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My 400th Blog Post

I just happened to take a glance at my blog post counter a couple of weeks ago and noticed that I was very close to a multiple of a hundred and found I couldn’t just ignore such a figure once I reached it. I have somehow managed to keep blogging and hit the 400 point!

Last night I asked my husband, Phil, how I should celebrate this. He said I needed pandas so that’s that criteria sorted. Panda babies for you to go awwww over.

Personally I don’t think it’s a celebration without cake, but I’ve not got time to bake today (mostly because I spent a few too many hours looking up origami kusudama) so here’s a picture of some origami I made instead. It’s not a full kusudama yet, but with another 11 of these all put together it would be.

The other thing that celebrations usually have is some kind of free awesome and since Sherdan’s Country is almost finished in second draft and will be on its way to my editor very shortly, I’m giving away an advanced ebook copy of it! Whoever comments on the blog will get their name stuck in a hat and in a week I’ll announce a winner. Standard t’s and c’s will apply, with the exception of the prize delivery time. The advanced copy isn’t technically ready yet but the reader will get a copy of the ebook at least a week before the official launch in late Autumn.

So thank you everyone who’s been reading my writing blogs, reviews, random thoughts, creative experiments and all the other sorts of things I’ve decided were a good idea to blog about in the past and here’s to hundreds more.

Christmas

I like Christmas and it’s only one week to go or seven sleeps as people keep saying. The big problem I find, however, is I don’t get much work done in December.

Planning for Christmas actually takes a lot of time each year. There’s all the present buying (which I usually quite enjoy), wrapping, putting the decorations up, writing cards and christmas letters to people we don’t see so often, organising who’s going where over the holiday period and making sure there’s enough food in the house of the right sort (ie, a big enough turkey), christmas dinners, nativity plays, carol services, and all sorts of other little things that all add up to make December a very busy month.

All in all I often find that it’s actually quite a lot of fuss over something that tends to be over quickly and not always very pleasant. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for remembering the true spirit of Christmas and I love watching the kid’s nativity every year. I also really love seeing Santa Claus the Movie with Dudley Moore as Patch the elf, but most of the preparation is part of the Christmas day celebration itself, which tends to revolve around giving people presents, hoping I don’t get anything where I have to fake my smile of gratitude, and eating far too much food that probably took longer than really necessary to prepare. All the while, hoping that everyone gets along and no one says anything that’s going to cause offense (which can be really easy with a lot of families). In short Christmas can actually be really stressfull, not to mention the fact it’s never anything like the Christmas that movies and advertising imply we should have.

I’m not going to go into the details about what Christmas should be. I actually think enough other people will cover the Jesus angle. I just find myself wishing we did some of this all year round. I think I’d like to be able to make less effort at Christmas to include all these things and instead do them spontaneously the rest of the year. I want to have people over for a good dinner in other months too and give people presents on other days that aren’t their birthdays. I’d like to have pretty things in my house and the smell of yummy things baking regularly. But mostly I want to celebrate, appreciate and smile about good things all year round.