The way I see it, there are two responses to Christmas. The first is to run from it, try to escape its reach. You won't succeed, of course - it's too large, too encompassing. Entire religions have vanished into its maw: what hope do you have getting away?
There's an alternative, but few are willing to seriously consider it. You can turn around and face it. Stare it in the eye and gaze upon its awful majesty. Some say this path leads to madness.
But I am not one to flee, and I understand well enough that, while you can run from Christmas, you can't hide.
This cheerful yuletide revelation lies at the core of an annual project my wife and I work on during the holiday season, a little something we call Mainlining Christmas. It's a blog we started in 2010. Every year, we gorge ourselves on as many Christmas specials, movies, and books as we can stomach. I listen to nothing by Christmas songs from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, and - for fun - we chart our descent.
I've published thirty pieces of holiday fiction on the blog over the years, and I'm planning to add at least a few more stories this year.
I'd like to invite any of you to join us. At a distance, of course.
Either that, or you can run with the others, try to convince yourselves there's a place where the holidays can't reach you.
Now who's crazy?
My new novel, A Tide of Ice, is now available in print and for Kindle.
A Tide of Ice is the second novel in The Citadel of The Last Gathering, continuing Alaji's story from A Count of Five as she travels into an era of sword and sorcery. Here's the sales pitch:
A New Land. A New Gate. An Age of Steel and Blood.
Alaji has seen impossible wonders and faced incredible dangers in places beyond imagination. She has already traveled in time over a thousand years, but she is about to learn that is less than a heartbeat in the life of the world. To reach the Citadel of the Last Gathering, her journey will need to take on a far grander scale, one where geology changes like the seasons, where nothing is constant.
Now she finds herself in an era where imperious wizards create powerful monsters and unleash them upon the lands of their enemies. But these threats may be nothing compared to the men and women who are able to thrive in such harsh times.
If you haven't gotten a hold of the first book, you'll want to give that a read before picking up the sequel. To make it easy, I'm making Kindle copies of A Count of Five free this coming Saturday and Sunday. Grab a copy, give a read, then buy the sequel if you like it.
I think you will.