So, here we are again, another year and another brilliant, balmy Queensland summer. (Though at times this year with the nippy evenings, you might wonder what state we're in). Queensland summer means mangoes, sleeping with the sheets off, drinks with ice, and AWOL Christmas trees (don't ask).
Now, Christmas means different things to different people. In Hollywood movies, it's a grand family affair complete with all the embarrassing uncles, tensions and heartfelt dramas that resolve with some kind of life lesson. In the real world, things aren't really so neat and clean. Many of us don't have the big family, or don't get on with them, or work away, or we just don't see Christmas as such a big deal. (I could recommend The Family Stone and Love Actually as two movies at different ends of the comedic spectrum that reasonably capture some of this complication). At this point, I could end up tumbling down the rabbit hole, where I explain how much I love Christmas, but how culturally complicated it is, and how it can simultaneously be the most joyous and the most sad time of year.
BUT! I'll save that for another time. Because Christmas also means stories - both writing them, and summer books and movies. Last year, I copyedited Ryders Ridge across the Christmas holidays. This week, I've just completed the copyedit on Iron Junction, a story of love and discovery that takes place in the weeks leading up to and after Christmas in the Pilbara. Having done this, I'm off to the Sunshine Coast to sequester myself in a place with a huge pool (that I won't swim in unless I'm good) to continue writing the next novel, which I'm aiming to have done before New Year. After that, I'm polishing up a short story that will precede Iron Junction, and be available free early next year. Yay gifts!
So, 'tis the season for writing, and I hope in the down moments, for reading and movies, and scoffing mangoes. Whatever Christmas and summer means to you (or, heck, if it's winter where you are), I hope this year it is all those things in plenty. :)