It’s Christmas

It’s Christmas

Christmas | Guy L. PaceThis is our second Christmas in our new (to us) house. We got lights up, a new tree, and some other decorations. And of course, we shopped. It’s a good year in many respects. Sad in others.

After Thanksgiving, and just into December, we had one daughter visiting with her kids when the doorbell rang. It was a family of carolers who were caroling in support of a ministry for Philippine relief. They sang three or four songs and we gave them a donation.

But that started the season for us in a good, heartfelt way. Christmas has always been special for me. The family was always together during the holidays, it seemed. This made my first Christmas away from home, stationed on the USS Newport News (CA-148), difficult. I called home from a phone booth near the pier on Christmas Eve. Norfolk, Virginia, was cold, wet, and dark. Not the white Christmas I grew up with. It was lonely and most of my shipmates were gone for the holidays. I was too new, no leave built up, and got to stand watches in the quiet dark days.

Even though I wasn’t deployed at the time, it felt like it. It was a different time in the U.S. in the 1970s and few expressed compassion for service members away from home on the holidays.

Today, we deploy more than 300,000 service members outside the U.S. Almost a million serve on active duty in our own country. Many of those can’t join their families during this Christmas season. We often deploy our service members to inhospitable, downright scary places.

During this season, please try to remember those serving and deployed. A prayer, a card, a call can mean a lot to someone far from home, especially for the first time.

Merry Christmas.

Keep writing.


Life Happens

I’d like to find the perfect writer’s tool. Do you know what that would be? It would be something that would help get the things of life out of the way, taken care of, so I could spend the necessary hours at the workstation writing.

This wonderful tool would deal with the transportation of grandchildren to and from school, sports events, and back to their homes.

This perfect tool would handle doctor appointments, dental appointments, grocery shopping and similar tasks. It would leave me to the writing.

But, this tool does not exist and I can’t afford a personal assistant. So I deal with life’s events, tasks and appointments instead of sitting at the workstation, writing. Many of those events, though, I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Thus, I again missed another arbitrary deadline. I don’t accept this as failure. I accept this as just part of life and an opportunity to check in, reset and try again. So, I’ll do just that.

In the meantime, I’ve sent the first novel to a professional editor for a “substantive edit.” I hope this means that the resulting work–after I do the suggested changes and edits–will be ready for either self-publishing, or an agent/editor in the traditional publishing path. Still, one short story is on a short list and another is making the rounds.

So, now to get back to the writing.