This has shaken my confidence in my overall health. I've been sick for 10 days now, still coughing and hacking, still sleeping heavy. I'd just gotten a clean bill of health from the doctor, not a single thing wrong with my 65 year old body, feeling lots of energy from my walking an hour everyday, feeling immortal.

Just a simple cold, but a reminder that the body is fragile.

Boys are home for Christmas in the living room watching The Last Kingdom with their mom. They are both looking good. Good guys. Waiting for Linda's brother Dave to come over from LaPine so we can open gifts.

Linda went out at the last minute and got a tree and decorations and the kitchen is packed with food and Walt the dog and Panga the cat are getting along and all is well. They didn't cancel Christmas at Pegasus Books again.

Had decided even before I got sick that I'd start fresh with my writing in January. I'm still a little undecided whether to attempt another thriller or to go ahead with the Virginia Reed adventure. Whichever one I choose, I will immediately start in on the other when I'm finished.

Going to try to stay away from checking sales and rankings and reviews next year. The reviews that are trickling in now are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but I think they emanate from the general population and not from people who were more or less well-disposed toward me, so they're trending  a little more down than they used to. Also, I'm just more established and I think people tend to be harsher on established writers. So for instance, Stephen King's Carrie, Pet Sematary and The Gunsligher, are all just below a 4 rating. Not that I'm any Stephen King.

But the main thing is my wish for a pure writing experience, where the expectations of the book come from inside not outside. It's probably not possible to reproduce that first year, or even that second year, where it was all about the writing and everything was possible. But I can at least turn the focus back inward again.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!