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Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Growing up, it was easy: a pillowcase filled with toys (mostly books for me -- although the ones on the bed were always things like A HUNDRED EXCITING THINGS A BOY CAN DO or THE DR WHO ANNUAL) on your bed in the morning, along with a stocking filled with diaries and crayons, nuts and an orange. You woke up, when you woke up. You opened the presents. You settled down with the books and hoped people would leave you alone to read. (My parents were never terribly comfortable with Christmas, being Jewish, but we kids lobbied for it and got it. And what the hell, Jews wrote all the best Christmas songs anyway.) And my parents got to lie in on Christmas Day. And somewhere around lunchtime larger things got opened (a box of magic tricks, more books). It was dreadfully civilised.

As a parent, every year I suggest faintly that it might be a fine way to have a Christmas "I have a dream," I tell them. "A dream of sleeping in until maybe ten pm, and having a cup of tea, and then, after lunch we could open presents...".

Every year the rest of the family chunter off to bed early on Christmas Eve, smiling at me with pity in their eyes. And every year they wake up at 6.00am and pretty soon they're dragging me blearily down onto the sofa to open presents. And barely half-awake I open presents, sip tea, doze sitting up, and suggest that, next year, we might want to try an alternative sort of plan.

And they look at me, from the youngest to the oldest, and every year they shake their heads in the same sort of way. It'll never happen. And I grumble, but after about fifteen years I'd miss it terribly if they actually let me sleep.

Which is a roundabout way of saying, compliments of the season to all of you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find something fun in your stockings.

....

Spent today doing the final copyedit on a book NESFA PRESS will be publishing for Boskone, called "ADVENTURES IN THE DREAM TRADE". It's a collection of articles and introductions I've written about everyone from Lord Dunsany to Fritz Leiber, along with the American Gods Journal in paper form. The oddest moment today was finding that a blogger entry for March 2nd had snuck off into early June.

I was worried that an accumulation of introductions would be appallingly dull, but it sort of carries you along, and is much more readable than I would ever have imagined.

(The introduction that was the hardest to read was the one I did for Alfred Bester's STARS MY DESTINATION (Aka TIGER! TIGER!) -- Back in 1996 I sent a rough first draft off to the editor who slammed it in to the printer. Reading it now it still felt like notes toward an introduction... but after five years, it was like reading someone else's notes. I wasn't sure that I could do a second draft now if I wanted to, so I shrugged and left it just as it was.)
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