Farolitos up on the roof, with a nearly full moon rising – a lovely sky for finishing that job yesterday evening!
I’ve finished the outside holiday decorations and I’m hoping we’ll get the Christmas tree later this afternoon, to decorate tonight and tomorrow. Then decorating will be complete! We’ve also made some inroads on shopping, I got to have a fancy cocktail out at the bar at Inn at Loretto, plus I have several parties coming up, so the season is proceeding apace.
Otherwise I’m head-down on THE FATE OF THE TALA. The insightful and generous Marcella Burnard sent me feedback that helped with perspective on the story, so now I’ve gone back to the beginning to revise, tweak and tighten. Then I’ll finish out the ending. So I’m still on track for a January 15 release date! For those who’ve asked, I am doing preorders on my website store only. That’s mostly because I am not locked into uploading the finished book days ahead of the release date. My plan is to make the book live in my website store first – which means people who preorder there gets the book before anyone else! – then I’ll start uploading to retailers. I totally understand if you’d rather buy through your favorite retailer! It’s just less pressure on me (and I make more money on each copy) to do it this way. It’s been really wonderful to get that preorder income already (with retailer preorders, I don’t get the sales until release day, and the money comes in two months after that) because it helps offset my expenses in publishing the book.
I greatly appreciate all of you who are willing to buy through the website store and I totally sympathize with those of you who prefer not to go with the bother of sideloading, etc.
Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season in whatever way gives you the maximum Delight & Gladness!
My two boys, enjoying the new recliners and the lovely sunlight of a winter afternoon. I feel sure if Jackson could make his recline, too, he would.
The recliners were a Christmas gift for David. The family all pitched in and we replaced the couch with them. There’s the Before and After. We actually ended up keeping the couch and moving it to another room, which entailed moving stuff from THAT room to an entirely different room, which meant moving the dresser into the closet, and the Big Closet Reorganization, that you may have seen me posting about the last few days. (Mostly on Facebook and Instagram, but there’s a pic here, too.)
It’s funny because, when I saw Megan Mulry Monday night (we saw The Favourite and had dinner after – if you want to hear my thoughts on the movie, you can listen here), I showed her the pics of the rearrangement. She’s house-sat for us before, so she was familiar with the previous set up. She agreed the recliners were a great idea – so much easier to swivel to watch movies, so comfy! – and then asked what I’d do about the fact that I have two other armchairs on the other side of the room. I started laughing and said, “Nothing! I’m leaving it as is, but my mother said the SAME THING.” So Megan starts laughing, too, saying “Omigod, me and your mom.” (Who she’s met and they enjoy each other.) And I said, “Yeah, my mom said, ‘but you can’t have chair, chair, chair, chair.'” Megan is still snorting into her beer, and says, “I know – like a meeting!”
I suppose I could put a conference table in the middle…
The thing is – and this is part of why Megan was laughing, because our mothers are very much alike, with Certain Social Standards – the reason I “can’t have chair, chair, chair, chair” because “it looks like a meeting,” is a consideration for entertaining. That’s what Certain Social Standards are all about. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m very glad that my mother taught me the social skills she did. I know a lot about entertaining and putting events together, skills that have come in very useful in my corporate work, my career as an author, and in my volunteer work for organizations like SFWA and RWA. Social skills are critical for careers of all kinds, even largely isolated ones like being a writer. My podcast on Friday has engendered a lot of conversation on the etiquette of thanking authors who provide blurbs.
But in this case, I draw a line, because David and I very rarely entertain. I do not host the Junior League meetings in my house, nor the Bridge Club. We occasionally have parties, though less often than we used to, mostly because it’s so much effort, but even then we have them outside whenever possible. When we do have a dinner party, we move everything around anyway. So why would we arrange our home with an eye toward having OTHER people like it?
I work from home. David is home a great deal, as he has irregular hours. We have a very pretty house with incredible views that we worked hard and dreamed long to acquire. It’s a place of peace and delight to us – so we set up the furniture in a way that adds to our relaxation and pleasure.
I think this speaks to a larger point of why we make the choices we do. How many of our choices are made to please other people, or to meet their expectations? How often do we make a conscious choice to go against Certain Social Standards and instead do the thing that people might laugh at, but that makes us happy?
Something to ponder.
That’s Jeffe’s robin in the photo. If you zoom in, you can kind of see the mutant beak. I’ll try for a better pic.