When the kids and grandkids were little, I was really into the holidays. Then they grew up and moved out, and I turned into more of a slacker. These days, they usually drive up from Indy to see us for Christmas, but that’s not until the 25th, so most years, I don’t bother with the tree and decorations until the second weekend in December, and then I grumble about how much work it is. I even tried to talk HH into a smaller tree, but he wasn’t having it. And that’s good, because for some reason, this year, (maybe because we didn’t get to see the kids for Thanksgiving since they’d traveled), I was psyched about decorating the house. So the wreathes went on doors and the decorations went on shelves the Saturday after Thanksgiving on November 28. WAY early for me.

The rest won’t be far behind. The tree goes up next. Pre-lit, yes, but I have TONS of things to hang on it. Then I want to bake cookies and make candy. I want to have a Christmas Eve meal BEFORE the big Christmas ham and fixings. I’m even in the mood for Christmas music, which sometimes annoys me in early December.

I’m not a Grinch. I don’t want to shut down the holiday. But this is the first time in a while I feel ready to jump into it. My sister and cousin have been watching Christmas Hallmark movies for a long time now, and I’m not so much into those. But I did already get out the Christmas dinnerware to use everyday and the Christmas, quilted placemats.

And then there’s my writing. My mind’s been churning to think of a nice Christmas short story that’s a mystery–you know, something cheerful with a dead body under the tree:) And oops! That thought gave me an idea:)

I’m up to 50,000 words on the Jazzi cozy I’m working on now and need at least 20,000 more, but for my next Jazzi, I want to write a Christmas novel, and I’m excited about that. I’ve never done one before–focused around Christmas so that George can wear a Santa hat on a book cover. Lots of other authors write Christmas mysteries, and this time, I’m motivated. It’s going to happen.

Anyway, the Christmas spirit bit me earlier than usual this year. And I’ve rambled about it long enough, but I hope all of you have a wonderful December, whether you celebrate Christmas or Passover or something else, and whether you’re in the mood to celebrate or not. And I’m hoping a holiday Muse inspires you with lots of lovely words.

So, Happy December! And Happy Writing!


There’s a lot of cooking in my novels.  Food is the glue that brings people together.  Probably because that’s how I view it.  I love to cook, and sitting around a table with family and friends is one of my favorite experiences.

Cooking is a creative outlet for me.  I get bored making the same recipes over and over, so I love to experiment with new ones when I have guinea pigs–oops,  I mean friends–over.

December in our house ups the ante.  It’s about putting up decorations and connecting with more friends and family than usual.  I’ve cooked a lot of suppers for a lot of people lately.  My daughter–the traveling nurse–decided not to re-sign her contract in Indianapolis and try for a job in San Jose.  There’s a gap between finishing in Indy and starting in California, so she and her cat have been staying with us.  She’s not a recipe follower.  She glances at the basic ingredients she needs and then wings it.  I had to laugh at myself.  Winging it horrorifies me.  Maybe I need recipes to cook just like I need plot points to write.  I’m more comfortable with structure.

Since I love cooking , it shows up in my writing.  In our family, the details of each day were discussed at the dinner table.  It was the hub for staying in touch.  Everyone sat around the table and talked about school and work.  In my novels, people connect over the food they love most.  Cooking is an act of love.

However you’re spending December, I hope it’s a good one; and Happy Writing!


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