I never win anything. Ever. I donate my money to worthy causes and someone else takes home the loot. I know this, and I'm okay with it. 
So, when Orly announced my name at the Women's Fiction Writers Association Retreat as the winner of the critique from agent Carly Watters of PS Literary, I almost wet pants. And then I panicked. And stalled. For two weeks.

A writer's biggest obstacle is fear. Fear no one will read their work. Fear they will, and hate it. Fear it's not

What do you mean you can't wait TWO DAYS till Christmas?


I gasped and plugged my ears. What good that would do if she fell, I haven't a clue. But at least I wouldn't have heard her crash through the poinsettias and land

FOUR DAYS till Christmas? 
and you want me to take a NAP? 

Seriously? Are you nuts?

Last minute orders are delivered except for two. The paper shredder is jammed. Glue gun is stuck. Again. Out of tape? Can't be. I bought the last truckload after Christmas last year. It's here somewhere...
Can you please make the bed? Hubby walks by and plops in recliner. Now, please?
It's not dry.
Dryer stopped ten minutes ago and clean sheets are draped over the bed. 
Hubby looks around from said recliner. Oh.

FIVE days till Christmas.

If you're a parent or a teacher, I'm sure the anticipation of Christmas combined with a full moon a week before Christmas has your stress level peaking close to catastrophic stroke numbers. Smooth move, Santa...who would've guessed you'd trade in the guidance of the full moon and Rudolph's nose for a GPS and LEDs. Gee thanks, Big Guy. Full moon belongs on Christmas eve, thank you very much!  

Seven days till Christmas...
Our dogs have their own Christmas stockings that hang next to ours. We lost our Tigger Boy in the summer of 2012 and although we no longer hang his stocking, I haven't the heart to part with it. 

In May, our son brought home a Yorkie puppy, named her Ryleigh, and when our Sadie Girl finally warmed up to her, she would mope around the house whenever our son took Ryleigh with him for a weekend out of town. 

I don't have a problem with ruts. If I'm bumping along in my rut, I won't fall off any cliffs. I prefer to know what's around the next bend or over the next hill. I don't particularly like surprises and absolutely despise change.

Boring? Perhaps. I'm what True Colors calls a "gold" personality. Golds cling to the safety net of routines. Someone once told me "Sometimes change is good. Other times it's somebody's way of justifying their job." I can totally get behind the latter statement, and heaven forbid don't change the itinerary on vacation!