What’s With All of the Holly and the Ho-Ho, huh?

What’s with all the holly and the ho-ho, huh??
Let’s start at the beginning. I’m broke this year, worst season yet for tourism made for a lousy summer cash flow. I’ve been grunting and growling and whining about it most of December. Then last week my wife said to me – “Look Steve, Christmas is for celebrating, so how about lightening up?”.

So the next day instead of worrying about what my wallet was thinking, I went out and started shopping. I bought her a fancy black dress with a gorgeous beaded wrap and I’m making her a necklace with jet crystal, and I bought her the first season of Upstairs, Downstairs, (she’s a sucker for those British flicks). Then I bought my stepson a nice new shirt and a Superman graphic album, and a few other goodies.

And damn it I started feeling better.

A lot has been said about not making Christmas so darned commercial, and there’s a point in that, but dang it, buying for my wife and child sure lifted my spirits. The giving leads to sharing leads to good feelings. So if there are any Grinches and/or Scrooges out there, lighten up eh? This bastardly pagan burning yule log, angel-impaled-atop-a-Christmas tree season comes only once a year, and maybe we all need to have ourselves a little communal potlatch. It’s lightened my spirits considerably. I recommend it. Call it a financial fast.

In other news I’m celebrating a bit of a mini-celebration tonight. In the last week I’ve recieved the three books of the Andrew Mayhem series from good buddy Jeff Strand, a Dan Simmons book from Message Board of the Damned, a DVD of Cabin Fever from Wolfie on Shocklines, and a copy of Ed Lee’s GOON from Shocklines. All of this literature. I can’t wait to start reading.

What I have just finished is the Sharpe series, by Bernard Cornwell. I started this last year, when I picked up the first book in the series, SHARPE’S TIGER, at a used bookstore. I normally hate historicals, and I’ve never found the Napoleonic era that stirring, but damn what a great read. It hooked me so much that I started hunting for the rest of the series. Only I couldn’t find many of them at the used bookstores. They’re that good, folks don’t readily give them up. I started buying them new, (nearly unheard of for someone in my drastic financial status), and worked my way through the series. Then a couple of months ago a sailor who was being transferred to Britain sold his entire series to the used bookstore and I lucked into the last half dozen books of the series. They spanned all the way from colonial India to Waterloo. I just finished stomping across Waterloo over the last couple of days. I can’t recommend this series more strongly. Pick it up and try it out. I’d start with SHARPE’S TIGER. Then see if you can resist. The series does move on past Waterloo, and I will read further, but check it out for yourself.

Actually, I think I remember reading about this series in Steve King’s ON WRITING, if memory serves.

Enough for tonight. Got to go start reading GOON.

Yours in horror,

Steve Vernon


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