Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

Winter is here, and not the usual New Orleans winter, either. The floor here in the Lost Apartment is very, very cold; and the kitchen of course feels colder than the living room (it used to be the back porch at one time before being enclosed into a kitchen/laundry room. I didn’t sleep very well on Wednesday night, and started flagging at the office yesterday in the late afternoon. The cold didn’t help–but at least it was still pleasant. I had forgotten a few things at Rouses on Wednesday night, and while I was considering not leaving the house today, I decided it was a better idea to order things to be picked up today rather than stop on my way home when I was already tired. Work on the book was a bit of a slog yesterday–which is not a good thing at all–but I got some of the work done, and hope to get more done today. It’s a holiday, so I don’t have to do any dayjob stuff, which is lovely–I also have Monday off, which is also lovely. It’s twenty-six degrees here right now (just checked) but the sun is out and it doesn’t look terribly windy or anything out there. I was terribly tired when I got home from work yesterday–as the day went on I flagged even more. When Paul got home we watched some more Three Pines. I am not really sure if I am sold on the show or not; it’s solidly done, the acting is good and the writing is okay, but there just seems to be something missing for me. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just not hitting me the way I think it should. And ordering the groceries for today was smart–turns out Paul needs to run an errand today anyway, so there I go–I was going to have to leave the house anyway so stopping on the way home wouldn’t have made any difference as to me not leaving the house today.

I slept marvelously last night, though. Scooter woke me up this morning at five thirty-ish, hungry–he doesn’t care about what day it is–but I went back to bed and was able to sleep nicely for another few hours, which was marvelous, really. I felt very rested this morning, and like I might be able to power through all the writing I need to do today. The groceries aren’t scheduled for pick-up until around one, so I figure I can get a lot done this morning while I swill my coffee. There’s a load of laundry in the dryer and a load in the dishwasher, so yay for that chore, and I usually launder the bed linens on Fridays, so I could get a jump start on that as well. Yay for ambition!

And ugh, just looking around the kitchen–yes, I should spend some time this morning cleaning up in here. Yikes. I’ve really become a slipshod housekeeper. Maybe in the spring I could take a week off from work and just work on projects around the house. Hmmm. That’s actually not a bad idea. I’m not going to be traveling much in the future–I was thinking about it yesterday, as reports of delays and cancelled flights kept popping up everywhere and friends who actually were traveling were posting complaints about delayed flights and lost luggage and delays and I was like, ugh, I’ve really begun to hate traveling. I like being there once I get there, but I hate the process. I traveled a lot this past year, I guess to make up for the pandemic years where I went nowhere other than Kentucky? But the whole airport/airplane/other passengers process, parking at the airport and getting a cab on arrival, etc…I am getting to the point where just thinking about it makes my blood pressure rise and my head hurt and my anxiety to climb. I am going to New York in a few weeks (note to self: book airport shuttle service for LaGuardia), and after that I am probably not going to travel again other than Bouchercon in the late summer/fall, in San Diego. I’ll probably also have to go to Kentucky at some point as well. Heavy heaving sigh.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am looking forward to these peaceful four days. It’s weird, isn’t it, how it simply being a holiday somehow makes a difference? I’m not precisely sure why that is, but somehow it has. I think it’s knowing that even if I wanted to go run an errand or something I wouldn’t be able to? I don’t know, maybe it’s one of the many quirks in my brain, but there you have it.

It’s funny, when I pulled up the draft for today’s post and saw the picture I’d selected already for it (I do that in advance) I realized it’s really a perfect illustration for my story “The Snow Globe.”

I mean, if you’ve read it you’d know what I mean. If you want to read it and buy the anthology it’s from, you can buy it here, and wouldn’t it make a great Twelfth Night gift for someone you love?

And as a little Christmas gift, here’s the story’s opening yet again.

Santa, Dylan thought, certainly has a great six-pack.

He smiled as he leaned against the bar, watching the so-called Santa with a slight smile. He definitely wasn’t your average department store Santa, that was for sure.

The guy’s body was thickly muscled and perfectly proportioned. His biceps and shoulders were thick, every muscle cord and fiber etched and carved beneath his smooth, tanned skin. The cleavage his big chest was deep, his nipples like purplish quarters. It didn’t seem possible for his waist to be so small, and the crevices between his abdominal muscles were deep enough for a finger to fit between up to the first knuckle. His legs were powerful and strong, ropy bulging veins pushing against the silky skin.

Like a traditional Santa, his face was hidden behind the obligatory long white wig and the thick white beard and mustache—but that was his only bow to tradition. Rather than a red suit with white trim and a big black belt, he simply wore a tiny bikini of crushed red velvet with glittery red sequins trimmed around the waist and legs with green faux fur.  Large brass rings exposing pale skin connected the front to the back. His red boots sparkled with red sequins and glitter, trimmed at the top with green velvet. Slung over his right shoulder was a red velvet bag, also trimmed with green faux fur. Every movement he made as he talked to a group of young twinks with poofy hair and obscenely slim hips caused muscles to bulge and flex somewhere.

Dylan knew he was staring but didn’t care.

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