Friday, December 23, 2011


How time flies!

So, where did it go? This week? This month? This year? I can't believe we're at Christmas already. And yet, it also seems like it's about time it arrived.

When I was working (outside the house) I used to long for the time when I wouldn't be so rushed going into Christmas. I'd longed for a couple of weeks to get in the holiday spirit, without something like a job mucking it up. So, now I'm at that stage and I'm still in need of a couple of extra weeks to get into the spirit.

I'll be the first to admit, writing a series is definitely a job, no matter how enjoyable it can be. As I've chronicled over the past few weeks, the writer can be steadily weaving a story together, only to be interrupted by the 'business' side of publishing. Needing to get a website up and running; being involved in a cover conference for the next book; reading over the proofs of the first one. This all puts time management to a test.

So today I'm taking a mental health day, with no feelings of guilt for avoiding the computer (aside from writing this blog, that is). Instead, I'll do those tasks that bring on the holiday spirit. I'll play my new Christmas CD -- The Colors of Christmas by John Rutter. It's a tradition to buy a new CD every Christmas and I must admit, I'm a Rutter fan and have most of them by now.

Then, I'll bake some Swedish Coffee Bread (yes, I actually do bake this one item) using my Mom's recipe. It takes several hours of kneading the dough, letting it rise, baking, know the process. But it's all part of the holiday tradition and evokes wonderful memories from my childhood.

When it's ready, I'll sample it of course, along with a cup of coffee in front of the fireplace and glance through my collection of Christmas books accumulated over the years. There's Babar and Father Christmas (it survived my childhood and my son's), a newer version of The Nutcracker with illustrations by Toller Cranston, The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Tasha Tudor, God Jul by Anders Neumuller (a collection of Swedish greeting cards from the 1800's), Christmas at the New Yorker (a collection of stories, art, humour); and the newest, A Star for Christmas by Trisha Romance.

These are part of my Christmas traditions, along with opening some gifts on Christmas Eve, singing at the midnight service, turkey and all the trimmings for the family at my house. It's a wonderful time of year..a time to share, a time to remember those who aren't able to be with us, a time to pause in our busy lives and be at peace.

And then, there are all those Canadian mysteries in my TBR pile, just waiting to be experienced next week!

May your Christmas be one of laughter, love and peace. And, of course...lots of wonderful mysteries!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime

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