It’s been an unbelievably quick fall. Suddenly it’s dark by 5:00, and the ground is covered with snow. Wasn’t it just August a moment ago? I had to exchange my shorts for pants before December this year despite my best intentions (my personal best is December 2nd, and that’s pretty good for Minnesota) because there’s just something wrong with flirting with frostbite while walking the dogs in bare legs with a foot of snow on the ground.
This year I find I’m conflicted about winter as I have never been before. While I’ve come to dislike the white crap, the nostril-hair-freezing temps, and the fact that I have to turn the headlights on by 4:30 in the afternoon, there is something about the season I can’t deny. I’m not religious, but I love the holiday music. I love Christmas trees and the feeling the woodsy smell of pine evokes. I love the memories that flood me as we uncover each ornaments and hang them. I love how my wife Betty and I have made a tradition of blending Christmas and our version of Hanukkah to honor Betty’s childhood and her mom’s side of her family. I love the taste of warm, spiced apple cider and the play of cinnamon and nutmeg on the back of my tongue. I love getting together with my blood family and my chosen family. I have to admit there’s something to be said about snuggling down on the couch under a blanket and watching the Grinch, Rudolph, and Frosty.
Somehow I always seem to write more during the fall and winter than any other time of the year, as well. I’m so very close to getting my latest manuscript, Operation Stop Hate, finished up and to my editors. I was psyched to see the finalized cover, thanks
to Ann McMan and her mad skillz! Operation Stop Hate introduces National Investigation and Protection Unit (NPIU) Agent Cailin McKenna. Agent McKenna finds herself knee-deep in the investigation of a school shooting that leads to a hate group trying to recruit kids by distributing White Power music on school grounds. At the same time, Cailin has to deal with a crazy ex who’s turned into a stalker bent on destroying the new life Cailin’s creating with her new girlfriend, Alex. I’m hoping to release the book late December or early January, and as an early holiday present, I’ll give away unedited galley copies to TWO lucky commenters!
I’ll be very happy when I can call that project done and continue work on Shay 5, Blood Money Murder. This bad boy involves a deadly secret Shay’s mother-figure, Eddy, has kept for the last twenty-five years. If I can keep myself out of too many holiday shenanigans, the book will be out late spring. Check out the world-wide debut of the awesome cover right here, right now:
These books and the New Year will usher in a new era in my writing life. I’m a hybrid author, both traditionally published, and now indie pubbed as well. 2015 will really test the capabilities of Train Wreck XPress, the publishing company I’ve started. Coming out of the darkness into the light? We’ll see.
Maybe there is something to be said about winter after all. How do you feel about the change in seasons? Does it affect you in any way? Are you more productive? Less productive? What is your favorite season?
From my family to yours, be safe, be warm, and be happy.