Welcome to Novel PASTimes! We are pleased you stopped by today.
Thanks for inviting me. I’m kind of nervous. Never did anything like this before. After all, it is 1883. What exactly is a blog, anyway?
A blog is kind of hard to describe to someone from your era. Hmm… I guess I’d say it’s like an information log that you can read through a window to the world. Your great-great grandchildren will enjoy reading them. Now, let’s talk about you. Tell us something about where you live:
Oh, that’s easy. Boulder in Colorado. It’s a town an hour or so from Denver, which, of course, gets all the attention. In fact, I live on a tree farm outside Boulder.
Is there anything special about your name? Why do you think you were given that name?
I suspect it has to do with my last name. Christmas. Kind of limits what sounds good. My father’s name was James, but everybody called him Jingle. James, Jimmy, Jingle. (shrugs) My mother’s name was Grace—fits with almost any surname. So my sister and I were saddled with Ivy and me, Holly.
Do you have an occupation? What do you like or dislike about your work?
My sister and I run our family Christmas tree farm operation. My grandfather started it when nobody in their right mind paid for a tree. They just went out and cut one. Not always on their own property, either. But then more folks moved to towns and cities, so they didn’t own land. And more folks protected what they did have, so it wasn’t safe anymore to go on somebody else’s land and take one of theirs.
I don’t like trees. They’re quiet, aloof—like cats. I prefer cattle. If I had my way, I’d cut down every tree and plow the land under for corn. And buy more cattle. You can eat cattle. Can’t eat a tree.
But I persevere, because Ivy loves the trees.
Who are the special people in your life?
Well, as I said, Ivy. Not many more. The brothers next door—well, Ivy had a bad experience in third grade, so we avoid them.
What is your heart’s deepest desire?
I’d like to sound all spiritual, of course, and say I want to live the life God intended for me. And I do. But I’d like to have fun along the way. And sometimes church folk think God banned fun when He kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden.
What are you most afraid of?
Losing Ivy. And I don’t mean her dying. She’s almost past marriageable age. I can’t imagine living here alone. Or having to move out.
What do you expect the future will hold for you?
No idea. I just go day to day, not looking beyond the current tree season. Or cattle season. Although, in some ways, they’re similar, aren’t they? Growing trees for the future. Raising cattle for the future.
What have you learned about yourself in the course of your story?
That I love a good mystery. That I might have more in my future than I thought. That I hope I’ll be in another story someday.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
You might think I’m a whiner, but I’m really not. I like to get ‘er done. Got a problem? Solve it and do something about it. That’s my motto. Not a girlie-girl. Like Ivy. She loves dressing up, sashaying at the barn dances. Me? I’d rather birth a breeched calf or tame a wild horse.
Thanks for allowing us to get know you a little better!
You’re welcome. It’s been a hoot to be here. Tell me again, what is a blog?
Let’s just say it’s something you might not understand for now… But thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical andcontemporary suspense. She has been published more than 50 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.
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About “Merry Little Mysteries”:
Boulder Colorado 1883: Two sisters living next door to two brothers. When bad stuff starts happening, who is behind it? If not a neighbor, then who? Can the two ranches, competing in the Christmas tree market, cooperate enough to save their land? Or are they doomed to lose all?