This is a weird time of year. But anyone who’s met me can tell you I’m okay with weird.
During October in Georgia, you never know if you’ll be running the heater or the air conditioning; grocery stores have Halloween decorations displayed across the aisle from Christmas stockings. Even at my house, the seasons are jumbled. My husband and I are discussing plans for the dozen guests who will be here for Thanksgiving while my daughter is practicing Christmas carols on her recorder and I’m working on my son’s Halloween costume. (This consists of cutting holes in a sheet, by the way. I don’t sew. I once tried to hand-stitch a modesty ruffle to the bottom of a too-short Dorothy costume and accidentally threaded myself to the bedspread.)
Truthfully, I think this jumbled time of the year, with its overlap of candy corn and candy canes, is my favorite. Nothing’s over yet. I love having things to look forward to—from chaperoning trick-or-treaters with my best friends to holiday baking with my kids to silly Christmas parties complete with gag gifts. I enjoy the festive possibilities nearly as much as the events themselves.
The world of publishing is also full of possibilities right now. Authors can go the traditional route of selling to a big publisher or they can choose to self-publish their work. Some writers are even banding together to form their own publishing companies. People who know me can testify that I’m even worse with technology than I am with sewing. I can barely run spell-check without smoke coming out of the hard drive. (In theory, I understand the necessary steps to perform computer tasks, but things go awry with the execution. I believe my computer is evil and hates me. I call it HAL. At some point, it’s going to go all 2001: A Space Odyssey and attempt to kill me. But I digress.) Given my relationship with technology, I doubted I would ever self-publish. Imagine my giddy excitement when award-winning author and close friend Trish Milburn invited me to join her and the wonderful MJ Fredrick (both of whom are talented not just at writing but at uploading and converting files) in self-publishing a collection of romantic holiday novellas.
The three of us had so much fun brainstorming and playing with the possibilities! (The fact that we were brainstorming on a balcony overlooking the ocean probably didn’t hurt.) We decided to write three loosely-connected Christmas stories that take place amid sand and surf rather than a more traditional winter climate. Our collection is called Swept Away For Christmas and is available now in both e-book form and, through Amazon, as a print anthology.
I think I’m drawn to romance as a genre because of its inherent hopefulness. Don’t we all want to believe in the possibility of finding love, even when we aren’t looking for it? MJ wrote about a heroine who falls for her big brother’s business partner. Trish’s tale is a homecoming story, where a woman reunites with a classmate who’s changed quite a bit. My story is about two former lovers who find themselves in the awkward position of serving as maid of honor and best man at a wedding—and find that there are still sparks between them. I myself found love during this time of year. My husband and I began dating in October and on December 1 of the following year, he asked me to marry him—the ultimate invitation to explore new possibilities together. We’ve been married fifteen years and although our wedding anniversary is technically in August, I find myself reflecting on our relationship, and how lucky I am, during fall and winter. Granted, this can also be a very hectic time of year. In order to enjoy it fully, make time to relax—have coffee with an old friend, read a good book. (Unsubtle hint: novellas are fantastic for fitting into a busy schedule.) And above all, leave yourself open to possibility and opportunities for joy.
For your reading enjoyment…or for those of you already thinking ahead to Christmas gift buying…………..
Or at Barnes and Noble, also in print or e-book format.
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