Two very major activities are looming. Both take a lot of hard work and planning. One is the upcoming launch of my thirteenth novel “The Siege,” and the other is preparing for a family Christmas celebration. My diet is forgotten. The stress of edits has me stealing candy canes from the newly decorated tree. As I type this, I have one precariously balanced on my lower lip. Catching my reflection, I see a chain-smoking stereotypical 1940s newspaperman instead of a candy-thieving fiction author.
In my dreams, instead of having visions of sugarplums, I’m reworking action sequences. I’ve decorated Bliss Cottage like it’s the Martin farmhouse. While I’m wrapping presents, I find myself tying the ribbons like plot threads. Fortunately, my manuscript is in the capable hands of my editor, or I fear parts of it would end up stuffed in envelopes with the colorful cards and sent to my relatives.
Whether it’s the holiday stress or my overactive imagination, but I swear Murphy’s name keeps ending up on my gift list. I’d love to give the rascal some new clothes. Would a motorcycle jacket be too much? He’d probably slice it accidently with his axe. At least he’s given me some ideas, while my hubby has given me two, and I refuse to give socks and underwear at Christmas time.
Deck the halls with… The beta reader! I better arrange to have him read the book. I’ll just jot this down on my ever-growing list: Twelve dozen eggs for baking, eleven reams of paper, ten pounds of potatoes, nine brilliant sharpies, eight bags of birdseed, seven blocks of Post-its, six candy canes, five red pens, four returning characters, three cans of coffee, two rolls of ribbon, and a beta reader ready to read.
Happy preparation days!