It's Father's Day! The day where all the fathers, stepdads, favorite uncles, awesome big brothers and found fathers are honored by the people who love them. For me, it's my dad, James. My childhood bestie and I affectionately nick named him Big James back in high school, because he was tall and had impressive Dad Guns from the hard work he did.
We had a few rough patches when I went through my obnoxious I know everything late-teens phase, but he's always been there for me. He supports me in my writing, whether it's financially, or listening to me drone on about the process of self-publishing. We're a lot alike in many ways. Introverted, short-tempered and stubborn. And we'll do anything we can to help the people we care about. But we're also really different. I love curling up on the couch with a good book for hours. He can't sit still long enough to make it past chapter one.
Whenever I'm home visiting and I whip out a notebook to jot some ideas down, he always shakes his head and says, "I just don't see how you come up with these stories." It cracks me up every time. Of course, once he blew my mind when he added, "I guess it's like a movie playing in your head." Yes! It's so like that!
My dad in the early eighties.
Big James is funny (especially when he's acting out something one of us kids did to get in trouble), can fix anything, can build most things and has far more patience than I could ever imagine myself having. He's a great dad and I'm super lucky to have him.
Happy Father's Day to my dad, and all the other people who have played an important fatherly role in someone's life!
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Book IV of the Cuffs, Collars and Love series is now available.
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You see, I know 2016 has been a heck of a year. But for me personally, 2015 was worse. I had surgery on my knee to repair a torn ACL. I was glad to have it done, but I didn't realize how much it would effect me having two major surgeries in three years (I broke my ankle in 2012). I was bummed that I'd have to take time off from playing roller derby, but also frustrated that I had to go through the whole physical therapy rigmarole again to be able to walk normally.
I was also struggling in my writing. I'd hit that place where I was scared of success and scared of failure. And I was working a day job that made it difficult to write. All of that added together had me withdrawing into the tiniest of hermit crab shells.
This year is different. Although I am stressed about a few things, I'm not letting that stop me from connecting with friends and family. It took me a while, but I realized that withdrawing and trying to struggle through on my own isn't healthy. Family and friends are there to help, even if they don't realize they're doing so. Just being in their presence, talking to them and sharing bits of my life helps my mind and my heart. So this year, I'm home in St. Louis to celebrate Christmas.
The holidays can be hard! I understand that all too well. If you're having a rough time this year, my wish is that you find love and peace, whether it's with friends, family or snuggled up on your own with a good book. And speaking of reading, I have a free Christmas short on my site. It's titled O' Christmas Tree, and I hope you enjoy it.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
*Originally published on the Cafe Risque Blog
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I spent Thanksgiving alone. And it was totally fine! I didn’t want to do anything. What I wanted was a day to guilt-free binge watch some Once Upon a Time and Issa Rae’s Insecure, eat a giant bowl of Stove Top Stuffing, and enjoy a slice or two of sweet potato pie. So that’s exactly what I did. And it was nice. No travel, no kitchen messy from cooking (boiling water for Stove Top isn’t cooking), and no stress.
I needed that. Not because I’m an introvert, although that did play a part, but because I needed that guilt-free relax day. These past few months have been super stressful. In August I quit an unsatisfactory job but had sadness over leaving co-workers I liked. In September I packed up and cleared out the house I’d lived in for ten years - while making peace with the fact I was leaving the home I'd shared with my deceased boyfriend, Tom. In October that house went on the market and sold in three days and I had to move a week later. And I spent November unpacking and furnishing my new apartment. So I was tired, emotionally and physically. I needed to unwind and just relax in my new home. Recharge my batteries and start a new week fresh and ready to go.
I think my TV binging and pie eating accomplished that. The Lambic might also have helped. And now that I’m all powered up, I’ve booked a flight home to St. Louis for Christmas, started planning out the list of crafts that I want to make for gifts, and outlining a writing and publishing schedule for 2017. I feel good! And it was all thanks to a bowl of stuffing.
My rambling and not at all edited thoughts on romance novels, writing, wrestling, shoes, dogs, roller derby and whatever TV show I'm binging.