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img_2345.jpgSometimes I feel I’m a ghost, never more than after the holidays. The past and present collide every year and tendrils of the future ooze through the cracks. My endless fingering of plot puzzle pieces gives way to a jaded look at at the rubble around me. Tired decorations, gifts left waiting for a permanent home in the clutter, unsorted mail, ice bonded to the sidewalks in front of the house…the list of Things To Do ever grows. Glowing nuggets of hope and anticipation dim in the vapor of dread swirling around me like snow on the wind. Dental appointments lurk in the shadows, peering around the hideous promise of income taxes.

Obviously, it’s time to read.

I’m almost done with a fascinating book by Barbara Goldsmith, Other Powers, about the intersection of spiritualism, women’s suffrage, and the life of Victoria Woodhull. Gives a raucous new slant on the “Victorian Age.” Good stuff.

I read Peg Brantley’s first two thrillers, Red Tide and The Missings, both fast-moving, well-plotted tales set in Colorado that ruined my manicure.

Douglas D. Hawk’s Mark of the Black Claw, terrific fun in an action-filled revisit to the pulp fiction of the forties. Loved it.

I’ve been wandering through a bunch of books and, with any luck at all, I’ll be able to put off the evil have-tos for another week or so. That’s not to say I’m not working on my third Wisdom Court book, All In Bad Time. It’s definitely coming along. But as my Great-aunt Lizzie always said, “There’s nothing like reading to get you through the dark times. Reading and hot buttered rum.” Yeah, and maybe some cookies.