December 25th, 2009


Many times, many ways.

Pretty much every culture I'm aware of has some sort of winter celebration, whether it's religious, secular, or somewhere in-between (since killing a dude to bring back the sun doesn't necessarily imply a particular faith, but definitely implies a belief that something out there takes requests). The depths of winter are the time when we most need to have faith in something, because in the days before cheap insulation, imported food, and really good central air, failure to have faith meant that you were prepared to have the sun go away forever. That's my favorite thing about this time of year. Everybody gets something they can celebrate. Even if all you're celebrating is not being the dude who finds the bean in his bread.

I celebrate my family, both blood and chosen. I woke up beneath a veil of purring blue cats. I spent the morning at the International House of Pancakes with my mother, my little sister, and my little sister's girlfriend. And now I'm on my way to Seattle to spend a week with Vixy, who might as well be my sister for as much as I love her, and Tony, and Jennifer, and all the other members of my extended family that I can cram into my days. I won't see everyone this week; not everyone is there to see. But I celebrate them all.

I celebrate reconstruction. We all burn bridges in our lives, either accidentally or on purpose, and while we may be sorry that we did it, it's hard as hell to shape the ashes back into something useful. In the last year, I have been fortunate enough to rebuild some bridges that provided essential access to the highways of my heart. Just as importantly, I've finally admitted that some bridges needed to be condemned, and ordered them quietly, respectfully torn down. I am happy with the choices I have made, and with the bridges I have built.

I celebrate my writing career. I've been a writer for as long as I can remember. I was explaining the plot of a short story to my mother the other day, and she said "You always have to be writing something, don't you?" I'm not sure even she realizes how true that is. It took me a long time, and a lot of effort, to get to where I could say that my work was of publishable quality, and there are days when I wake up and go "Wait, what? Was there some sort of mistake?" The sight of my book on store shelves has made me cry more than once. It's just amazing.

I celebrate the fact that we are living in the future. I'm writing this entry from 36,212 feet; I know that because the Virgin America trip display tells me so. I can send new stories to my beta readers without the words ever having touched paper—in fact, at least one story managed to make it to print without ever, so far as I know, being printed in any form prior to the page proofs. I can post this entry, and you can read it no matter where in the world you are. We are accessible to each other in ways we have never been before, and for all that it's a double-edged sword, I can't imagine living any other way.

I celebrate you. I celebrate the fact that you have things in your lives to celebrate, and those things are not the same as mine, and that's amazing. I celebrate the fact that we have all shared another season (although not necessarily the same one, since it's summer in Australia), and the world has continued to turn.

Have a wonderful winter. I promise that if I get any say about it, the sun will be coming back again.