Hi Ivy, pull up a chir and chose your poison, er drink and cookie...
It's August, as I'm sure you're all aware. People love to talk about the date and the time of year and how fast it's going. I'm not getting down on this habit. I think we all talk about it because the year always does seem to pass quite rapidly. One minute you're packing up your Christmas lights and putting away your stuffed toys that only get to see the light of day in the month that starts with a "D", and the next minute you're hauling them out again thinking, "Didn't I just do this?"
For the last two years, Christmas has visited me in summer. When it arrived, I didn't haul out the tree or put out my Grandmother's decorations made of dried starfish, large sea anemones, and seahorses (Seahorses that were pets; pets that she dried and put Christmas hats on. Yes, I'm serious.). How I celebrated when Christmas came around in the hot months was to write holiday stories. Last year, Breathless Press put out a call for holiday stories and I didn't notice or get the call until late August. The stories were due at the end of August and for six days I went crazy and got a story up and ready. Happily Baby, You're Cold Inside was accepted and all my hard work, albeit last minute work, paid off.
This year, I found out in April that Breathless Press was once again looking for submissions for holiday stories and they needed them by the end of July. I tossed the idea around in my head for a while and by mid-July with nothing to show for my internal musings, I decided that I would not be writing a story this year. I just didn't have the time or the energy. However, Christmas had other ideas.
On July, 24th the festive spirit slipped into my fingers and I started to write. I was happy with what I had produced and really got cracking on my story the next day. I became consumed and absorbed in my work and no matter how much my back hurt and my hands ached, I continued to write. As the deadline loomed Christmas became intoxicating and much to my delight, I finished my story in just four and a half days.
Christmas and I toasted to my completed manuscript on the evening of July, 31st and with tip of the stocking, the holiday bid me farewell until December.
I've no idea whether or not this story will even be accepted. It's very different than my other stories in that it isn't as…ahem…explicit as my other work and it is has a full on, no holds barred "Happily Ever After" which I usually don't do. Most of the time the HEA won't quite fit and the best I can do is "Happily Ever Maybe". But I think it happened this time because I needed to write something happier and more uplifting than I normally allow myself.
Life is funny and sad and the years do go by very, very fast. Celebrate when you can and with those you love the most. Christmas in July or Halloween in March, the calendar is a guideline, but when to celebrate with your favourite holiday is up to you.
Thank-you to Raven for hosting me today and Merry/Happy Christmas!
And now, just for kicks, here's an excerpt from the story I just submitted. Hopefully it will be picked up, but if not, I really, really enjoyed writing it!
From the waiting to see if it will be accepted for publishing, "Secret Christmas Gifts".
"Tim, sorry to interrupt, but I've brought round the new guy! Thought you two should meet right away since your paths will cross come January when you start on the William's Project. I'll let you get acquainted and see you both at lunch!" Terry shook the new guy's hand again before heading out of Tim's office.
The very handsome man turned back to Tim and gave him a generous smile. Tim smiled back him. He felt ridiculously shy and had to force himself to not stare at this incredible specimen of a man, but it was difficult. He was tall, dark and handsome. Everything that Tim felt he was not. How did anyone get so lucky?
"Are you alright Tim? Am I interrupting after all?" Tim looked up into his blue eyes. Then, not wanting to appear to cowling at this man's feet, he stood up and stammered out, "No, no! You're not interrupting and welcome aboard! Good to meet you—ow!"
"It's Bob actually," the man with all the height said with a touch of humor, "but you can call me whatever makes you comfortable." He held out his hand for Tim to shake.
Tim nodded a few times willing the pain in his upper thigh to subside. "Yes hello, Bob. I'm Tim." He placed his much smaller hand into Bob's large one. Bob grasped it and shook it firmly. "Nice to meet you Tim." he said as though he actually meant it.
Tim raised himself to his full height, which unfortunately seemed to be about six inches shorter than Bob and gave him his best smile. "Sorry about that. Just ran into my desk. It's always jumping in my way."
"Yes, you sure did. Are you alright?"
Tim nodded and continued to shake Bob's hand. "Yes, good, good. I'm really good." There was an awkward moment of silence until Bob said, "Well Tim, as much as I'm enjoying this, the heartiest handshake I've had in a good long while, perhaps you could release me from your firm grasp?"
Tim looked down. He'd not really realized they'd still been shaking hands.
"Oh, sorry about that! The pain in my leg. More distracting than I thought I suppose!" He finally let go and much to his surprised added, "I don’t have a firm grasp. It was all you, Bob!" He leaned over his desk and gave the bigger man a playful tap on the shoulder.
"No, no. I know a good hand shake when I feel one. You've got great hands, Tim. I'm sure they make a lot of people happy." Then he winked at him. Tim was taken aback. This, to date, had been the strangest exchange he'd ever had with man and he couldn't remember if a man had ever winked at him. Were they flirting?
Tim returned his mind to the office and the man in front of his desk. "Thank-you, Bob. That's kind of you to say so. My wife, she likes my hands, or well she used to." Tim sat down in his chair, wincing at his words. What was he doing?
"Sorry?" Bob asked, taking the seat in front of Tim's desk.
"Nothing! That was inappropriate of me to say!"
"No, no. Go on. I'm a strong believer of not keeping things in. Clearly you've got a situation on your mind. I'm a good listener Tim."
The look of concern and sincerity on Bob's face was enough to get Tim rolling. After all, if he was going to find a man by tomorrow evening to have sex with him in front of his wife, he couldn't be coy. Bob was turning into the most likely man for the job. Might as well dive in head first!
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