Happy Holidays!

December 26, 2013

As I write this, my Christmas vacation, such as it was, is pretty much over. It’s 6pm on Boxing Day, and I’ll be working from home tomorrow. But it’s been a good couple of days.

Late on Christmas Eve, my brother called me up with some last minute change of plans. He had to work through the week, including Christmas Day, and the original plan was for the Hamilton branch of the family, (the two of us and Mom,) to go up to Kitchener early and then drive home in time for him to get to work for the afternoon shift, which would mean me leaving at seven thirty in the morning and having just about enough time to unwrap presents and have turkey brunch at my sister’s place. The change in plans was that I drove up separately in my car, which my brother borrowed after brunch when it was time for him to leave. Mom and I stayed, played some cards with my sister and my two nieces, enjoyed a light lunch of desserts, then I drove Mom home in her car, and switched to mine, which had been dropped off at her place.

The gift exchanges went pretty well too. I kept to a tighter budget than in years past, but managed to come up with some stuff for all of my family that they seemed to like. Myself, I scored some gift cards, chocolate treats, three new books to read, and a cool decoration with quotes about writing that I’m going to keep on my desk. Oh, and a wizard’s staff that my Mom made for me! đŸ™‚

Today I did the budget Boxing Day shopping. I picked up a cool new Modern Family calendar for my 2014 goal tracking, and a fancy Bluetooth mouse to use with my Nexus 7 tablet. One of my gift cards helped pay for the mouse, and I used another to download some new music, including albums by Great Big Sea and Amanda Stott.

And I walked to all my shopping; four and a half miles round trip, which is a lot longer than I usually walk in a day, but I feel good for having done it.

So, how were your holidays?

Spotlight on Chris – if I had Five million dollars…

March 23, 2012

The reflection challenge continues…

If I won five million dollars in the lottery – well, for one, it would be a bit surprising that I’d even play the lottery, but let’s not dwell on that now. And figuring out just what I should spend the money on would probably be very stressful if it did happen, but I’ve come up with some ideas that I can share with you, that will hopefully tell you a little about me.

I’d give big gifts of no-strings-attached money to my immediate adult family members, to spread the wealth and the stress around a little.

Arrange somewhat more modest presents for my nieces and nephew, plus college funds.

And smaller gifts for more distant family, ex-work colleagues, (yeah, I’d quit the job,) writing buddies, and casual friends.

Make a special charitable donation in memory of my father.

Look into setting up a scholarship for science fiction and fantasy writers wanting to attend any kind of workshop or course, but not able to afford the tuition or other expenses.

Some other charitable donations – I’m not quite sure who I’d give to, which is something that bears thinking about even in the absence of lottery winnings.

Go on a world tour – I want to see Chicago, New York, Paris, and Rome for sure. Other destinations To Be Determined.

Buy myself a nice (but not flashy) new car, and maybe a condo in Toronto.

Consider investing in a small press – I wouldn’t want to set one up myself, but if I find somebody who I really think could do well in publishing with some seed money, I’d want to be able to provide some.

Put a lot of it into savings for later – so that I could work on writing or other projects full-time without needing to work, travel more, spoil myself a little with impulse buys – and get the max donation level for every Office of Letters and Light event for many, many years.

Campaigner Spotlight: Nicole Zoltack

September 24, 2011

Hi, everybody! It’s Campaigner Spotlight time again, and today, the spotlight falls on Nicole Zoltack’s blog: Where Fantasy and Love take Flight.

What has been the greatest achievement of your life?

My family. Family has always meant so much to me growing up (I have 5 siblings) and starting a family of my own means the world to me. I married my college sweetheart (who was also my first kiss), and we’ve been married for 4 years now. Our family is still growing – we have two sons (almost 3 and 13 months) and will hopefully have a daughter in February (although I just want this baby to be healthy too). We want a total of 4 so we’re almost there!

Tell us something that’s frightened you.

Death has always been something that’s frightened me as far back as I can remember. I just have so much to live for and so much that I want to do with my life yet. I guess my fear stems from worrying that I wouldn’t have lived before I die. It just means that I try to live each day to the fullest and to have no regrets.

Are you more comfortable in a large group or talking with just one other person?

I’m definitely more of an introvert so talking with just one other person. I tend to be quiet and shy but once I get to know you, I tend to never shut up!

When she isn’t writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending their unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her website at www.NicoleZoltack.com or her blog at http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com.

Thanks for your answers and volunteering for the spotlight, Nicole!








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