Holidays. I both love and loathe them.
On the one hand I love having my family about me and all the festive cheer, but… on the other hand, they’re loud. I’m a creature of quiet. I work at home, alone, with just my music, one sleeping cat and occasionally an irritating furby (that quickly gets put in a cupboard) for company. I’m also a quiet sort of person. Generally people have to tell me to speak up, and I’ve been told I have the quietest knock (as in, knocking on a door) ever.
Not my family. Oh no. My daughter, bless her, is just like her father and both like to have conversations at the tops of their voices, while in the same room. Wince for my poor delicate ear-drums with me, would you? My husband has conversations (yelled usually) with the TV when the rugby is on. My daughter sings along with whatever she has on her tablet and the Furby just talks to anyone. Even our cat is loud. So loud in fact, that we call him shouty cat because he likes to complain about the least little thing.
All in all, its chaos, and I have to work in the middle of it. Which, when you’re trying to write a sex scene can be interesting. Here I am tapping away about…yeah, you know, and there’s a tap at my elbow.
“Mummy, can I have a drink?”
Have you ever seen an author squeak and slam a laptop closed while trying to cover a notebook at the same time? It takes some dexterity, let me tell you. You see, little Miss Carter can read. Well. And spell. Excellently. Certainly well enough to read certain four letter words in certain scenes in my manuscripts that I don’t want her learning.
Okay, we get that sorted and she’s playing in the front room. I start again, tapping away happily as my husband does paperwork for his job (he’s a plumber).
“Sweetheart, how do you spell vent?” (he’s dyslexic)
On so many occasions I am tempted to spell a different four letter word for him but I’m not that evil. Yet. Tap me up at the end of the holidays and see how that’s going ;)
So…generally by five o’clock I’m frazzled, need earplugs and a vodka (although I rarely drink holidays bring that out in me!) but then we’ll sit down and watch a movie together as is a requirement on holidays in our house, Miss C and I on the sofa all snuggled up in a blanket (we fight over them). Often she goes to sleep across my lap.
It’s then that I realize that without the shouting and the questions, I wouldn’t appreciate the quiet so much and I wouldn’t change my family for the world.
So what do you love and loathe about the holidays? Do you have any rituals for the festive season?
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Mina was born and raised in the East Farthing of Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England) and spend her childhood learning all the sorts of things generally required of a professional adventurer. Able to ride, box, shoot, make and read maps, make chainmail and use a broadsword (with varying degrees of efficiency) she was disgusted to find that adventuring is not considered a suitable occupation these days.
So, instead of slaying dragons and hunting vampires and the like, Mina spends her days writing about hot shifters, government conspiracies and vampire lords with more than their fair share of RAWR. Turns out wanna-be adventurers have quite the turn of imagination after all...
(But she keeps that sword sharp, just in case the writing career is just a dream and she really *is* an adventurer.)
The boring part: A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She's addicted to coffee and would like to be addicted to chocolate, but unfortunately chocolate dislikes her.