The House of Christmas

The House of Christmas
By G. K. Chesterton

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

Merry Christmas, y’all.

Another long-overdue update…

Good night, what a year it’s been. How is it already November?!

Health remains a rollercoaster, though less of one thanks to a more aggressive treatment plan. But it didn’t help that my house suddenly got sold out from under me this spring, and getting into my new house took about four months longer than planned. Almost all of the projects I’d intended to work on this year have been on hold or canceled as a result.

But I’m in the new house at last, settling in slowly and working on various projects for Etsy (hoping to relaunch before Thanksgiving), and my latest book is off to beta readers. More on that next week, Lord willing. Once things calm down a bit further after the holidays, the next big things on the to-do list are compiling a short story collection with Enola and (please, Lord!) finally finishing Loyal Valley: Diversion. And maybe, maybe, I’ll get back to blogging here more regularly.

So yes, still alive, just up to my ears in ~stuff~. What else is new?

Latest News from Casa Lobita

Still here. Still writing. Still sick.

There has been actual progress on the latter front this winter–the food poisoning I had in October finally pushed one piece of the puzzle far enough out of line to warrant medication, which is in fact helping. Quite how much it’s helping remains to be seen. I’m hopeful, though, and any improvement is better than none.

My hands have been too swollen lately to do much in the way of thread crochet for new Etsy merchandise, but a timely gift from Enola has put me on the trail of antique shawl patterns from the Antique Pattern Library. So far I’ve tried out two, gotten one to work, and figured out (probably) how to adapt the other for someone who doesn’t wear hoop skirts. I’m hoping to be able to make a few to sell and record YouTube tutorials for anyone else who might be interested, possibly this spring but possibly not until summer. (Patreon support can make it happen sooner, hint hint….) In the meantime, I’ve been posting progress pics on Instagram.

Work on my various Witty Word Press commitments continues more or less apace, and I have not forgotten or given up on Loyal Valley: Diversion. It would be nice to have Diversion done to launch at this year’s West Texas Heritage Days at Fort McKavett, especially since it’s the last year for that event (sadness!), but as busy as I am with everything, I can’t promise.

On Facebook, I’m participating in a page hop to celebrate Litmosphere Editing reaching one thousand likes; Emily edited GR8 Greeks and Of Myths and Men. There are lots of giveaways to be had–I’m giving away three ebook copies of Loyal Valley: Assassination on my own page, and there’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway for two grand prize packages, one of which will include an ebook of Look Behind You! You can find the full hop itinerary here; it runs today through Tuesday.

And that’s about all the news that’s fit to print. Here’s hoping for more good news to share soon, the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

Oy, what a month…

First I had food poisoning without realizing it–I didn’t have “stomach bug” symptoms until after I’d been diagnosed, and the symptoms I did have were mostly the same as the symptoms I normally have. Then BCF got slammed by Hurricane Michael. Then historic flooding hit the Llano River.

All things considered, I’m fine… still sick, but neither my home nor my parents’ home was affected by the flooding here, and BCF classes continue apace online. A lot of my neighbors and students can’t say the same.

If you want to donate to relief efforts, here’s a link for donations to a fund being managed by the Llano Chamber of Commerce. Convoy of Hope has boots on the ground in Florida, and Texas Baptist Men is both there and here; both organizations are continuing to provide relief work in areas affected by Hurricane Florence as well.

I’m hoping to get my Etsy shop back up and running on November 1, preferably with a few new items, but I’ll just have to see how everything goes. Books will… be happening sometime.

Life, eh?

Fifth Blogaversary!

And what a crazy five years it’s been!

I don’t have a lot of news to share tonight (still sick and super busy with class prep), but I do have a lot of projects in the pipeline and hope to make more progress on Loyal Valley: Diversion once the semester’s underway. I’d like to have it out before Christmas, but of course I can’t promise anything yet. I’m also planning to reopen my Etsy shop in time for the holidays–possibly next month, but more likely October, hopefully with more Christmas colors and maybe some other sparklies. Witty Word Press projects continue apace, so I hope to have more news on those forthcoming releases soonish. And I have some events penciled in on the calendar, too, which I’ll post more about when the details are finalized.

Here’s to the next five years! *raises tea mug*

Small Business Saturday

Lord have mercy, what a year it’s been. Still sick. Still stressed. Still need new glasses.

The good news is that I have gotten quite a bit accomplished this fall. You may have noticed a couple of new links and social media buttons in the sidebar–I’ve finally launched my new Etsy shop, E. Wolfe Mercantile, mostly to sell the items I’m crocheting but also as an outlet to offer autographed copies of my books online. And since a fair amount of Etsy’s marketing is done on Instagram, I’ve bitten the bullet and gotten an account there. I’ve added a sizeable number of new designs to my CafePress shop as well, including the new “Quotation Corner” and “Doc Wolfe’s Whimsies” sections; I hope to add more designs to both in the coming weeks. On the writing front, I spent most of September compiling my first textbook; it’s very much tailored to my own syllabus and lacks a lot of the study helps that would make it marketable to a broader audience, but it’s an accomplishment nonetheless.

The bad news is that it looks like Loyal Valley: Diversion isn’t getting done this year, either. I have been working on it–if you follow me on Goodreads, you’ve probably noticed some of the research texts I’ve been reading–but with eeeeeverything else that’s been going on and that I still have to do between now and Christmas (including grading five sets of essays!), there’s no way I can finish the book before the holiday sales deadline.

So what I’m hoping right now is that I’ll be able to have Diversion ready to launch in time for West Texas Heritage Days at Fort McKavett the first weekend in May. There’s a slight chance I’ll have an event happening before then, and if so, I might get Diversion finished in time for that–but there’s no guarantee on either score. Once Diversion is out and I’m able to publish the first hardcover omnibus, I’ll start thinking again about the poetry book and the next Order of the Silver Star book.

Want to help out? Buy something! 😄 If nothing I’m selling takes your fancy, you can pledge monthly support through Patreon or send a one-time donation through Ko-fi. Signal boosts are always welcome, too; there’s only so much marketing I can do myself, even on a good day.

More Updates and Requests

Poking away at everything, inching toward progress… slow going, but it’s better than lying around doing nothing! I’ve shared a little of my progress on Patreon for patrons who’ve pledged $5/mo. and up, and you can see some discussion and teasers for Loyal Valley: Diversion on Facebook for this month’s #WIPJoy, hosted by Bethany A. Jennings.

You might also notice a few new buttons on the sidebar. WordPress just launched a new social media widget, which allows me to place buttons not only for my Facebook and Goodreads pages but also for my author pages on Amazon and Apple iBookstore. I’ve also added a link to my new Ko-fi page, which is sort of like a tip jar. If you like what you see of my work but don’t want to commit to a Patreon subscription, Ko-fi lets you “buy me a cuppa” (or two, or twenty, or however much you want to give).

The first goal I’ve set on Ko-fi is labeled “Eye Exam and New Glasses” because that’s one expense that isn’t in my usual budget but really needs to get taken care of soon. My glasses are six years old, give or take, and while I can still see well out of them, I feel a very definite relief around my eyes whenever I take my glasses off. Unfortunately, though understandably, the patient assistance I get through the hospital system doesn’t cover routine eye exams; I am, as I said last time, flat broke and won’t be able to pay out of pocket myself; and with as much help as I’ve had to ask my parents for this summer, I don’t know how soon they’ll be able to afford this expense as well. (And before you suggest Zenni or EyeBuyDirect or any other online discount optical shop: I have a very strong prescription with features Zenni doesn’t allow for, and I’m just not comfortable trying to measure my pupils on my own. I’d rather pay a little more to work with my favorite optician in person.) So if you’re inclined to help out with that, I’d appreciate it!