It’s probably inescapable that the holidays bring gloom as well as good cheer. The year once again turns to the shortest day and the renewal of the sun becomes a marker in time. For weeks, we’re surrounded with music, lights, and celebrations. As we follow our traditions, the days are jam-packed with memories—our childhood, the childhoods of our children, loved ones who are no longer here. It’s a time when obligation and expectation puts you side by side at the dinner table with people you don’t really like—as well as those you thoroughly enjoy.
Then suddenly another day dawns and it’s all over.
And there are those depressing extra pounds added your butt or belly! Yes, I said I’ll eat just two of these peanut butter cookies and then ate nine.
Coping with this confusion of feelings drives me to the tequila bottle. Or to organizing my files or to staring out my office window at the cold rainy woods. Or—if I’m lucky—to the keyboard where a new story takes shape. It’s no secret that writers may find therapeutic value in their work. What surprises me is when things long hidden in my subconscious are suddenly staring back at me from the page.
I’m not sure how that happens, but I’m glad it does. Of course writing isn’t the only constructive method people use to wrestle with depressing demons. For some, it’s exercise. Others may confide in friends or a therapist. Some shop. Some clean house or stand at the kitchen sink with hands deep in hot soapy water.
And what’s wrong with a quick escape into a steamy romantic story?!
What are your ways of dealing with emotional holiday fallout?
CONTEST! Comment below. Describe your favorite way of dealing with holiday stress and sign up for my monthly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bHOyS9. I’ll include your name in a random drawing for a Surprise Gift Box, including a paperback copy of my latest novel, Caerwin and the Roman Dog. I’ll draw a second name to win a paperback copy of Caerwin and the Roman Dog.
Don’t forget to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you. (This contest is also announced in my January newsletter and on my Facebook page. Entries close January 9. Winners announced January 11. The contest is solely my responsibility.)
Now here’s an excerpt from my latest sexy short story, Holiday Journey. They’re random strangers stuck at an airport with flight delays.
… He leaned toward her. “After enough of these wasted hours, I’ve learned a couple of coping skills. A few hours can pass quickly if you know how to divert your attention.”
She stared at him. His tone and insinuation caught her off guard. His eyes were the most peculiar color, kind of green, kind of gray, and were watching her with a careful assessment she found disturbing. Not slasher disturbing. Disturbing as in reckless, out of bounds. She couldn’t avoid the sudden scene pictured clearly in her mind of his mouth on her nipples sucking them to hard points.
Her body reacted with instant zinging heat that brought fullness to her breasts and pulsing in her clit. Embarrassing as hell that she had any reaction at all, but his words echoed in her ears. She hated that her glance had observed his physique, the broadness of his shoulders as he lounged against the pillar, the rugged strength of his hands.
Oh for Christ’s sake. Really Giselle? Last night’s dream of Dan had left her vulnerable, emotions on the surface. No one escaped the holidays without suffering. Too much of her lonely, work-driven life had weakened her defenses. Too many years saving herself from entanglements. She needed to start working out again, subscribe to a book club, invest in better sex toys. Read the rest of this entry »