Hey there, lovely reader!
If you're in the US, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving last week. Ours was just as I like it, nice and quiet. A friend told me about her plans for having twelve people over and then moving to someone else's the next day, and I had to tell her that it sounded absolutely horrific. We both laughed and laughed. (She's a good friend, I can tell her things like that.) If you're not in the US, I hope you had a lovely Thursday. I spent Friday researching two of my favorite things – Christmas pudding and mince pies. Today I share with you how my Christmas prep is like how I do my writing, and there's something I want to point out to you.
And so, with Thanksgiving over, I turn my attention to Christmas, one of my favorite times of year. Our tree is up and mostly decorated – we have a LOT of decorations we've collected over the years, decorating it takes time. I love the fact that the tree is four feet from my desk and I can enjoy it all month long.
I am a
sergeant major project manager when it comes to Christmas. I order people about delegate responsibilities. I set expectations and deadlines. I have an email that I update each year and which arrives in my inbox the day after Thanksgiving. It tells me what to buy, where to buy it, when to buy it, and what to do with it when it arrives.
Wish lists have to be on my desk by December 5th or the wisher may face the pain of disappointment. Overseas gifts are ordered on November 1st. Gifts and cards for people who work for me are ready by mid-December.
Everyone in the family is given at least one job – order the tree, book the post-Christmas entertainment, devise a list of family-friendly films for the day and organize the vote. I oversee the food and most of the gifts. Have you seen the price of Christmas puddings this year? My, my. Christmas is a project. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Writing is like that. Yes, there's some musing, and daydreaming (although that often happens while folding laundry.) But most of it is a question of putting a bum on my seat, discipline, targets, to-do lists, and deadlines. Writing a book is a project where sticky notes and highlighter pens are my friends. Like Christmas, the magic happens when the graft is over, everything is ready, and the story, like a gift, is merely waiting to be unwrapped.
But there's enjoyment in the process, too. Just have to stop and breathe every so often and take it all in.
My work in progress
I've spent the past week doing a deep dive into Diana Hunter #5. This will be the next book I publish, probably sometime early next year. You can always see what I'm currently working on (and therefore my next release) by looking at my newsletter signature. Underneath it, you'll see the words: Current work in progress: [our hero's name] #X. This will remain in place until the work is published. This wip note will update when I start work on my next book which always begins immediately after the book is out.
I'm off to lunch with a friend. And I'll be back in Vancouver with Diana this afternoon. Have a lovely week preparing for the holiday you celebrate and keep nice and warm. It's cold just about everywhere in the northern hemisphere right now. See you next Thursday!