Anti-laments and The Angry Woman Suite Book Cover

I read a lot of blogs most mornings, and this morning (the day after the day after) I’m reading a lot of Christmas “laments.” You know, like it’s over, dregs everywhere, and what was it all about, Alfie? (Yes, I realize the Alfie thing dates me to pre-historic.)

So, this is the anti-lament. But, first, yes, it is over. Time to assimilate.

Separate the wheat from the chaff. Events and people are not perfect—though all dogs and some moments are. *smile* So, keep the perfect moments out, like accessories, and put the imperfect ones in a box, to be packed away—who needs to keep pulling them out to obsess over anyway?   

Christmas, 2011, is history. And mine was nice—at least the season was. The actual day was defined by a nasty head cold (mine) and seizures (my husband’s). We—he and I—know what to do about seizures by now; we’re experts. And we all know what to do about head colds (not a damn thing—the upside of a cold, though, was the perfect excuse for planting myself in the lawn swing with Baby Rae and playing with my new Kindle Fire, which I totally love).

The San Diego weather has been, and remains, a balmy 72+ degrees (that’s perfection). Now, there are some who argue that Christmas isn’t Christmas without snow, just as there are some who argue that Christmas is over-hyped and over-commercialized, and over-everything, BUT— 

That’s silly.

We all choose how much to participate, easy as that. I don’t have to go to the mall, or listen to carolers, or eat all that yummy holiday food—nobody does (except it’s fun: the music, merry-making, prezzies, and food, all of it). Point is, I see no need for making minor things, like commercialization and letdowns, federal cases, unless making things federal cases is your claim to fame (and, personally, I wouldn’t touch that one).   

As for snow at Christmas—ahem: my husband and I’ve shared many a snowy Christmas. We used to be skiers, until he got sick. We spent a dozen Christmases at Snow Summit in Big Bear, CA, and sometimes in Park City, Utah.

My husband and stepsons thought all that snow and ice and skiing = bliss. Hog heaven every Christmas.  

Here’s what I thought: lovely to look at but damn cold. Uber cold. Way too many layers of clothing required for taking the trash out (and, hey, why weren’t those blissful guys taking it out?? Short answer: something to do with my guys not seeing trash as, well. . . trash).

And ice is slippery.

Let me repeat: ice is slippery. If I had a free lift ticket for every time I ended up on my ass taking the dang trash out, I’d still be skiing. 

I’m way happier with the simpler 72-degree San Diego life. Barefoot and sipping a cold one by the pool, with a new Christmas book in hand. Ahhhh. Not 20 layers of clothing and big honking parkas, and hats that make my hair go smooshed, or reading a Christmas book under an electric blanket—oh, and water heaters that run out of hot water because, hey, I just happen to be the last one to shower because I was cooking everybody’s dinner and cleaning up (after a full day of skiing, too) while my three guys warmed their oh-so-sore muscles under steaming 20-minute hot showers, poor babies.

It’s okay; the foregoing is the stuff of family lore and giggles.

But back to the best parts: this simple weather and those Christmas books = the anti-lament.

Since I can remember, the best part of Christmas, besides food and music and lights, has been books. New books! Meaning, when I was a kid and my grandparents had packed up and left and the tree came down, the books remained, and so I never felt blue after the Christmas hoopla. In fact, I barely noticed a lack of hoopla, I was so engrossed with the worlds my new books offered.  

And my husband always gave me books, too. Books to read under electric blankets or at the pool, it didn’t really matter.

I didn’t get many print books this year. I resisted my first e-reader (2 years ago), but I am totally into my new Kindle Fire. I’m not giving up print books, but I’m here to tell you: the Fire is pretty cool.

Now, here’s where I am with my own soon-to-be-available novel, The Angry Woman Suite:

The cover is done, ta-da! Loooooooooooooooooove it! Artist Laurie Fuller did a magnificent job capturing Magdalene Grayson’s mystique (above). Kirkus Reviews posted the cover to their website, and took The Angry Woman Suite review public (although the book will not be available 1/1/12, which is how it’s listed at Kirkus—we’re running a bit behind. Looks more like 2/1 now—of course I’ll keep you posted!).

Happy New Year everyone! Be safe in 2012, and be happy. Love deeply, work hard, read voraciously, laugh often, get a dog (and you will laugh often), and get as healthy as you can. I’ll resume regular blog posts after the holidays (in-between reading all my lovely new downloads).