Being that we’re almost to Christmas, I thought I’d talk about Christmas traditions. We all have our own, some handed down through families, and others are from our spouses, or our spouses’ families. Or even some of them are brand new, but will be observed by many for years to come.
When I was a kid, my family had traditions. As I look back on my childhood, I’ve realized how much I miss them.
I swear it was 2005 yesterday.
When I finally sat down and took a deep breath after the release of Shards, I realized that it was December. I mean, I knew it was December, but I hadn’t really thought about what that meant. How January is right around the corner, how we’re almost ready to close the books on yet another year.
And how I hadn’t done many of the things I thought I was going to this year.
As we head into the holidays, a joyous time that can also be stressful due to the sheer amount of stuff that needs doing, I’m finding my own stress level ramping up. And it’s got me thinking.
Are we addicted to stress?
Here’s where I’m coming from. I’m a writer with a day job. That means that (like most of you, no doubt) I always have multiple projects and to-dos on the go, and a certain amount of stress is unavoidable. But I’m also a worrier with some compulsive tendencies. I’m always setting myself extra projects, or goals I can’t meet, and then stressing out when I inevitably fail.
Eva Martinez isn’t sure why she’s pursuing a master’s degree in religious studies, except that something about the material resonates in the depths of her soul. But when her dreams start to be invaded by lost gardens, forbidden fruit, and a strangely familiar mystery man, even she has to wonder if she’s taking her schoolwork too seriously.
Then Eva starts to notice the strangeness seeping into everyday life. The man from …
Househunting is a pain in the backside. Every time I move, I want it to be the last time (until I hit the NYT Bestseller List and/or win the lottery, so I can move without worrying, anyway.) So finding a forever home that I can afford? Not so easy to do.
When I moved into the house before my current one with my then-roommate, I loved the house. It had a fenced yard for the kid and the dog! It had a dishwasher! It was all tile, so it would be easy to clean. Managed by a professional company instead of a very nice but not particularly stable man who took in every homeless cat ever but was completely ineffectual about fixing anything.
Last year around Thanksgiving, I wrote about how grateful I was for my family. It is hard putting into words how amazing they are, but I tried.
Today I will try again. I’d like to talk about my husband, who, when I talk about him online, I call “my beloved.” It started out as a way to keep my personal details private, but it has now grown into an actual name I call him.
The other day, someone asked me about how I came up with the title for Shards (urban fantasy, coming out on Dec 1) and it took me back to the early days of working on the novel, which, to be honest, I haven’t thought about in a long time.
Shards started as a dream. Occasionally I have really vivid dreams, and when I realize I’m dreaming, I start to structure the dream into a story. Shards was one of those, though more complete–and more coherent–than most when I woke up. In those days, I kept a notebook by the side of my bed, and I scribbled down everything I could remember–about the characters, the plot, the world.
And then I lost the notebook.
Here’s something about me that you might not know: I used to be a Physics major. I started out my university career taking courses like astronomy and calculus, before I realized that a creative writing/English degree was a much better fit.
But those two areas are closer than you might think.
To celebrate our upcoming release of Shards, coming out of December 1st, we thought we’d give you a peek at the story! This section is from the middle of chapter 3. The story itself is urban fantasy. If you want more, the very beginning of the book is included in the Best of Turtleduck Press, Volume I collection.
A bit of background: Eva has literally run into Michael at college and has felt some sort of odd connection with him. Gabe and Rafe are her bosses, who run an eccentric bookstore just off campus.
It had started drizzling and Eva pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up. Hopefully the rain wouldn’t get any heavier before she made it to work.
“Which way are you heading?” Michael asked, digging an umbrella out of his bag. His was blue with butterflies on it. Eva stared. “It’s my roommate’s,” he explained with a shrug of his shoulders. “Man loves an oddly colored umbrella, and I couldn’t find mine this morning so I just grabbed one of his.” He put it in his pocket. “No sense using it quite yet, but it helps to have it handy, just in case.”
Eva pointed in the general direction of the bookstore.
“I’m going that way too.” Michael offered Eva his arm and she took it, curling her fingers around his warmth. It was oddly comforting.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, Bones is a medical/crime show centered around the character of Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, who studies the bones of the dead to solve crime. The show is inspired by Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan novels. The show is quite different from the novels, but no less good. I began watching it several years ago. In fact, I didn’t even like the first episode I watched! I’d read the books and was curious, but the episode did not move me. Then, some time later, I was looking for things for my Christmas List and decided to give it another shot. And I loved it. I loved it so much that I bought and watched the subsequent seasons until I was caught up, then began watching it live.
For any Bones fans – what I’m about to talk about contains MAJOR spoilers up till last week’s episode. Read at your own risk.