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POINT OF VIEW: Hope and the Holidays

Grandma Hazel - 1937

Hey all,

I am not going to say much about the events of last week for the moment. I am still too angry. But I will say this. Vote. Get everyone you know to vote. Phone bank and text and email. Because women matter in this country. And a price has to be paid for what happened this week.

*deep breath*

This is still a writing blog, though. I remind myself of that, just like I remind myself that I have to take care of myself and my husband Mark. That we have to sometimes shut off the TV. Take a walk. Enjoy a good meal. Recharge.

And so… I will try to pivot away from what’s going on in the world for a bit, and instead share some things of beauty with you.

*another deep breath*

Last week, I had my first bookstore reading and signing. It went well. Really well. More than forty people came, and they were engaged and asked questions, and I didn’t freak out or give into my nerves or go off on (too many) tangents without a purpose. And I sold 17 books!

It made me feel hopeful for “The River City Chronicles,” and hopeful for my career as a writer. Hope is in short supply these days, so I have learned to save it and sip on it like a canteen water in the Sahara Desert.

Looking ahead, I have not one but three holiday stories coming out.

“Gargoyle,” an extended version of a story that appeared first in the WROTE halloween podcast a few years ago, releases Tuesday, October 16th. It’s my one and only paranormal/horrorish story. But it does have a happy ending.

Next up is “Ten,” also written for a WROTE podcast, a sweet contemporary Christmas tale set here in Sacramento. It was part of the Twelve Days of Christmas podcast – when you read it, you will understand why. It releases November 28th.

Finally, “Slow Thaw” is a brand new, novella-length tale coming out in December (no exact date yet) as part of the Mischief Corner Books’ Escape From the Holidays. It’s my nod to climate change – set in Antarctica, it tells the tale of a couple scientists stuck on the ice together. It was a lot of fun to research – hope you enjoy it too.

The holidays are a time for hope, for love, and for renewal – things we have great need of at the moment.

For me, they also bring back memories of Christmases spend at Grandma Hazel’s house (pictured above – 1937), when she would cook up a storm, and the tens of Tupperware bins filled with all kinds of baked goodies. Life seemed a lot simpler then. A lot easier.

I close my eyes, and I can still see her little gray brick house, her lovely garden, and her little sewing closet where her extra fridge was jam packed with homemade jam.

Writing about the holidays brings a little of that magic back.

So… which holiday do you celebrate in December, if any, and what does it mean to you? And writers, are you releasing any new holiday tales this year?

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