This is the first year in my entire blogging career (if you can call it that) that I have not written throughout the Advent and Christmas season; that I have not written about Hanukkah or something relevant about the season. The truth is, my holiday was rather uneventful, just the way I like it, so there wasn’t much to say. But here is a recap, for those who are interested.
Churches and Families:
My Dear Readers know that I have been in and out of several different churches in the last 10 years, trying to find the place where our quirky family can actually find a home. We have special needs, four fold, and it is hard to find a place where people understand this, or at the very least, just accept us as we are. We have finally found it, and it is not just a place where the Sacraments are offered but nothing else really is. We have a church family and we have the Sacraments and that is as much as I will say about it. There is no longer a struggle in that area, so there is nothing more interesting to say about it. Have I ever mentioned that I am an extreme introvert (read every other post I have I written in life)? I don’t bring My Dear Readers that far into my personal life anymore. For me, worship and faith are personal. The Love of God is not. I share, in my imperfect state, whatever of that Love I can.
Books and Writing:
A Berlin Story is done and submitted. It was several years of hard work, and all I produced was a most excellent novella. I believe in this work. We’ll see where it goes. Currently, I am editing a short story about life in Soviet Russia (more than one of those, really), and I am writing two scholarly journals on American genealogy in the 18th century East Coast. For me, this is just as fun as writing about crazy fictional dissidents in Soviet Russia. I. Am. A. Happy. Little. Nerd.
I am reading two books, both of which I love. One, my father sent me. He has a penchant for smart mysteries and he sends them to me several times a year, which always helps to remind me that not all reading has to be serious or even thoughtful. Sometimes, reading can just be fun and fun reading helps the brain to relax a bit. I. Am. Also. A. Tightly. Wound. Little. Nerd.
Wake of the Hornet by Val Davis (A Nicolette Scott Mystery) is this great archeological mystery about the sudden and violent murders of two people on an expedition of the island of Balesin in the South Pacific. Rumors of cannibalism and a strange local cult hang on the edges of the first few chapters and then the reader is plunged completely into this crazy, fast-paced story. I absolutely love it. I am enjoying it thoroughly, and it is what I need to read before bed at night. Archeology and mystery. It’s for fun.
For the writer in me that never stops reading, I have picked up a new copy of Everything That Rises Must Converge. It is a short story collection by Flannery O’Connor. I can hear her Southern lilt at the end of each sentence and I feel her Catholicism pushing the determination with which she writes about racism and morality. O’Connor is hysterical and serious at the same time. Her words are like a much-need hard slap. I love her. I have always loved her. Flannery O’Connor reminds me of the reasons I love to write and she makes me feel supported in my own ideals.
I complete my bachelors degree in Cognitive Studies with a minor in Sociology this spring. I begin my Masters in English Literature and my Certificate in Genealogical Studies from Boston University. Why such a strange combination of studies? I have a son with Autism who needs me. Because of him, I know a whole community of children, teenagers, and adults with Autism who need a specific kind of educational support. I can offer that now. My BA was for my son. My Masters is for me. My certificate is for my family and yours. I will explain in greater detail later. (Again, for those who give a rip).
That’s about it. Advent was quiet and Christmas was even quieter. We did nothing special, but we also did not get flummoxed by the manufactured stress of decorating and activities. I had some serious IVIG treatments for Myasthenia Gravis, which sent me to the hospital for a couple of days, but I recovered and I am grateful for these treatments that have given me some of my life back.
More info to come. More writing. Thanks for reading, My Dear Readers. Now tell me what you did during the holidays and what you are writing and reading.
Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.