There’s a joke that’s been going around my family for
several years now: “December 25 is over. At last I can enjoy Christmas!”
Because as much as we love it, the days and weeks leading up
to Christmas can be a stress-fest. Between Christmas shopping, gift-wrapping,
tree-trimming, house-cleaning, cooking, entertaining, and carrying on with your regular job, it’s all too easy
to be overwhelmed. And to start wondering whether you should have booked
yourself on a holiday cruise, rather than sticking around for Yuletide madness.
"For dinner we had turkey and blazing pudding, and after dinner, the Uncles sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch chains, groaned a little, and slept."
Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales
Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg
Image courtesy of The Art of Children's Picture Books
But once the gifts have been given, the feast consumed, and
the guests entertained, the pressure is suddenly, …
I wrote half of the blogs for the guest blog tour for A Howl for a Highlander before Christmas as the tour is earlier than usual!!! Instead of starting Feb 1 for a Feb 1 release, it's beginning Jan 21!Which means my first New Year's Goal is to write the remaining blogs!!! And finish writing Silence of the Wolf, start writing the next Highland wolf story and finish it, and the third jaguar story. I've also got to write my next Highland Medieval story as sales are phenomenal, and the next YA fantasy in The Dark Fae series! And I need to pitch another couple or 3 stories to Sourcebooks.
And that's just the beginning.
I'm going to my first RomCon, AAD and I'll be attending RWA Nationals....
Personally, I need to continue cleaning out stuff I don't need or use....I feel so great when I do that...but doing that is hard to do sometimes!!!! I have boxes of stuff in my barn. How much do you want to bet that if I just …
If you've read my books, you know I love sparkle. Lots of sparkle. Maybe because I always envision magic and romance accompanied by twinkling lights and fireworks. And Christmas gives me the perfect excuse to indulge! Especially this year. I can't remember a year when the shelves have been loaded with so many sparkly ornaments and decorations. So I thought I'd share a bit of my passion for Christmas sparkly decorations here at the Casa Blog today.
When you come to my home, you're greeted by a beautiful white buck with twinkly lights.
Just past the front door, I've decorated the railing with holly garland...and then added some glittering butterflies and birds. (Am I the only one who thinks there can never be TOO much sparkle?)
And then you'll see my sparkle creation of a golden buck, and a new favorite decoration this year, a pure white glittering buck.
And now we have my sparkle gone wild. I got the little round basket with the angel in it as a gift a few years…
Apparently even Mother Nature follows Captain Picard's orders.
I wrote the original version of this post at about 9PM on Christmas Day, mainly because I wasn't sure we'd have power or Internet much longer. Euclid hit us pretty hard with lots of wind and snow.
This picture was taken at 11:00 on Wednesday morning. We've probably gotten this much snow before, but it's been a while. I had to get my DH to help me close the back door to the barn because the snow was blowing in on my hay--and wet hay is a bad thing!
I hadn't closed that door in years--I had to dig it out at the bottom and my DH put it back on the overhead track. Clearly, I should've done that sooner, but snow usually doesn't blow in from the east!
When did they start naming winter storms anyway? Is it because the meteorologists know they're going to get worse due to global warming? The last storm that rolled through here looked like a hurricane, and so did this one. Makes …
Hello all! I am very happy to be here today, a part of this wonderful group of writers. I'm new to Casablanca and before I start will give you all a quick intro.
In the writing world I'm known as Juliana Stone. (you can find out more about me HERE) I love to read, write, am a huge fan of music and on occasion I sneak out and sing in a classic rock band with my husband on guitar. I love baseball, hockey, and golf, have the best girlfriends in the world and a dog and cat who rock! That's the quick look!
Now, on to my post. It's nearing the back end of 2012 and at this time of the year, I usually look back and contemplate all the things I accomplished and the ones I didn't exactly get done. For me personally, 2012 was a year of transition. A year when I made some big changes that (at the time) I wasn't 100 percent sure would work out, but sometimes you gotta go with your gut and just do it!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Hardly seems like it's almost 2013. But for many people in England, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, the celebration isn't over! Today is Boxing Day.
So what is Boxing Day? Historically, Boxing Day was the day when servants would receive a "Christmas box" from their employers. This tradition dates from the Middle Ages, and some scholars speculate it stems from the fact that servants would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day. Therefore, they were given December 26th as a holiday to spend with their families. The masters would send boxes home with the servants containing gifts and bonuses and leftover food. In the picture below, a group of orphans is receiving gifts in 1921.
Another clue to the origin of Boxing Day comes from the carol "Good King Wenceslas." If you recall, the song goes, "Good King Wenceslas looked on on the feast of Stephen." December 26 is also known as St. Stephen's Day an…
This is an actual Live Oak tree limb growing through an 1870's building that was moved in front of the Stagecoach Inn in the 1930's. Rather than cut the tree limb, they made room for it! That's what I call Hug-a-Tree tree lovers. :)
Another shop in Salado all decked out in Christmas finery!
Here is the rest of the tree branch. Note that it has a metal stand that holds the branch up! The live oaks are huge in Salado, and their branches just keep on growing! :)
And here are some other bears I created for the Christmas season. Where would Santa bear be without his elves? These are the Elfinberries. They're pastel dyed, imported alpaca wool and have suede paws in different colors.
And I got an early Christmas present from Sourcebooks!!!
What more can I say than that????
Now that's what I call a CHRISTMAS present! Snow, wolf and Tom, and all.....
I loved the old buildings in Salado decorated for Christmas. We walked all over and saw many of the homes/shops that are on the historical tour. Many of these were built in the 1860's. It seems a long time ago, until I think of visiting the Scottish castles!!!
Here are some more of the shops and their wooden walkways.
Inside one of the old buildings that once was a residence and now a shop I took a picture of the rock work and pretty mirrored chest, and caught myself in the mirror! I didn't realize I had. Debbie, poor thing, was my coat bearer while I took pictures. It looked like it would rain, but it never did, so we finally ditched the coats in the car. I kept apologizing to her for having to be the workhorse on the trip, and if I had wanted to hide the fact she was carrying our coats, I captured it in the picture. So no tall tales there...
I loved the stone work in the buildings, and in the mirror, you can also see how the glass door has a glass window above it. Many of t…
I haven't blogged here at Casablanca for a while. I think the last blog I did (other than my Double Time launch post in November), was when I had just moved to Galveston, Texas. I love it here, if you're wondering. Best move I've ever made. So that was a big change. Wearing shorts and sandals and taking walks along the beach in December. Yeah, that was a BIG change over life in Nebraska.
Well, things have changed a lot more for me in just the last month.
First, thanks to the success of Double Time, I became a NYTimes and USA Today best-selling author. I never aspired to make the lists. Did I want to? You betcha! Did I think it would happen? If you'd have asked me that in June, I would have said never in a million years!
Another thing I would have said would never happen for me in a million years is making enough to support myself and my college-attending son with my writing income. I'm a single mom. I put myself through college and raised a kid on…