We had an absolutely splendid Christmas this year. It was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures in the 50s, which was an unexpected plus. My older daughter and her husband and children were all with us for the day, as well as a charming young man who is a friend of one of my granddaughters. We had our favorite Christmas menu -- Peppers & Beef over rice, flatbread, a sliced ham, salad, fruitcake, and all the extras like fancy olives and chips and dips and cheeses and cookies and candy and mixed nuts... It was amazing. People went back for thirds, which always pleases me.
And now, on New Year's Day, we'll be taking down the tree and putting all the decorations and ornaments away. After which -- two weeks later, as my husband and I perceive it -- it will be time to put it up again! I realize that that's not logical or rational, but it's a standard perception in elderly persons: It's Christmas, and then the year goes tearing by, and it's Christmas again. If we had a big house with a spare room, we'd just put the decorated tree in there for the [exceedingly brief] year and bring it out again every December; since we have a small underground house, we can't get away with that. I will miss the Christmas tree; I always do.
I think that I am at last free of the Huge-Emergency-Rush-Project. I'm afraid to say that, since it has often happened in the past with this client that I thought I was finished with a contract only to have the project come roaring back out of the chute. But my agent tells me that he's seen actual samples of the finished work and that they look good. It's possible that I may still have to write a brief booklet to go with a video; that's tentative. But that would be the very end of the HERP, at last, and it won't happen for a while.
I think that I am all through with the second edition of The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. I've gone through a second set of galleys and have sent the list of glitches to my editor, and that ought to do it. It has been the usual problem: keeping the words and parts of words that have to be in italics in italics. People working on the book design just cannot bring themselves to believe that I really have to have all those italics, and so they take a few out here and a few out there; fortunately, my editor does understand why they need to be there and is willing to Take Steps to make sure that they stay there. I am hoping for the best.
I've sent out the January/February 2009 issue of the new Lonesome Node newsletter, and -- praise be -- it doesn't seem to have bounced. It was a great relief to be doing one newsletter instead of three, and I'm grateful to all my subscribers who've stayed with me in spite of the change.
The next verbal self-defense article for this journal, scheduled for this Friday, is written and ready to post. It's been through a dozen drafts, and it's time for me to stop fooling with it. I'm hoping it will meet your [yourall's] standards, and am looking forward to the discussion.
There are a few odds and ends still to be done. I have to make the scrapbook pages for the Christmas album. I have to send out the thank-you notes and photographs. I have to have the two new dresses I got as part of my Christmas presents shortened; one is half an inch too long, and the other is at least a foot too long. This goes with being a tiny old lady, and I am very fortunate to have a husband who does hems. I have to try to finish the collage book -- and try to crochet some new ozarques -- in time for the coming-at-me-fast Conestoga art show in April. I have to call and set up the annual eye exam and the semi-annual dental thingy. A grandchild's birthday is coming up in early January and must be seen to. I need to start getting ready for the GAVSD launch in March. Stuff like that. But my perception is that the decks are being cleared and that I can perhaps now get back to doing some serious writing. That makes me very happy.