Holiday Introspection

It’s funny how we anticipate Christmas week by week after Thanksgiving then the day arrives and it’s over quicker than you can ask for leftovers. We have plastic bags packed with torn cardboard boxes and ripped wrapping paper we were diligent in making look “perfect”.  Kids’ toys are strewn across the couch and the floor until you stuff them in a gift bag and set them in their bedroom–the onus on the child to now find the toys a home.

The holidays haven’t quite felt as magical or full of merriment in several years. I still had a great holiday weekend with my immediate and extended family. J bought us a dining room table which means we can longer zone-out on the couch while we balance plates on our laps. It’s one of the gifts I am most excited about because I grew up having dinner at a table as a family. J on the other hand says they only ate at the table for special gatherings like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Last night we ate at the table for the first time and we put out new placemats. It’s such a minor thing, but it made me feel like we’re getting our life together. We struggle with tidiness and organization but this seems to be moving us in the right direction.

The most meaningful gift I received this year was from J. A few weeks back we had bought a set of hardback notebooks that have this beautiful dark design that resembles marble. Anyway, he handwrote about 8 months worth of writing prompts for me. The gesture was incredibly appreciated because he’s not much of a reader and we don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye when it comes to creative endeavors but I like that he’s making an effort to support me and my goals.

I really am looking forward to 2018. I hope everyone had a great holiday and stay safe for the next one.



Current fave short fiction

There are a few reasons why I desperately enjoy short fiction. On one hand, when you work 40 hours a week in an office and have a family, your time allows for shorter pieces more than full-length novels. I find myself perusing short stories at work (shh, don’t tell) and while scrolling through my phone after a long day.

There’s a difference in plot and characters between short stories and novels. I wouldn’t argue that one is better than the other. However, it’s admirable when a writer is able to captivate your attention and make you care for a group of characters in spaces as small as one page but not usually more than twenty-five pages.

Two stories that I keep coming back to recently were both published in The Offing. They are “One Hundred and Twenty Muscles” by Rachel Heng and Are They Vampires, or Are They Just Chinese?” by C Pam Zhang. Both have elements of violence that are depicted in a riveting fashion. Heng’s story carries a more graphic scene of violence but it’s not off-putting and helps set the story.

Lately, I’ve been more interested in speculative fiction and fiction written by women. Always open to recommendations.