December IWSG: Holiday Writing and Book Shenanigans

Many thanks to the IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and the team of IWSG volunteers, as well as the IWSG blog hop team for December: Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!


Holidays are the best time for me to read and to write stories that bring me joy. It would be nice if every aspect of writing filled me with joy, but some parts are simply hard work. 

Sometimes, a book or story will seem to dead end into a cheerless, dark corner by the trash leftover from Halloween, but it’s often that I need to shed more light on the story, or I need to lighten up my mood with something fun or silly or just odd. I’ve written a number of short stories that fit into those categories, and some of them have been stories I’ve written around the holiday season. 

Then, there are the “serious” stories that seem to beg to be written in December, when the sky grows dim. Even as I long for light, some years I turn to history and faith, and find myself poking at an old historical fiction story or reworking a poem long forgotten. 

For me, it all depends on the year and what else it has brought into my life.

This year, I plan on vacationing from writing other than in my journal from December 22-27th, and I think having a planned timed off is good for renewing the energy I need to write. 

December 26th-January 1st are my prime reading days for the entire year, based on a childhood tradition. I asked for books on my tenth Christmas, received fifteen of them, and read half before I started school again in January. While I don’t often read quite that many books every year in that week, I spend at least two days reading to my heart’s content.

How do you write and read over the holiday season?

Dark Blade: Forged is completed as a Kindle Vella serialization. The first three episodes are free (this is a Kindle Vella rule), and the whole novel is finished. I will be turning it into a regular Ebook, paperback, and Audiobook in 2023.

Dark Blade: Tempered (Dark Blade, Vol. 2) is my newest Kindle Vella project, with the first free episode out today! I have a more-detailed-than-usual plot outline for the series to keep the serialization driving forward. 

On an “off writing” day, I spent some time playing with my book covers again (they are mostly the same, but Dark Blade: Tempered is new) at Canva and attempting to create a new banner for The World of Aramtir. This is what I have so far, but I hope to create some “marketing” materials for the series as I get into the new year.

Pre-orders are definitely happening at Amazon for 25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains It was fun to put together, and using some great feedback from some beta readers, I’ve taken out one of the darker stories and added in a happier one. 
Due to some family wedding plans in the spring (one of my daughters), I have moved the release date up to January! If you are interested in becoming an ARC reader for a free copy, check out my Booksprout Campaign.

If you are headed into a serious time of coziness without doing much online for the rest of the year, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a wonderful New Year!

Also, if you’re interested, I’m at two events over the next month:

The online 2023 Youtube Kickoff Blitz – more details coming soon.

Plus, I’m teaching a continuing education class at the Gig Harbor Campus of Tacoma Community College and registration is live now!

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