Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Post-Christmas

I didn't actually plan a blogging holiday, but it seems to have worked out that way. I guess I needed the break. I had a very relaxing Christmas. We didn't do much other than go to church, read, eat and watch DVDs. Mom and I spent a lot of time sitting at the kitchen table, snacking and reading Terry Pratchett. She was reading Hogfather and I was reading Making Money, and we'd read any funny parts to each other. We also had our traditional Christmas viewing of Firefly. I'm not sure how that started as a tradition, but every year since the show was on, we've somehow ended up watching Firefly and/or Serenity on either Christmas Eve or Christmas day. This year's episode was "Jaynestown." I hope everyone else who celebrates had a good Christmas.

I got all kinds of fun household items as gifts, and I guess it's a sign you're getting old when you actually ask for and enjoy that kind of stuff. I'm looking forward to playing with the seal-a-meal thingy, considering how much stuff I put in the freezer. First, though, I need to use some stuff from the freezer. It's rather full at the moment, mostly with the ham Mom sent home with me. I also got one of those massaging foot baths (like the one Kevin gave himself in that episode of The Office), but Mom says she didn't buy it as a present but rather as something she could use for wrapping other presents. I had a couple of small gifts that would have been obvious as boxes for jewelry, so she got the foot bath and stuck the small gifts inside that box. Very sneaky. I'm wondering if it might work as a hand and wrist massager if you put it on a tabletop.

I got home late yesterday afternoon, and last night I did my post-holiday wind-down. I put on all the Christmas lights, lit the candles in the fireplace, made a pot of hot cocoa, and snuggled under a blanket to watch The Holiday. Yep, another Christmas romantic comedy. I'm trying to figure out what makes that a big-screen story, as opposed to all those Family Channel movies I've been analyzing. A lot of the difference is the caliber of the cast and the location shooting. If the Family Channel had made that movie, both the Los Angeles and the English village parts would have been filmed somewhere in Toronto. I think there's a little more depth to the story, too, working in some things that are sad in the midst of the humor and dealing with emotions more honestly, while the Family Channel movies seem to work on a more superficial level. One thing I love about the movie is all that English countryside porn -- and wouldn't you know, the clever/evil people at Visit Britain had an insert in the DVD case about how you could have a holiday like the one in the movie, and their web site could help you plan it. I wonder if Jude Law is included. Not that I'd actually want him because he's quite the sleaze, but a menu for choosing the handsome Englishman who'd show up at your fairy tale cottage would certainly enhance the experience. Even without the guy, that was pretty much my perfect vacation -- old cottage, fireplace, dog, pile of books, nearby village with a pub and lots of country lanes to wander down.

But before I can start planning a vacation like that, I need to get some work done and sell more books. I'm especially motivated today after having a nightmare last night that I had to go back to work for one of my old bosses, the one who was so awful I couldn't even find a way to make him funny and put him in one of my books. I used to say he reminded me of Michael Scott on the US version of The Office, but now that I've seen more of the British version, I think he's got a lot of David Brent in him, too. He's got David Brent's clueless arrogance and blowhard tendencies, combined with Michael's frat-party office mentality and tendency to take everything in the office personally by seeing any unhappiness with the job or taking another job as disloyalty to him as a person. But my boss owned the company, so we didn't even have a corporate level to try to moderate him. That dream was even scarier than the one that came before it about being in a concentration camp run by Cylons.

In other news, did any of you read the e-book version of Once Upon Stilettos? I heard from a very unhappy person about it being full of editing errors and misplaced punctuation that made it impossible to read. I know the print version was very clean, so if there's a problem, it must have come through the electronic formatting. But I've also heard from a lot of people who've read the e-books without anyone mentioning a problem, so before I yell at my publisher about it, I want to make sure it's not a unique technical issue, like maybe that person got a corrupted version.

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