Tag Archives: stress

The 2011 Holiday Season

It’s been quiet around here. Moribund, even.

Hard to believe it’s the week leading up to Christmas, and that Hanukkah starts tonight. Here at West of Mars, it doesn’t feel very December-like. The weather’s been ping-ponging between temperatures in the 50s and in the 30s. The 30s are what’s normal.

I guess we’re lucky.

I mean, we could be flooded out, like the people in the Philippines. Or dealing with radiation, like the people in Japan. Afraid of war, like most of the world. Oh, wait. We probably are afraid of war. Terrorism and all.

Yep. Like I said, moribund.

It’s the holiday season, though. No one should be down in the dumps this time of year. Yet, we are. There are so many pressures: gifts, cookies, travel, family.

This is why we writers do what we do. We provide you with escape — but we also provide it for ourselves. Sitting down and staring at a computer screen is transportation, teleportation. It’s a gateway into another world.

It sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. When I can escape into a fictional place for awhile, facing real life doesn’t seem so insurmountable. If I didn’t make enough of the good cookies (or too many of the ones no one likes), if the turnpike’s backed up for ten minutes at the toll booth… none of it matters when I can throw my characters into the scene and let them deal with it.

That’s our gift to our readers. Real, live, breathing characters. Books that feature people and situations you can relate to.

Your gift to us, dear reader, comes in the form of royalties, excitement, e-mails asking when our next book is coming out. It comes when you hand our books to your friends with that particular statement: “You have got to read this!”

Best of all, these are gifts that we give each other year-round. We don’t need to wait for a certain season and its stresses. We don’t even need a real reason, other than passion — to create, to read, to share.

So enjoy the cookies and the gifts and the travel and the family. Let all their stresses melt away. Because before you go to bed this holiday season, you will have the time to curl up with a good book. And us, the writers, we’ll make the time to jot some words down, to envision a scene, to move the tiniest bit closer to bringing you another finished form of escape.

Happiness sometimes comes from small places. A book. A scene. A character.

Don’t let the holidays get you down. Let the holidays be your reason to read.

Need a last-minute gift? Books make the perfect gift, this week and every week!

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