Our Christmas Presents

ImageWinter is a season of creativity. Or perhaps its just the season I’m indoors the longest. Between holidays and work, Holly and I watched two seasons of Moonlighting before Holly said, “I thought this was a murder mystery.” Actually, it’s just a show about Bruce Willis and the woman who is not Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Holly got a sewing machine for Christmas. Her mother numbered her presents so that she opened the machine and all accessories before finally opening the quilt top that made her cry. It was crafted one hundred and fifty years ago by some amount of greats-grandmother, possibly a McCoy – as in Hatfield-McCoy and blood feuds. That’s where Holly gets her fight from.

While Holly worked on a quilt, I invented a board game. As a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons, I’m always trying to simplify the gameplay to coax friends into the universe. This past summer I rewrote the rules for my own use. However, it remains mathematically involved and time consuming, two things that the high school students I work with shy away from. This Christmas, using a Settlers of Catan board and index cards, I created a straightforward kill monsters/get loot game that I now call Evil Katan for trademark purposes. Speed rounds take about an hour. I wrote the rules and game cards on our road trip to my grandparents in Kentucky.

I’ve only played it four times – once with other humans. The other three I played four characters by myself as Holly quilted. She did not want to play, though the offer still stands. She’s not a sword person. I think she’d do well as a wizard.

(If you’re interested in Evil Katan, please ask and I will send the rules.)

I’m not good at asking for presents. I don’t realize what I need until Christmas morning. Holly had to point the problem out to me though I’ve had it my whole life. Most people give Barnes and Noble gift cards, which are fine. On one of the early days in January I put my cards together and purchased The Guide to Literary Agents. I’m done tinkering with my first novel and am now sending it out. Wish me luck.