…and to All a Good Night.

I hope you give all the gifts you wanted to and receive all the gifts you deserve.

I hope you are warm, and well, and loved.

I hope you keep goodwill in your mind, and brotherly love in your heart.

And most of all, I hope you spend Christmas (or your chosen holiday) with those who make you happy and make you feel loved.

Christmas is a special time of year for me. It’s when I feel the gravity of the end of the year. It’s when the people seem to stress more and to care less, so I try to care more and stress less – and share that sentiment onward.

I thrive in the winter. I enjoy the cold, the dark, and especially the snow. It’s particularly easy for me to be cheery around Christmas, even easier when you throw all the holiday magic on top of my already delightful temperament.

But I know it’s not easy for everyone. And I know it can be a bear this time of year.

Not everyone has a family that makes them feel welcome and loved. Not everyone can handle the long, cold dark of winter. Not all appreciate the bustle of the holiday season.

To you most of all, I send my hope that you might end the year on a better note.

It’s not much, but I have a present for you. Plural, actually.

The first is a sentiment. Admittedly, it’s late in the season for it, but, as Bill Murray says, “It’s not too late.” Enjoy:

The second is amusement and cheer. A few friends and I exchange CD compilations periodically through the year. This time around, a Christmas compilation was in order. I have been enjoying it so much, that it didn’t feel right to limit the playlist to just the group. Without further ado:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1272665463/playlist/6TTcwQWEUfjsVHzAKmUrvt

Lastly, I share with you the secret of Christmas cheer:

If you still can’t find your Christmas spirit, hang in there. The new year is coming. In the meantime, please reach out for help. The holidays are not a time to be alone, especially if you are suffering or depressed.

Merry Christmas, from me to you.

Christmas Wishes and Humble Thanks

When it comes right down to it, I don’t write because I want to be famous. I don’t even write because I’m good at it – that’s completely subjective, anyway. People tell me I am a good writer, I have no reason not to believe them. I’m a writer because I have stories to tell. Stories that want to be told, and they have no one else but me to tell them… those poor, unfortunate souls.

I love to write, but I wouldn’t say I’m very good at the process. I get bogged down by the difficulties inherent in world building, by characters that don’t want to adhere to their own motivations, by all of the steps required to go from that spark in my brain to a finished novel. It’s exhausting, and sometimes I think that I can’t possibly keep going.

But I keep going. And here’s the rub: I write for me, first and foremost. If I didn’t enjoy doing it, I probably wouldn’t bother. But I also keep going because of everyone else who won’t let me fail.

Obviously, there are the people who buy my books and who leave me wonderful reviews that help rejuvenate me, but it goes far beyond that. I am surrounded by talented people who are willing to invest their time and skills to help me improve mine. Wonderful friends full of heart who continue to push me forward when I don’t think I have it in me anymore. People whose lives have sometimes only briefly touched mine, but have left me so much better for having that moment between us.

I am blessed to know so many amazing people who I will never be able to thank enough. If there were time to write enough books to dedicate one to each of the people in my life, I could fill a library with my thanks. That will probably not be the case – though not for lack of trying.

I can only say thank you.

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
Thank you for all of the support and encouragement from my first release up to now.
Thank you for all the future support I will receive.
Thank you for being my stepping stones to whatever comes next.
Thank you for everything.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a Happy New Year to us all. One full of promise and potential and the best of surprises.