Ahh, the holidays

I’m the poster boy for introverts. I swear these holidays are going to kill me.

Company arrived on Wednesday. They’re still here, and they brought their dogs.

Thanksgiving day we had twelve of us, and my son’s family also brought their dog. I mention this, because we just put in a new hard-surface floor. Doggie feet are loud on it. My dogs tend to take the occasional nap… but not when there are other dogs around.

There are three doors to get outside my house, and on Thanksgiving day they were all in use. (Think grandchildren here.) My son deep fried our turkey outside, and the kids were in and out in some kind of revolving door situation. I didn’t want my dogs out front, because they aren’t familiar with cars and streets. This meant a constant checking every time the doors opened. Add in the fact that (doing higher math, bear with me) ninety doggie toenails clicked across the floor every time someone touched a doorknob.

My brother in law likes to rough house with the bulldogs. In his defense, he doesn’t have large dogs at home so it’s kind of unique. Roughhousing at six AM is not quite what I want when I wake up.

Working at a small government office yesterday was kind of a godsend. It was calm and quiet. I think I had one telephone call all day and managed to get some long suffering paperwork finished.

Last night we all went to dinner together. This included my son’s family too. It was nice, but the Black Friday crowd made for long waits. We even paid valet parking at the shopping center because it was that busy. Five bucks was much nicer than forty minutes of cruising followed by a half-mile walk.

Today, the in-laws and my wife went shopping. I’m here with the four dogs and my other son. He’s upstairs doing his prescription opioid addiction problem right now. He’s snapping his fingers and slapping his chest all while swearing and hollering in an argument with someone who isn’t actually there. Before you ask, he doesn’t have an internet capable device, so he isn’t playing a game online.

It’s still noisy here.

I managed to prepare and send out one shtick for Lisa Burton Radio. I want to do a couple of others, but we’ll see how I hold up. These things don’t write themselves, and I need to keep the line moving. I also assembled and scheduled a guest post I agreed to host.

I finally got five minutes to debate women’s dress sizes with my favorite consultant, my daughter. Then I incorporated some small changes to The Hat. I also heard from my last beta reader for this project, and he seems to have enjoyed the story. He said notes are coming, so I’m watching my mailbox.

On a “just for Craig” basis, I wrote a little new fiction. I don’t even know what to call it, but it’s one of those pages that goes between the copyright page and chapter one. It isn’t really a dedication, so that word doesn’t fit. It’s more of a definition. It’s part of the story and helps folks understand what’s going on.

I also wrote the opening paragraphs and stopped early on purpose. My goal was just to start. This also means I started a separate “cast of characters” sheet which I always make. Starting a couple of paragraphs is always a bigger effort than it sounds.

Here is my thing that comes before the story. I am considering italics and squeezing the margins, just to make it stand out.

Estivation: In times of environmental stress, some species are known to estivate. They slow down their breathing, heart rate, and intake of food and water. Estivation occurs under times of excessive heat; whereas, hibernation occurs under times of extreme cold. The processes are similar, in that resources are limited or non-existent. When the situation improves, these creatures leave estivation and go about their normal lives.

So what do you call a page like this one? Does it intrigue you to read on? Now all I have to do is write the story. (And survive the holidays… or become a super-villain.)


Filed under Writing

43 responses to “Ahh, the holidays

  1. Not sure of the name, but I remember that kind of opener for Xmen and a few science fiction movies. Teaser, foreshadowing definition, appetite whetter? I’ve been burned out for the last week with no sign of relaxing in the near future. Hope you some more you time.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Lol! Ah, the holidays…the chaos is all part of it. I relate all too well. πŸ™‚ I’m also not sure what you’d call that kind of opener. It’s not exactly a prologue – more of a disclaimer. πŸ™‚ Yes, it would intrigue me to read on.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Write the story for sure. Sounds good.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As a fellow introvert, I feel for you. We once had nineteen family members stay with us for a four-day Christmas get-together. Crammed a lot of inflatable cots into rooms and managed to fit everyone in. It was wonderful to see everyone, but I barely left the kitchen, and my husband, too, was always running around doing something. We were exhausted by the time everyone left. But I suppose that’s what it’s all about, and we have really nice memories of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Your post here was so well written. You had this introvert both twitching from the chaos, and chuckling from the descriptions. I’d say the next step is to hibernate or estivate, depending on how hot it’s gotten. Great post, Craig.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wishing you some peace and quiet.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Our family gathers next month, and for several days I will be doing my headless chicken routine… I keep telling myself that its only for a few days, but so far I’m not convincing myself!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi, Craig – you have my sympathy with all the guest you have, including the 4-legged ones! Holidays are notorious for raising stress levels for everyone no matter their age or furriness. Could work in a positive way too – having fun is good stress! πŸ˜‰
    With your lead-in piece, I would tend to treat it a bit like Frank Herbert does in the Dune Series? You remember the historian narrative notes from Princess Irulan and other learned academics, and holy book quotes at the head of most chapters… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a fair thought on the definition. But what is that page of a book called? I’m just curious now. Company left about an hour ago. I think a nice nap is on the menu today.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Not sure there is a name for it if you’re using it as a Prologue, or a page in its own right… Maybe call it A Note from the Author? I’ve seen that done sometimes.
        Tolkien did it as a ‘Prologue – Concerning Hobbits, and other matters’ in the LOTR trilogy, which is a similar conceptual approach, especially if, like me, you read that book before The Hobbit… πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You hit my ‘introvertish’ nerve with this one! Kids, grandkids, dogs, and a cat were here with us… Loved that they were here, but have to admit there was a sense of relief with their exit.
    Hey, could you not call that page you and Jan were discussing ‘A Defining Moment’?
    Enjoy your nap, peace, and quiet!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I understand the door opening and closing as it relates to pets. I’m always on hyper alert when we have guests because I worry Raven might slip outside. Especially when there a little ones about, they don’t always understand that doors can’t be left hanging open.

    We had a small gathering this year, as some of our family was traveling. There were 8 of us total, so no stress here, but your post had me cringing in several places. It’s great to have family visit but it’s also great to have peace and quiet to recharge.

    As for the story–I’m hooked. I can’t wait to see what it’s about. I don’t necessarily think there is a “title” for what you’re suggesting (other than perhaps forward matter), just that it comes before Chapter One. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I think I’ll estivate during Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Holidays + Family = Chaos Every year. As a pet owner and introvert, I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I totally understand the stress. When we manage to go home, we have around 30 people and 3 or 4 dogs (two of which are 100 pounds and one is 200 pounds). It gets so you can’t breathe or think. But I’ve found it’s over before I know it and I’m basically alone, 1,000 miles away from family and friends again. I know it’s stressful, but I’m sure you loved the time together, too. And now things will settle for a few weeks until it all starts again!

    On your other topic, maybe “preface” instead of prologue. Or totally make up a term. Or just have the text there, no title at all, and start the first chapter on the next page. Sorry; wish I could be more help.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Damn. That’s busy.
    I had all the peace you’d want, and I appreciate it even more now, so thanks for that.
    I like those pages, and I’ve never actually asked what they are. I’ve read two fiction books that began with those pages in the last year. One about migrating butterflies, and another about mental health. I like learning, so I like those pages. I like your info, too. I always joke that I feel like I hibernate more in the summer, but all along, I had a better word to joke about. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Writing Links 11/27/17 – Where Genres Collide

  16. Great post! The holidays are really stressful for me. I try to prep my space beforehand in order to reduce that stress. I wrote a post on that if you’re interested. Thanks!


  17. Sorry I’m late checking in to this post… Puppy ate one of the modem to computer cables, and I struggled to make leaving comments on blogs work with my phone or Kindle.

    Just hearing about how many people were visiting had me wanting to go hide under the covers until they went away, so I hear you big time! Glad you managed to get a few moments of time to do something for yourself during all that chaos and noise.

    I’m not sure what you’d call that intro thing, but it sounds interesting, and would make me want to read on.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I am also an introvert, Craig, and I don’t like to socialise for to long. I am also a bit selfish as, because I work full time and have kids to care for, when I have spare time I like to spend it doing my writing and baking.

    Liked by 1 person

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