Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Holiday Blahs

with 10 comments

In a few days, most of the major end-of-the-year celebrations — religious and otherwise — will take place, before we head into 2023. I know this, but so far, I’m not feeling any excitement or encouragement regarding the holidays.

Maybe someone out there feels much the way that I do but doesn’t want to say anything because happy/happy joy/joy is expected from us at this time of year. If so, this blog’s for you…

Anyway, I don’t know what I expected out of 2022, but I didn’t find it. Quite a bit happened this year, but most of it wasn’t remotely what I wanted. (Ending my relationship — my long, long relationship — with the Racine Concert Band was one of those unexpected and unwelcome things.)

There were some positives, mind you. I sold two stories to anthologies, one of which is available now in FANTASTIC SCHOOLS HOLS. (I still can’t tell you about the other one but will once it’s allowed.) I made significant progress on a few longer stories, including the story that I hope will come out sometime early in the near year (this being “All the News That’s Fit…”), and edited at least twenty-five books, stories, and other literary-related things. I also continued to compose (by longhand, on music staff paper) and came up with some good melodies (the rest can wait until I have more time to flesh them out).

Plus, I continued to strengthen my friendships, and did what I could to help my family as I was able.

These are not negligible things, no matter how much they may feel like it right now.

Maybe it’s just the weather that’s got me down today. It’s cold, it’s been windy on and off, and it’s just a generally unprepossessing day. But I have errands to run, and stories to write (later, after I’m warm again), and visits to make…lots of things to do, and not enough time in which to do them, as per usual.

So, today, the view from Chez Caffrey is mixed. But tomorrow, who knows? Maybe it’ll be a whole lot better. (We can always hope for better. Nothing wrong with hope, as it helps get you through some very long nights.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 19, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses

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  1. Holiday Blahs?

    I wonder if there’s anybody out there that “deserves” mine (and yours)? 😈

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    December 19, 2022 at 2:32 pm

  2. I hung a wreath. That was it for decorations. We’ll go out to eat with our kids for our anniversary, which is a couple of days before Christmas, and then we’re good til next year. 🙂 Simple, easy, laid back. That’s not how I write, but it *is* how I party. lol

    Kayelle Allen

    December 19, 2022 at 3:55 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Merry Christmas

    Jack Eason

    December 19, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    • And the same to you, Jack.

      May your 2023 be everything you had hoped 2022 would be. 😉

      Barb Caffrey

      December 20, 2022 at 3:58 pm

  4. Hi Barb
    Sorry to read that you are no longer with Racine Concert Band but am glad that you have had positive results in the writing field; I am very impressed by the editing of twenty-five books, that is a very worthy accomplishment, be proud.
    It is always good to have strengthened friendships and helped family, these add a certain warmth to those chill times (not the weather related ones) I mean those interludes when things do not seem to be going right.
    Overall 2022 has not been a year with much to cheer about (Unless you were supporting England’ Lionesses in the Euro ‘soccer’ tournament- first cup any British national squad team has won since 1966-yea!!). It seems all around the world for one reason or another it’s not been good. WE also both admit to not feeling the folksie ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas vibe’
    That said Wishing you Barb a Happy Christmas and may 2023 be another profitable writing year.


    December 22, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    • Thanks, Roger. I’m always glad to hear from you and I’m glad you and your family are doing well. 🙂

      Yes, I did a lot of editing this year. I think most of it was productive. I’m still finishing up three projects (didn’t add them to the total), and hope to be done with them by the end of the year, too.

      The whole thing with the RCB was very disheartening. It happened because my health interfered, as it sometimes does, and I wasn’t able to go to a concert due to a migraine. (I wouldn’t have been able to play even if I had, and I wouldn’t have even been able to sit up, but they didn’t understand this.) It’s that which caused the break; my section leader and stand-partner stood behind me (bless her forever), but the Band’s board felt I should no longer be a member. I’m technically now on the sub list, but I’d be astonished if they ever called me for anything despite the previous twenty-odd years of good service and excellent music I’d provided. (It’s all “what have you done for me lately,” apparently. I don’t agree with that, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.)

      I’ve had some interest in playing in different bands, and I hope I will be able to do so — that my health will allow it — in the New Year.

      Anyway, if all goes well, I should have a few new things to put up on Amazon in the first few months of the year. If I can get that done, I will feel much better about things.

      May your Christmas season and New Year be bright, merry, healthy, safe, and warm. (We are looking at below-zero temps soon, so I have to add the “stay warm” part. ;))

      Barb Caffrey

      December 22, 2022 at 4:48 pm

      • That’s a sad story Barb and doesn’t reflect well on the RCB, I can relate to the account from a different perspective. It is all about ‘what have you done lately’. May the breaks fall your way in the New Year.
        I’ll be thinking about you and the rest of my friends in the USA as that fearsome weather front moves in. The potential drop in temperatures is frightening.
        Wishing you Warmth, Safety and a Happy Christmas.



        December 23, 2022 at 3:41 am

      • Thanks again, Roger.

        We missed much of the snow they’d forecast — we got two inches, at best — but it’s been blowing around so much it’s still not safe to drive or go out. I worry about that, because usually I go out to be with my Mom on a daily or at least every other day basis. She is more or less homebound, and this weather makes it hard for her to even go outside.

        I know what happened didn’t reflect well on the RCB at all. I understand it, in part. They’re not in a good position if someone can’t be there for a concert, much less tells them only a few, short hours beforehand. (The problem with migraines is that they are unpredictable.) They can’t feel good about missing any one musician.

        That said, I started playing in that band when I was fourteen. Every time I’ve been in the area and able to play, I played. This time, I was coming back from a pulmonary embolism, they knew it, and I over-committed because I wanted to play so very badly and wanted to just get back to normal.

        I was not able to do that.

        Had I been more realistic, and taken every other concert (meaning I’d have played three concerts instead of trying to play seven, and instead only ending up playing one before all the sturm und drang), I’d possibly still be playing regularly.

        I feel terrible about what happened.

        Of course I never wanted a migraine to take me out of a concert performance. I used to go out of my way to avoid them, in fact, but that strategy no longer worked due to the embolism. (I was too weakened.)

        I have recovered some strength since. It’s a slow process.

        My hope now is to play in a different band going forward. I won’t be a known quantity there, so it’ll take some time before my abilities are appreciated and understood. But I also won’t be seen as a lifelong disappointment for not managing the music and teaching career I trained for all my life, so I guess that’s a plus.

        Stay safe and warm where you are, Roger. 🙂 I will do my best to stay the same. (It is currently negative 3 F with a wind-chill factor down to 30 below zero.)

        Barb Caffrey

        December 23, 2022 at 5:32 pm

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