Here we are again, approaching Christmas, time to dig out and dust off the decorations, get the cards written, the presents wrapped and sent to Santa. Time to assess the year.
It's been a good year for our family. My youngest son got married in July and despite the fact that since June we barely had a dry day we did very well for weather. It stayed dry until around 8 p.m. and the sun even put in a shy appearance at times. My old M.E plagued body behaved itself after the resting I'd done the previous week - no reading, no writing to bring on headaches, nothing strenuous to overdo it physically - I think I must have had help from the angels to keep me going, although I did go to the room for a rest about 6ish and missed the cutting of the cake and the first dance! Thank goodness for the videographer!
The next good news came when my eldest son and his fiancee announced that they were to become parents for the third time so my writing has taken a back seat to baby knitting recently.
(pattern for baby boots from Marianna's lazy daisy days)
I had my own brush with success in July when I received a runner up award in the Too Write literary competition run by my local newspaper The Sentinel for my short story Arms of Angels. A fabulous afternoon at the awards ceremony with my friend Connie to accompany me. Even though it lashed it down with rain we were undercover.
The full account of the afternoon can be read in another blog post. The full story Into The Arms of Angels is in my short story collection Just A Moment, as is the seasonal story The Sinister Bauble, which can also be read in another blog post.
The Sinister Bauble as the title suggests is the story of a bauble that doesn't quite belong on the Christmas tree with the cherubs and Santa but the owner can't quite bring herself to get rid of it for reasons she'd rather not confront.
My other seasonal story is The Journey, the title story of that collection. This story is part fact, part fiction. I did indeed have a wicked stepmother, and I lived in the North East of England for 3 years in the 70s with my then fiance/husband, and I've traveled that route in the story many times although I altered the end of it for the purpose of the story - we used to finish our journey on the M6 and A500 but in the story I used the A34 to Newcastle under Lyme. I actually lived in Werrington in the Staffordshire Moorlands in my youth. These are the almost factual parts of the story. The rest is fiction, and how I'd like to have served up a healthy dose of Christmas retribution to the family my dad saddled us with, who robbed my sister and I of our inheritance.