning Christmas novella in ONE CANDLELIT CHRISTMAS and a copy of my upcoming December releases, A STORM OF PASSION, which hits the shelves this week!

Terri is celebrating her newest release with a website contest. A STORM OF PASSION, from Kensington Brava, hits stores and online booksellers on Tuesday. Stop by and enter to win some Viking goodies….and have a Happy Thanksgiving, too!


Mary said...

I love the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I didn't even know who they were until a couple of years ago when I heard a christmas song they did and it was awesome! And this coming from someone who would rather eat dirt than listen to christmas music. lol

I think after thanksgiving and am preparing to get out all the boxes of christmas decorations it starts feeling like christmas to me.

Linda Henderson said...

I have already picked up a few things for Christmas. I am on a fixed income so I have to plan carefully to buy presents for my grandkids. I won't get my tree out for a couple of more weeks. I have started to get a few other things out of storage and ready to put up. I don't decorate as much as I used to, it's hard for me to do a lot and since I have grandkids I gave a lot of my decorations to my daughters for the kids to enjoy. I do enjoy listening to Christmas music but haven't got mine out yet. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving because we have a lot to be thankful for this year. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Emmanuelle said...

Congratulations on your new release !! I've seen some of your pictures those previous month over TSOTJQ blog and it really looks like we're in for a treat with this one.
On the holiday front, well no thanksgiving here in France. Which really is a shame... I've been reading tons of TG recipes these days and I'm really in the mood for it ;-)

Laney4 said...

Happy Thanksgiving weekend and an early Merry Christmas to you!

I'm working on my Christmas card (newsletter) poem today, as we have our family get-together tomorrow (and everyone saves postage by distributing their cards then). By having the party in mid November every year, we are guaranteed a lot more people who can attend.

I'll probably haul out the Christmas CDs and even LPs after December 1. We usually play the Christmas music while decorating the house (as well as other times).

Shopping was begun over a year ago, as I stock up when I see something on sale or something that's "just right". I don't have much left to do, but I'm sure there will be something in the flyers that will "jump out at me" that I can pick up too.

Once all the presents are bought for our immediate family, then my husband and I wrap them all up, ensuring that each child gets the exact same number of gifts as the other (even though there could be several gifts in one box). Sometimes this doesn't happen until Christmas Eve.

Good luck with all your festivities!

Pat Cochran said...

I start early by requesting "wish
lists" from all the family. That is
my main project: getting the lists.
Then I can start the shopping!

Pat Cochran

Jane said...

Congrats on the upcoming release. Some radio stations start playing only Christmas music after Thanksgiving and I always have those stations on. Listening to Nat King Cole definitely gets me in the Christmas spirit. We don't write many Christmas cards anymore, but it would be nice to start again.

Virginia said...

I start reading holiday books! Most of the time I wait until after Thanksgiving! I listen to Christmas music and doing my Christmas cards help too! I usually do them after Thanksgiving! I think we should spend Thanksgiving giving our thinks and then worry about Christmas later! So therefore I am still doing last minute things right before Christmas!

Armenia said...

Certainly watching the Trans Siberian Orchestra is a wonderful way to start a Holiday tradion. I love attending attending holiday performances during this time. I take my daughter to see the Nutcracker and most of the school plays.
Also, we pick a day to decorate the house and tree with christmas music in the background to get us the mood. But honestly, starting the Thanksgiving turkey seems to signal the start of the holidays for me.

Patti said...

I love the TSO! We went last year and they were awesome - my favorite is the female violin player,she was fun. Their show is non-stop action - I didn't want to take a bathroom break and miss anything :)

For me, it doesn't feel like Christmas until I hit the Holiday craft fair they hold here every year one week after Thanksgiving. Then I come home with my goodies (incl. fudge and kettle corn) and am ready to face the holiday season!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Terri! That sounds completely fun--we haven't heard much of TSO's music, but such a concert sounds incredible!

As for how we get into a holiday frame of mind? I think mainly by focusing on the family part of it, and trying to keep it fun! It's easy to get caught up in feeling external pressure (presents! cards! decorations!) but the holidays have such a different origin and remembering why we celebrate helps us to be excited about why we're joyful at Christmas! Congrats on A Storm of Passion, btw!!

Alison said...

love making and writing Christmas cards - always gets me in a holiday frame of mind even though I'm looking at 350 this year!

Maureen said...

Once I start shopping and baking it begins to feel like Christmas to me and, of course dragging all the decorations out of the basement does it too.

Terri Brisbin said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope your day is going well? Our dinner was lovely and we are all fighting the urge to nap now! LOL!

The winners of my drawing are:



Would you please both email me at with your mailing/shipping info? Please include your real name, addresses and an email addy, too.

And now, let the Christmas Season begin for real!

Terri B

Jane said...

Thank you, Terri.