Christmas is just a few days away now, and I'm only a present or two short of completing my list. And no, I am not talking about Alvin-ing the gift giving ("A present from me to me..."). One thing about this holiday, with all of the hustle, gift buying and gift wrapping, the cards, the touring of lights, the parties, the cooking, it can take the life out of you. And to top things off, another snow-less cold front blasted across the South Plains this weekend--just in time for the the fat man in the red suit to pay his visits. I've said this before, and I'll post it here: there should be a law that requires at least a foot of snow when it gets this cold. In Lubbock, though, all we seem to get is a blistering wind to chap our lips and cheeks.
But I digress...
As part of my contribution to the season, I am planning to mix things up a little in my reading list. Instead of reading Lisey's Story by Stephen King, I'm going to first read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly, right?
Saturday brought an interesting piece of mail to my house. I have posted a picture of it here for your appreciation. During 2008 I signed up on Joseph Finder's website to receive regular bulletins. This last weekend I received a nice card, signed by Mr. Finder himself. While the scanner turned everything to black-and-white, the card was crafted with a glossy finish and his signature was penned in a nice shade of Sharpie Green. My first thought was, "I can't believe he actually took the time to sign a card and have it sent to me." My second thought was, "That's a great idea." In a day when writers are struggling to build their readership, as well as a platform, this is an excellent way to keep the troops connected. I don't know how much it cost Finder to have this done, but I believe it was worth every penny. After all, I've posted it here for you, thus contributing to his advertising campaign.
I also found it interesting that Finder used the book cover from Paranoia to set up his Christmas card. It was a simple way to remind some readers where they've been. It also entices other readers to pick up Paranoia if they haven't already. I have read Paranoia, and I recommend it to anyone who likes good thrillers. There are issues in that book that still scare me a little. I also have a signed copy of Finder's Killer Instinct in my reading stack, and I am eager to crack upon the pages, smell that new-book aroma. I suspect that I'll get to it after the first of the year.
On the writing front, I've decided to start over on Arturo. I've thought more and more about him lately. I've also taken J.M.'s advice (see my last posting) to consider how I can create more conflict. Hopefully, the additional twist and conflict will help keep things moving through the Middles and keep me on course toward the conclusion.
Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope you have a blessed holiday. Spend it with the people you love, and drink up every moment like it was your last drop.