I thought it would be fun to share five ways By The Fire surprised me.
1. The hilarious family interactions.
2. Ridge’s sense of humor.
3. Food. So much food. All the food.
4. Kaito’s ex, what a wanker.
5. The ending. It wasn’t the ending I anticipated, but I loved it.
I thought it might be fun to share the best gifts my characters have received–whether within a story or off the page.
- Woody (Pure Dumb Luck) – a signed football from his favourite professional player.
- BC (The Wanderer) – the news that Graham was cancer free.
- Bishan (The Grasmere Trilogy) – a piano, Valor had to do something with his inheritance.
- Ridge (By The Fire) – a 1936 Ford Roadster that needed work.
- Kaito (By The Fire) – a photo album filled with family photos.
- Ivan (Forged in Flood) – his grandfather’s motorcycle.
- Fie (At War With A Broken Heart) – Haggard.
- Gray (The Lion Tamer) – His restaurant.
- Francis (After The Scrum) – a signed first edition of A Study in Scarlet.
- Valor (The Grasmere Trilogy) – a Bishan gnome.
(Image by Yvette Fang from Pixabay)
It’s always fun to share music playlists.
I wrote By The Fire in July. I don’t recommend writing a holiday-themed book in the summer. It’s a real pain.
So, here’s the music I listened to all through the summer.
- Both of Pentatonix’s holiday albums.
- Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong album
- Michael Brech’s holiday album
- Victorian Christmas by Heavenly Angelic Light Orchestra
- An English Christmas Cheer in Song and Carols
By The Fire is set in Aspen, Colorado.
I thought I’d share ten fun things to do in Aspen in December.
1. Ski. Obviously.
2. Take a sleigh ride.
3. Enjoy the festivities of Aspen’s 12 Days of Christmas celebration.
4. Have a burger at The White House Tavern.
5. Check out the John Denver Sanctuary.
6. Enjoy the view from the Silver Queen Gondola ride.
7. Snowshoe through some of the trails.
8. Visit the Wheeler Opera House.
9. See the exhibits at the Aspen Art Museum.
10. Have a drink at the Aspen Brewing Company.
(Image by skeeze from Pixabay)
When I start a story, nine times out of ten, I’ve already figured out the title. Every once in a while, I end up having to change it midway through. (Forged in Flood, for example, was The Blacksmith even after I’d finished it then I had to change the title. The Misguided Confession also went through a name change midway.)
My latest holiday short story definitely fit into the one time out of ten.
It went through several different titles.
First, it was Screw You Santa Clause, but the story changed enough the title didn’t fit.
Then came a few different ideas I bounced around with my beta readers: Dim The Lights, Broken Baubles, Holiday Heartbreak. None of those fit the story that was developing. I find it really difficult to write without a title. Almost every time, I have a title beforehand.
So, three chapters into By The Fire, I just hated Broken Baubles as a holiday title. It wasn’t working. Every time I pulled up the word document, the title annoyed me so much.
I spent an entire day looking through holiday phrases, listening to songs, etc.
And then, By The Fire hit me.
It was perfect.
It said what I wanted to say. I wanted this holiday novella to be about romance and comfort. What’s more comforting than sitting beside a fireplace?
If you’re an author, do you start your story with or without a title already decided?
Well, it’s December. Officially. That means I can watch holiday movies and listen to holiday music without getting side eyes from people.
So, here are my top five holiday-themed movies, in no particular order:
– Love Actually (Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson kill me every time.)
– A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version)
– A Christmas Carol (Animated version with Jim Carrey
– Last Holiday
– The Holiday
Bonus: A White Christmas
And honestly, you can add A Christmas Carol with George C Scott as well lol. Oh, and I always watch at least one of the Harry Potter movies in December.
Do you have a favourite holiday movie?
Whatever you celebrate during December, I hope you have a happy, safe, and peaceful holidays. May you connect with people who love and cherish you.
I thought I’d share some of my personal holiday traditions with you, ones that I’ve developed over the years since I left home by myself and with my husband. I grew up in an abusive home, so Christmas for me, as an adult, is about finding joy and comfort with those who actually care about me–not those who should’ve but don’t.
- We always do appetizers and board games on Dec 24th.
- A new holiday movie every year–one we haven’t seen.
- I watch Little Women in December (at least once).
- We always have one carton of eggnog (the good kind, not the weird kind in the tin).
- Christmas dinner is one that I usually experiment with new recipes.
Do you have holiday traditions? Anything special you do?