Sunday, December 14, 2014

Life update: where I've been. Stories sold. Christmas already?!

I disappeared into a medical writing assignment for a few weeks, then crawled out to find the house in chaos and the hurly-burly of the Christmas season well underway. All the neighbors strung lights in their yards when I wasn't looking; Christmas jingles play in the stores, lights and wreaths and Christmas trees are everywhere. Each year this season sneaks up upon me; this year it seemed to wait till the last minute before jumping out, waving its arms, crying Ha! Gotcha! Did you forget about me?

My mind filled with the technical details of a dozen scientific journal articles. . . I nearly did forget.

But the Christmas tree is up, the stockings are hung, and tonight was my daughters’ annual Christmas music recital. Both acquitted themselves well, if I do say so myself. My eldest finished a scarf she’d been weaving for me on her little loom kit, and I proudly wore it to the concert and all evening.  Dinner out (barbecue), bath time, bed. . . Outside the nights dip ever deeper, ever blacker, as the year tilts toward the solstice. But inside all is warm and snug. Throughout the neighborhood, all along the side streets, golden lights glow in bare branches.

I sold two stories recently. I signed the contracts for both this week. These sales make me so excited and happy—I can’t even tell you. I’m dancing inside, like a kid on Christmas.

I turn 40 this week.

In a week and a half, family members will drive hundreds of miles to see us. My kids are practically jumping out of their skin at the thought of seeing their beloved cousins again. My husband the gourmet is busy planning the menus of holiday feasts.

There are terrible things going on in the world. The news is full of them. It’s been full of them for weeks, for months now, it seems--an unending drumbeat of horror. I haven’t even been able to bring myself to read the latest news articles about state-sanctioned torture.

For now, I just want to withdraw. I want to push all those news headlines away, to not click on the articles. I don’t want to work or clean the house. For now, I just want to read and write. Write and read. For this last week before the kids’ winter break and the onrush of (welcome) visitors and the true hurly-burly of the Christmas holidays.