Santa baby, hurry down the chimney to me.

Wow. I can’t believe that this is the second last blog of the year! Well, we’re taking next week off as it’s Christmas Eve, lol… And I do my big Christmas dinner on the 24th so…I’m thinking I’ll be elbow deep in turkey or scrambling to wrap the last of the presents. One year, I’m going to be done early. Hell, one year, I’m going to pack the kids up and we’re just going to drive somewhere and celebrate that way. No big ‘ta-do’ here. Just peace and quiet far away from the norm. Oh…maybe we should head out this year…so tempting.

Anyway, this almost last post is all about… my Grownup Christmas List.

Now maybe it is getting older, but the appeal of Christmas has started to wane for me. Not because I don’t love it. I still love staring at the tree with its twinkling lights and pretty ornaments. And I love the people still do tend to be nicer to each other during the holidays. It’s a glimmer of hope that humanity isn’t quite lost. That we might unite, yet, before the zombies come (and they are coming people. Believe.) I think what’s spoiling it for me is the commercialism of it. The ‘pressure’ to buy the ultimate gift.

Okay, yeah, I’m starting to sound like a corny Christmas special. But…it’s also true. Christmas has gone from a time of wonder to the worst debt-sucking holiday out there. And I’m tired of spending too much because let’s face it…everything is just so damn expensive. And when you have teenagers…nothing is twenty bucks anymore.

So… my ultimate Christmas wish would be to do what I stated above. I’d love to have the money to just pack up the kids and drive or fly somewhere secluded. Spend a week on the beach or in the mountains, skiing. Spend the evenings watching all those corny shows or playing cards and games with the kids. Simply enjoying the season rather than whether I got them exactly what they wanted. That’s what I want for Christmas.

However, not sure it’ll happen this year. The boys always have hockey tournaments, reffing to do. Then there’s family that expects you to be there, not that I’m knocking it. But I do dream of a year with just me and the teenagers in tow. Hawaii would do nicely. Or Mexico. Hell, I’d take Vegas or Reno. A cabin up in the mountains.

Okay…guess this post didn’t go quite as planned, lol. I almost seems as if I’m harbouring issues, folks. Shocking, I know. Now if I had to settle for material things, I’d love a new laptop…the new Mac Air would be fine, Santa. Or a new I can continue with all those distractions from last week. A magically new kitchen would be welcomed, too. Just saying. And, if you really feel you MUST INDULGE ME, a sexy, single guy sitting under the tree…yeah, that’d be nice. I’m kind of done with the whole being single thing. Thinking I could go for some quality guy time.

So that’s it for me….check out the other ladies and see what’s on their lists this year. Maybe they want peace on earth…obviously, I’m a bit more selfish 🙂 OH and Jess, you still owe me a US Marshal. Just saying. Christmas time would be a great opportunity to pay up 🙂

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Kellie St. James  |  Gwendolyn Cease

I don’t get…Squirrel

So, it’s another round of Random Wednesday. Not sure why it surprises me every week, lol. But it never fails. I realize it’s Tuesday and I need to write the blog. So this week’s topic should be an easy one for me. My five major distractions from writing.

Right, like there’s only five. It’d be easier to list what doesn’t distract me because the list would be extremely short. Nothing. But I’m going to assume this is major distractions—the kind that eat up your brain and your time. So, without further ado… here is my list, in no particular order.

1— Internet. Okay, does this even need to be explained. And I’m talking about random shit. Going to do research then ending up reading about which is better, Keurig or Tassimo…it’s a huge black hole from which nothing good usually results.

2— Social media. If I could have an assistant for one thing, it’d be to upkeep the social media platforms. Mostly because it leads to number one. Me taking a quiz to see what role I would play in the apocalypse. Finding out what dragon I am, or what colour my aura is. Or it leads to more research topics. So yeah, it’s a huge one.

3— Family. This is both a blessing and well, a curse. I love being able to be there for my kids. And honestly, at the end of the day, they are more important than anything. But it’s those interruptions that come with working from home that drive me insane and suck precious time. The “have you seen my” and “can I go here, or there. Pick me up, drop me off.” The kind of things they wouldn’t phone someone at work to ask. And other family members, who chose not to see that you are working even if you’re sitting in a chair with your laptop. Because they have a day off or are available, you’re expected to also have time, because obviously, you’re not really working. So yeah, that’s huge, too.

4— Another project/other work. Because I also edit and make cover art, sometimes trying to balance everything feels impossible. And it always seems that everything is always due at the same, damn time. And then there’s the having to change books midstream thing. Talk about distracting. You get to the point you can’t really concentrate on either book because the whole time you’re trying to write one, you’re thinking about the other and vise versa.

5— TV/Movies. Okay, I know this seems silly. You can just turn it off. But sometimes, my youngest son will decide to go on a Netflix binge. And when that binge is Supernatural. COME ON PEOPLE. How am I supposed to resist that, especially when it’s playing in front of me. We’re talking Sam. And Dean. Or sometimes it’s Criminal Minds… Dr. Reid, hello. Or Castle. Nathan Fillion. OMG.. the list is endless. But it’s research, damn it. Research I tell you.

So that’s my list. My god I could go on. But hop on over to the other ladies and see what their distractions are. I guarantee their lists have some overlap. The internet is evil, after all. And an actual black hole.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Gwendolyn Cease  |  Kellie St. James  |  Kayleigh Jones

These Are A Few…

I honestly don’t know how it’s December already! I just started wearing pants instead of capris. And I’m so not ready for the holidays. But I’m sure with all the Christmas music in the stores and on the radio, with kids who still get excited, lol, I’ll be in the spirit in no time. At least, that’s what I’m going with. Work with me people.

Anyway, it’s time for another Favourite Things post. And you guessed it…it’s all about traditions. Now, when I was young, I suppose we had some traditions, though they were mostly putting up a fake, yes, fake, never, ever real, tree and having a party on Christmas Eve. Not sure how that started but my parents always had one—a huge one—and if I were honest, it was one of my favourite days. Getting so see folks you normally didn’t. And hey, they only invited the fun crowd. And you all know what I mean. We all have those relatives who aren’t quite as…um, interesting as the rest. So it was always a good time. Especially as I got older and got to invite my friends, as well.

Well, after moving out west, that wasn’t really an option. I just don’t have the kind of friends my parents had, lol. Or work buddies. My work family is all online, so…hard to have a get-together with them. But I have got a few traditions of my own. Mostly because I have kids and well, I guess I wanted them to love this time of year as much as I did.

1 – TREE  it’s REAL people. We go to a tree farm every year and pick out our own, special tree. Now, we follow the safe cutting practices and ensure the actual tree doesn’t die. We just ‘top’ it. But it’s something that I’ve been doing with my kids for a long time. There’s just something special about the smell of a fir or pine tree in the house. White pine if my favourite, though you can’t hang heavy ornaments on it. The branches tend to be too weak, lol. Then we put on the lights and whatever decorations the kids want.

In my YOUNGER days, I’ll admit. I was pretty damn particular about how the tree was decorated. Can you say obsessive? Hello. Looking back, I realize my family must have loved me to put up with my need for everything to be so damn perfect. These days? Hell, I bribe teenagers to decorate it for me. I still help with the lights. Mostly because they don’t want to do it, but I’ve let go of my need for the symmetrically decorated tree for one my kids have fun tossing together.

2 – LIGHTS  I do put up Christmas lights. I prefer to decorate the bushes and my new house has the perfect tree outside. But never, ever before December. I’ll probably put them up this coming weekend. And I do love watching the coloured light just… sparkle I guess. I find it comforting. Peaceful.

3 – PRESENTS   I also try to spend time wrapping presents. With the price of things…and hey, the older the kids get the more expensive their wish list items are…I try to make the presents they do get look pretty. So bows, ribbon…anything to flash it up. And we put a few under the tree but with cats who like to unwrap them early, it’s a bit harder.

4 – BAKING  I make gingerbread cookies. And I honestly only ever make them this time of year. When my kids were in the younger grades, I used to go into their classrooms and make gingerbread cookies with the entire class. I’d book the kitchen and take small groups of kids there and they’d each get to make four or five cookies. That doesn’t happen in high school, but… I still make them at home. And they don’t last people. My secret…I don’t use molasses in mine. It’s honey and OMG… they are the bomb. Best cookies ever. (spoiler alert. I might just be posting that recipe tomorrow as part of my Blissmas post! So come on back. I guarantee these are the best gingerbread cookies EVER!)

5 – MUSIC   Yes, we do listen to Christmas music. When I was small, it was The Carpenters and Neil Sedaka. Now, well I still listen to them (I know, but damn my parents ingrained it as part of Christmas. I can’t help myself.) But I love Kenny Loggins DECEMBER album, and lots of country ones. Hmmm, I wonder if Nickelback will come out with a Christmas album one day… And the Eagles sing one of my favourites.

6 – MOVIES   OMG… I am pathetic when it comes to Christmas shows. I will watch the sappiest, corniest Christmas shows just because it’s Christmas. I have some standbys… The Home Alone movies, the original stop motion ones with Burl Ives and the like, the Grinch (animated. Always animated) But I’ll watch damn near anything if I can stomach it.

7 – FOOD   I have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I started doing this because friends and family sometimes had to ‘work’ on Christmas day. But now I do it because I love having the actual day to myself. To family. No rushing around, no endless hours in the kitchen. Just enjoying. So much less stress for me. And yes, I do the turkey, stuffing and the lot. Though I do try to convince the kids to try something different, lol. But seeing as they only get that twice a year… they aren’t giving it up.

So that’s it, folks. My traditions. Lame, but I own them. Now go and check out how the others celebrate this time of year. They probably do far more, lol.