Christmas tree lit up in a window with closed white slatted blinds behind.

Somehow the year has tightened all the bolts on my rickety life, and I’m hitting the Christmas holidays in a good place. Dad is home from hospital with home care support — that didn’t look likely a week ago. My new job is going well. All the usual Christmas tasks are done or planned. It’s Christmas Eve. The kids are home and happy.

We won’t have my father-in-law at the table for dinner tomorrow, which is still difficult to fathom, and will only hit fully when we sit to eat. It’s been a difficult year all round, but that’s the biggest blow by far. And yet we are all okay, fundamentally. We are coping and looking after each other. This is part of life.

I haven’t written any new fiction this year, so my Patreon account has lost its way. The idea was to create a channel for publishing short stories, blog posts and photos to a smaller audience. I’m no longer sure I want to write stories. I’ll always write, I just need to think about what I want to write. I’ve had to step back from it this year, so it makes sense to look at the bigger picture and decide what I want to put my creative energy into in 2024. I posted a thank you and farewell, and I’ll delete the account before the next subscription payments are taken on January 1st.

I’m going to publish a ‘Seen, Read’ list for 2023 next week, and also some lists of my favourite films and books. There’s a week of 2023 to go, so there could still be some surprises. These lists help me tie the year off and look ahead. I hope you have some time to do whatever you need to do to feel good about the end of the year, or at least good enough. Happy Christmas. 🎄🕯️🕊️