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Best Laid Plans

Today is a bit of a mixed bag – I got myself a compliment on my not quite day job, I made my very first Etsy sale (whoo-hoo!), and the upcoming lady’s night event got itself canceled. Which is fine, I’ll just put the stuff I was working on towards the Peach Festival in August and up on my Etsy. I have two new brick books (A Child’s Garden of Verses and The Secret Garden), a bunch of dragons egg pendants, and some vases. I also got a not quite rejection as the whole market sort of folded before it could get off the ground which is a shame because it looked interesting. Like I said, a mixed bag but one that’s definitely leaning toward the positive.

The day’s not over just yet but most of my evening has been earmarked for writing and spending time with my family. I’ve got a bit of an earworm story wise that I need to sort of see the shape of.

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Time to Have The Talk

Probably not the one you think. I would just like to urge everyone to talk to their at risk loved ones about the scammers that call and try to tell you that their computer has a terrible virus and they need to pay them right now to fix it. If I hadn’t called at exactly the right moment, my stepmom might have bought it. They can be very convincing. Not only is that not how it works but, if she did have a virus or malware, we’d have that taken care of locally by people we know and trust. So, consider this a PSA, please talk to your at risk loved ones – anyone who might fall for a telephone based scammy scammer or a popup scammy scammer and put a plan in place so that they know what steps to take in the event of a virus. Even if they forget about the scams, they aren’t going to pay someone over the phone if they know to call your local fixitallperson first.

Seriously, why do people have to be awful to each other? It’s not like my poor stepmom hasn’t had enough to deal with this year.bah. I do hope karma has something to say to them eventually.

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Merry Christmas!

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday surrounded by love, family, and friendship. I love Christmas. I love everything about it. I enjoy making things for the people I love. There is nothing better in the world than watching a kid’s face light up like the sun finding something they never knew they wanted.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, happy Kwanza, Happy Yule, and blessings to you for the upcoming year.

 

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Traditions

My family has a lot of Christmas traditions, mostly passed down from my mom. I’ve talked before about making presents, a thing I’m doing my best to pass along to my kids. I’ve talked about the movies and the music, if not here than on the old LiveJournal. Someday I’ll talk about the candy making and the books. Tonight, I want to talk about the oranges.

When I was very little, I was given a book. It was a book about a baby bear discovering all the best smells of Christmas and the very best smell wasn’t the pine of the tree or the sweet of the cookie or the bright mint of the candy cane. The very best smell was the orange in the stocking. I always agreed with Tiny Tim from my favorite Christmas movie ever (Scrooge), I would always rather have the oranges. I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t an orange in my stocking when I was very small.

During some of those years, we lived in Washington. I was about 7 when I first discovered the tiny, super sweet, peel in one orange ribbon Japanese oranges (sort of like what they call Cuties now but smaller). I could eat an entire crate of them all by myself. It remains to this day the only food outside of coffee that I ever asked for for Christmas. There was at least one year where I got my box of oranges (and I didn’t even have to share them!).

As I got older, the oranges turned chocolate. Neither of my kids took to oranges early so their oranges started out chocolate but they are there, without fail on Christmas morning.

I still have my copy of the Sweet Smell of Christmas though the scratch and sniffs have long since faded. My kids have a copy too, though I doubt they’ve read it in a few years, I bet at least the youngest could still recite it.

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Day Five

Yesterday I fell behind and discovered that I’m not exactly digging the start point for Crow Queen. I’m not fixing it right now but I do figure I’ll probably cut out a lot of the first few days work. That’s really pretty normal for me though. I did manage more than the minimum for today but I’m still technically behind. I’m hoping to catch up tomorrow. But I need to do a good bit of thinking on the next step for my characters. Fortunately for me, that’s what I use sleep for! I’m at 8170 but my goal is to pass up 11k tomorrow if I can. Hopefully everyone will cooperate.

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Afoot afoot afoot

sort of like amuck amuck amuck only different. There are some interesting things in the pipeline coming up soon. I have a very long list of things I need to do in preparation but very soon things will start happening. There’s a new release, a new monthly, a revamping of a website, and maybe something visual too. That last one will entirely depend on how it turns out – if it comes even half-way to what I have in my head, it’ll be very interesting.

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Secrets in the Peat

I am a curious sort. History, science, anthropology, archeology, philosophy – part of writing is researching and maybe one of the reasons I love what I get to do so very much is that my love of all the archaic things can be justified with the word – research. Even if sometimes I think my search terms probably get my name put on some watchlist somewhere in the depths of big brother’s brain. Today, I want to talk Bog Bodies!

I am greatly interested by how different cultures perceive death and go about mourning and caring for the dead. I understand it is a bit morbid maybe but it’s always been a part of my life. My grandfather was a mortician and these things always intruiged me. I understand mummies. I understand burials. I understand mourning. There is something about the bodies found so well preserved in peat bogs that just speaks to my imagination.

If you look up these bodies, you can see them so clearly down to the wrinkles on their faces. The most interesting thing to me (of course) is how violent the deaths seem to be – like sacrifices or warriors left on the fields. It is possible that the bogs were used a bit like a potter’s field, a place to lay to rest the unwanted, outcasts, and criminals. One bog body in particular has a rope around his neck.

There are books, movies, and documentaries about the bog bodies. I’ve got a story I’ll write someday about them myself (it’s not ready to put to paper yet). In the very late 90’s there was a movie called The Eternal or Trance which was really quite fun (from what I remember – I need to watch it again). Not only is there a bog body who happens to be a druid, there’s Christopher Walken too! Phil Rickman has a book about bog bodies that I haven’t gotten to read yet but it’s on my list. There have been some excellent documentaries – at least one of which has aired a couple of times on PBS.

I think what intrigues me the most about the bog bodies is just how well preserved they are without any real preparation. In some instances, even the stomach contents are preserved which means that the peat must have stunted the decaying process entirely. That, to me, is incredible. Morbid maybe but so interesting. It’s easy to see how bog bodies make excellent stories.

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First Day of the Year

And I’ve gotten nothing done at all. Outside of cooking breakfast anyway. My youngest son was really missing our usual special breakfasts while we had no oven. Now that I have a working oven and stove, the very first thing he wanted was Bacon Day – bacon, eggs, and round tater tots. That was pretty much all I accomplished. That and a lazy dinner. I did work on something that’s coming up Monday, and for many Monday’s after that one but that’s mostly just rambling about something that interests me.

In a way I was hoping I’d have some sort of urge to be productive but I was just too tired. I just can’t do both – stay up and be up with dogs and youngest child who is apparently physically unable to sleep in on days that aren’t Christmas. I did get a nice nap in and make myself a Wonder Woman ornament. OK, so I’ve not gotten nothing done – I’ve actually managed a few things but it doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything because I haven’t opened up any story files. I need to do that. I guess the day isn’t done yet and I do still have time between now and Sherlock.

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Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas. It is my favorite day of the year. I’ve seen most of the Christmas movies (that aren’t Lifetime or Hallmark Movies as they make too many to keep up with). I know most of the Christmas carols. I love decorating – my village is fabulous and my house generally looks like christmas vomited all over it.

This year, I’ve really struggled to get into the spirit of things and it hasn’t helped that I can’t bake the cookies I like to bake or cook all of the things I like to cook. I couldn’t work with polymer clay for my Sarah or Mama-made presents. It has become abundantly clear how much I use my range and oven.  I did make some really neat stuff though that I’m really proud of. I should have taken a few pictures of them but I did not. I’ll show off what I made the oldest boy but the youngest boy’s present is more functional than fanciful.

Christmas and Halloween are the times of the year that I feel both closest to and furthest from my mother. I think she would have thoroughly enjoyed my children. I get sad that she isn’t around but I’m happy to remember her by doing the things we did or continuing the tradition of making stuff to give people. I think she would enjoy that I do that because I like to, not out of some sense of duty. It is really hard to find things to make for certain people (my husband and brother for instance), but sometimes I manage. Not this year but other years.

I’m struggling to sleep this evening because I want tomorrow to get here so I can see my kids go bananas over little things they didn’t know they wanted desperately. Then, on Saturday, we’ll get comfy and watch movies and play with all the toys. I’m so tired but I have too much to do tonight to go to bed just yet.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas surrounded by people you love. I hope you make someone ridiculously happy and that someone does the same for you. If I could bake you all cookies I would. Instead, all I have to offer is my very sincere wish that your day is full of love, laughter, and hope (and Doctor Who). Merry Christmas.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I have a great deal to be thankful for. Personally: My father is on the mend, my kids are happy and healthy, my husband has my back, and I absolutely won the in-law lottery. Professionally: I have books out in the world, available for any reader, I have a book under contract, and I have three more ready or almost ready to be submitted to places. I hope all of you have as much to be thankful for!

We don’t have a lot of traditions beyond eating too much and watching the parade but I think you have to have at least one holiday that’s easy. Cooking is fun so it doesn’t really stress me out too much. It keeps me busy but why do anything you don’t enjoy on a day meant for happy things.

For those of you going to visit family or counting down the minutes until you no longer have to listen to everyone’s political, religious, and fashion preferences, stay strong, it’s just one day and, if all else fails, playing Adele is apparently a strong strategy!

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