Christmas Greetings from my house to yours!
If you’d like a bit of a different seasonal read, give Cat and Mouse a try. A fair chunk of it takes place in winter – there`s lots of snow to be had, and even [teeny tiny spoiler] a Winter Solstice Feast!
Here`s an excerpt from the scene when it first starts snowing:
By the time they were finished supper, the snow was already three inches deep, and the wind was picking up. Cat could hear the snowflakes hissing as they hit the inside of the chimney pipe.
“Ooh, cosy,” she said with a comfortable little shiver. “Nothing like a good warm fire on a cold evening! Is there going to be lots of snow, do you think?”
“Probably,” Guy said, “it’s usual this time of year. Only four more weeks to Solstice. There’s been years where I barely made it through the snow to get to the Solstice Feast.”
“Oh, yeah, the Feast! Is that like the Equinox Feast that we had in town in September?”
Guy laughed. “No, not quite–it’s about ten times as big. The hall is usually filled to overflowing. The Solstice Feasts are the biggest ones of the year; all of Ruph and the surrounding areas comes decked out in finery. Which reminds me, I need to look out my feast clothing; the mice had better not have got into it.”
“Feast clothing? You mean everyone dresses up? But,” Cat’s eyes were wide, “I don’t have anything to wear!” Then she laughed. “Listen to me! I don’t have anything to wear,” she repeated in a high-pitched, affected voice, wringing her hands theatrically and fluttering her eyelashes. “Oh deary me, whatever shall I do?”
Guy grinned. “I’m sure we can find something,” he said.
A sudden wind blast rattled the outside of the cottage, and howled around the corners.
“Whoa!” said Cat, “that was a big one! I’ve never actually heard wind whistling around a house before, I only read about it, but this one sure does whistle. What’s it looking like out there?” She went to peer out through the window. “I can’t even see anything out there, it’s blowing so much!” She stepped over to the cottage door, unlatched the hook, and pulled open the door a few inches. “Oy!” she called out, having to suddenly lean hard against the door as snow blew in through the crack. “That’s a humdinger of a storm, and it wants to come in!” The snow was whirling hard past the door, Cat could barely make out the trees on the other side of the clearing. Then Guy was behind her, helping her push the door shut, and latched it again. Cat brushed at the snow on the floor with her foot. “Is that an extra-bad storm, or is this normal?”
Not to give anything away, but aside from getting their fair share of snow, they sure know how to party in Ruph. Next to having a celebration myself, I love nothing so much as writing one for my characters. So if you haven’t read Cat and Mouse yet, go check it out!
And now I’m going back to munching goodies and drinking Glühwein (mulled wine), and I might just watch one of the movies I got for presents (Cinderella and Inside Out. Yup, kids’ movies. Your point is … ?).
Hope you have or had a lovely holiday season yourself, whatever festivity you celebrate! And if you don’t celebrate, poor you – I mean, umm, hope you had a great Bah Humbug Day, just the way you like it.
Life, the Universe, Christmas and Cat and Mouse. See you in the New Year!
So I didn’t get CHECKMATE published before Christmas – but here’s the next best thing: My good friend E. L. Bates is putting out her SciFi novel FROM THE SHADOWS today! I love that book in so many ways – and I don’t just say that because Louise is my friend. This story made me laugh, cry, cheer, fall in love with the characters… It’s so very worth reading. Get yourself a copy!
Whisked from her troubled, solitary life to a spaceship centuries in the future, widowed folk musician Riss Waldon must first figure out how she got there, and then if it’s possible to get home. Before long, she is visiting strange and deadly planets and meeting new alien races, and forming friendships with the crew. Even as they strive to discover a way for her to return, she wonders if it possible to step out of the shadows of her past life and stay here. But when the well-being of the entire crew rests on her shoulders, she isn’t sure she’s up to the task. What if she fails them? All she can do is try …
It is book release day! My second novel, and in some ways this is even more exciting than the first one. Certainly less nerve-wracking.
From the Shadows started as a fun “what-if” … what…
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So, you know how back in September, I said that I was hoping to get Checkmate published by at least Christmas? Uh, yeah. Not gonna happen. I’m sorry…
I don’t actually know what happened there. Where did October go? I mean, I must have done something during that month – other than cook Thanksgiving turkey, and wrap up the last bit of garden, and throw a book birthday party for Seventh Son, and stuff like that. It feels like I’ve been busy non-stop…
And then, of course, after that, NaNoWriMo hit with a vengeance, and I got off on a completely different track. Instead of hanging out with Cat and Guy and Bibby in Ruph, I was off in an as-of-yet-unnamed world, spending time with Lyulf and Kalyana (at least that’s what she’s called right now – that might change, still) and Little Nameless (he won’t talk, so they can’t find out his name) and Old Nameless (who also refuses to give his name), all in pursuit of the mysterious silver bracelet that glows, sometimes. Which was all great fun, but didn’t really help Checkmate along any.
So, I think I’m now at the point where I can slowly start breathing again, which does bode well for the progress of Checkmate and other writing projects. However, first I have to excavate my household from its NaNo-induced state of dire neglect, and play catch-up on the Christmas-preparations front. Not one cookie has been baked yet this season, barely any presents purchased (never mind hand-made), and as for Christmas cards – what Christmas cards? Ah well, I have two more weeks to do all that. TWO MORE WEEKS? Yikes, that’s not much time at all!
So you’ll excuse me if I sign off now.
Life, the Universe, and, umm, I dunno – where’s my to-do list? [rushes off frantically to check the state of the baking supplies in the cupboard…]
Johnny melted on the old couch in front of the fire, and pulled himself out into a long string of kittycat taffy (honestly, he’s not dead, just stretched out on his back). What is it with cats and heat? Both of ours will curl up in the warmest spot they can find (or stretch out in it, as it were), and as they don’t really like each other very much, there’s frequently a bit of “Nya nya, I got the spot by the fire first!” going on. I tell them to cut out the bickering, but they don’t listen to me.
Steve has been feeling a bit neglected lately, what with me having my head in NaNoWriMo and all. And, oh, yeah, I won! Meaning I got my 50,000 words written. The story isn’t quite finished yet, but it won’t take a whole lot more. Anyway, so here’s Steve guarding my new dictionaries. The Canadian Oxford one is a humdinger of a tome – the nitpicker’s self-defense weapon: “You want to disagree with me about the spelling of ‘colour’? Well, take that, you ignorant!” [Whap, bang…]
And to wrap up today’s round-up of randomness, here’s the lovely NaNoWriMo poster I won at the kick-off meeting we had back at the end of October. Do you know that it’s really hard to write “wrap-up randomness” without either dropping the w from “wrap” or adding a spare one on “random”? I had that problem a lot with my NaNo novel. The phrase “the arm ring on his wrist” occurs in it a lot (far too often, in fact – I’ll have to take the machete to it when it comes to editing), and almost every time, I ended up typing “the arm wring”.
Enough drivelling for today (and that’s “drivelling” with two l’s, not one, thank you very much. I’ve got ten pounds worth of dictionaries to back up that point).
Life, the Universe, Cat Taffy and Other Randomness. Tell Steve to stop glaring at me.