Friday, December 13, 2013

This Time of Year

Tree's up!
By Peg Brantley
Evocative Characters. Intriguing Crime. Compelling Stories.

This time of year my brain pretty much shuts down, tunes out, and gets all fuzzy-warm with family and friends.

As much as I want to work on my story, the holidays (which begin on November 19th at our house with my husband's birthday) seem to demand my full attention, and I'll roll in the holiday mode until January 2nd.

Between decorating and baking and planning for get-togethers and designing a Christmas card and trying to find that one perfect gift, there's very little time left for the work I love. Writing takes a back seat.

It is what it is.

This time of year is also a time for reflection. We've lost some wonderful authors this year, voices in our writing community who have been extinguished forever. Beyond their families, they've left a legacy in their words, and in those we'll continue to find light.

And we've lost Nelson Mandela. A light for our world, who showed us how love and compassion can overcome both fear and betrayal. It's a choice. I'm having trouble figuring out who will come next. But I firmly believe someone will. Maybe it will be Malala.

And that reflection extends to each one of us in our personal journeys. Some things we've done well and those need to be acknowledged. Other things we've slipped with and may need to reevaluate.

Which brings me to the fact that this time of year is when we traditionally look ahead. Gather our ideas. Prioritize our desires. Work to make them legitimate. And move our energy into making the next year one we can be proud of.

This time of year is exhausting.

But this time of year, and all year long, I wish you every ounce of love and hope and comfort you have room for.


  1. For me, that time of year (reflection) comes in September some time (occasionally end of August) - Tishrei 1 in the Jewish calendar.

    The wind-down and energy re-charge comes now and and the first two weeks in May - end of semester time, when I'm tired of students and wondering when is the intersection of energy and experience.

    No snow vs. a warm fireplace - always a struggle, mentally.

    1. I love getting glimpses into your Jewish traditions, David. Thanks.

  2. I don't let Christmas distract me, but I do love the New Year! It represents a fresh start, an opportunity to make improvements in my work, health, and attitudes. As for recharging, I do that in the summer by taking time off writing to get outside and enjoy the sun. I know, I'm an oddball. :)

    1. I love fresh starts! People who hate their jobs always look at me weird when I tell them I love Mondays.

  3. Nice post, Peg, and I love your tree! Both are inspiring. I've been enjoying doing some much-needed holiday socializing lately, including a Christmas variety show that two of my best friends were in, a Christmas Dinner-Dance, the annual holiday party of my local writers' group, and just generally getting out more with friends. It's a great break from beavering away on my computer and decluttering in my basement!

    I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and a productive 2014!

    1. I'm happy to hear you're allowing yourself time to get out and play, Jodie. Well done!

  4. Lj, I join you as a fellow oddball.

    Peg,while I don't enjoy the holidays as much as most, I do appreciate your joy--and that of others--and see it more as time to look back, reflect on where I've been, and think about where I'm going.

    Wishing you a happy holiday with your wonderful family :)

    1. Reflection is a good thing, and I don't find either you or L.J. odd in the least.

      Thanks for the kind wishes.


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