Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What is YOUR Christmas Reality?

This is our 2011 tree because I'm too busy
to go take a picture of  this year's tree.
The other day, someone in my Facebook feed posted about ice cream, and said it might be weird to talk about ice cream at Christmas but it's great after a hot day at the beach.

First, when is ever it weird to talk about ice cream?

But it got me thinking. We didn't used to be such a global society. I grew up in Massachusetts and I don't think I even knew anyone in or from Florida or other southern states, never mind people from the other side of the world. Christmas is Christmas, and it meant snow and cold, and that's what all the Santa Claus traditions are founded on.

As I got older and the world shrank and we all started moving around more, it was laughing about how those poor people down south had to endure warm weather and no snow on Christmas, but we still didn't really *think* about it.

Now I talk routinely to people all over the world. When closing an e-mail, I have to be careful whether I'm wishing someone in Canada a happy Thanksgiving in the wrong month, or someone in England happy Independence Day (whoops!). I know people in South America and Australia are starting their summer, as we're starting our winter.

But what I really started wondering last week was how that changes the details of Christmas. I mentioned this to someone at work, and she looked at me like I was dim. "Santa has a sleigh. He needs snow."

Well, yeah, our Santa has a sleigh. But maybe the Santa in Australia doesn't have a sleigh. Maybe their stories say that he starts his "one-night" ride in a bathing suit, riding the clouds on a wagon-toting surfboard or something. I mean, does the Santa who delivers presents in Australia even live in the North Pole?!

I'm hoping some of you who read this blog live down under (or in South America or Indonesia or anywhere not the US!) and would be happy to share your Santa Claus with us.

If poor Santa hauls your presents around in that heavy, fluffy suit, I hope you leave him ice cream instead of cookies and milk! LOL

In the meantime, wherever you are, whatever you do this week, I wish you the loveliest of holidays and/or "the last week of the year." :)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today's Farce is Brought to You by Natalie's Brain

The morning routine has changed this year, what with Number One being gone and Number Two being spoiled...okay, not spoiled, but she doesn't take the bus to school, so she doesn't have to leave at 6:45 a.m., so all three of us are leaving at the exact same time every morning, so we're all trying to take showers at the same time.

That's reason number one.

Reason numbers two, three, and four are my recent blog tour, my new day job hours (starting at 8 instead of 8:30), and my increase in freelance work as well as awkward timing of that work.

Those are the reasons I've been getting up at 5:30 every morning.

Due to ice and snow earlier this week, I was getting up at 5. I didn't have as productive a day as I wanted yesterday, so I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. today so I had time to do some stuff and turn it in.

You with me so far? Good.

One other bit of background you need to know: I wake up almost every morning 1 or 2 minutes before my alarm goes off so it doesn't wake my husband. Also because it's effing obnoxious.

So this morning I wake up at 5:00 a.m., turn off the alarm, take a shower, get mousse and conditioner in my hair and moisturizer everywhere, and go out to feed the cats. Only one shows up.

I spend some time searching for BG and can't find her in any of the bedrooms. She's not locked in the downstairs bathroom as she is most nights, nor under beds or desks or tables as she might be when she thinks we are going to lock her away. I even checked outside, concerned she snuck out and no one noticed. Can't find her.

I boot up my computer, start up some programs, and glance at the clock. Huh. Why does it say 2:46 a.m.?

With a sick feeling, I hit the home button on my iPod. Yep. 2:46 a.m.

Well f**k.

I went to bed at 12:25, so I got just about an hour and a half of sleep before I started my day. That's not gonna work. But I'm wide awake, and my hair is wet. I can't just get back into bed. Plus I have all this work still do to. Should I go lie awake, struggling to sleep, and doze off around 4 only to get up at 5 so I can get the work done? That's stupid.

(Uh, yeah. This whole thing is stupid.)

So I worked until 3:45, prepping for today's blog stop and the promotion that has to be done, as well as completing three client projects and updating the checkbook with today's paycheck. During that time, BG (pictured above) shows up at my door with that same accusatory expression. While she ate the food I'd set aside for her (after some coaxing, cuz come on, it' THREE FORTY FIVE A-FREAKING-M) I took Maya into the bathroom (lest she eat BG's food) while I dried my hair.

Then I put on clean pajamas and went to bed.

Woke up at 6, made sure the shower was going, and dozed until 6:30. Got up, brushed my teeth for a second time, realized I needed 5 minutes to get dressed and 5 minutes to redo my hair, and got back into bed.

As you can guess, I got a venti mocha with an extra shot for breakfast. It kept me feeling alert, but did not make me articulate or keep me from making stupid mistakes all morning, at which my boss laughed every time because she was so amused by this story.

I know there are some of you who routinely get up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. (I'm looking at YOU, MJ), but how many times have you done it by mistake?

I don't think I'll be recovering from this until the middle of next week. Good thing I got copyedits yesterday...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Goodreads Giveaways for Goddesses Rising

Sunroper will be out in 20 days, and to celebrate the completion of the Goddesses Rising trilogy, I'm running three giveaways over at Goodreads. Go enter!

And while you're at it, check out all the stops on my blog tour for A Kiss of Revenge. You can enter at each stop to win an iFrogz GoLite Battery and Flashlight. Don't know what that is? It's portable electricity. Charge the battery, and then you can charge your phone or tablet or e-reader or any USB device on the go! This giveaway ends tomorrow, so don't delay! :)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Under the Moon by Natalie J. Damschroder

Under the Moon

by Natalie J. Damschroder

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heavy Metal by Natalie J. Damschroder

Heavy Metal

by Natalie J. Damschroder

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sunroper by Natalie J. Damschroder


by Natalie J. Damschroder

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, December 02, 2013

Frozen Heat Catches Fire

Scorch, mascot for the Harrisburg Heat
Everything I did last weekend seemed to be about temperature.

On Friday, Number One and I went to see Frozen, the new Disney movie. I kept hearing that it was so much better than its trailer—from adults, no less—and I was in the mood for that kind of thing.

Well, it wasn't as great as I was led to believe, but I liked it a lot. It got me teary, and made me laugh... Okay, full disclosure. Olaf saying his carrot nose was like a "weetle baby unicorn" cracked me up so hard I HAD to see the movie.

It was well animated, and the sister relationship broke my heart. It was great to see that as the core of the story rather than the love stuff, though you know I'm all about the romance. :) There were some predictable plot twists that disappointed me, and Number One and I had a writerly discussion on how we would have done it, which was also fun. She liked the songs. They felt a little too High School Musical to me, and both of us agreed they didn't fit smoothly into the story.

Immediately after Frozen, we joined the rest of the family for Catching Fire. I really liked it. It's been years since I read the book, so I wasn't driven to compare like I usually am when I see a book adapted into a movie. I adore Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks! They did a magnificent job, and the film was well weighted. One review (EW, I think) said that events happen around Katniss without her being a real catalyst, and that amused me. I mean, that's the whole point! She doesn't WANT to be a symbol or launch a revolution. And she doesn't want it in a way that's very different from the typical Hero's Journey. She never really embraces the role, which I think makes her more relatable than the typical hero. I left the theater feeling well satisfied and looking forward to Mockingjay. I hope they have more on the screen than was in the book (too much happened off the page with Katniss unconscious, IMO), but I have to admit I dread the Peeta brainwashing part.

Saturday night we went to the Harrisburg Heat game, local pro indoor soccer. We finally won a home game! And it was a good one. Very exciting, with a mascot soccer game at halftime that was quite funny. The poor Whoopie Pie goalkeeper couldn't ever see the ball! LOL

How was your holiday weekend?