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My Semi-Fictional Life #73 (A New Release, Freebie, and a Challenge)

Hello peeps. I’ll get to the title of this post in reverse.

First, we’ll talk about the challenge. Since completing my Stephen King reread, I’ve been looking for my next year-long reading challenge. I had three requirements that I came up with to mix things up: I cannot have read any of this author’s work; the author should be well respected in the reading community; the author should have over twelve published novels so that I am able to read at least one of their novels a month for a year. It soon became clear that I had only one choice: John Irving.

So, starting January 1, 2017, I will be reading all of John Irving’s novels in order of publication. The point of this exercise, like my King reread, is to see if I can pinpoint the highs and lows of a career and match them with newsworthy elements from the author’s life. Another point is to try and watch the growth or decline, or both, of a popular novelist. Going into my King reread, I knew damn near everything there was to know about King. I learned very little from my experiment. This time, I’m tackling an author who is completely new to me. I know nothing about Irving, other than the movie adaptation of The World According to Garp is one of my mother’s favorite movies.

I will admit to having read the first 60 pages of The World According to Garp, but I quit because I knew it was something special and wanted to save it until I could give it my whole attention, because at the time I was reading two other books, and they were both just as good. I’m glad I stopped. Now I can start fresh with a truly talented author.

Now for some self-promo bullshit.

Beyond the Gates of Toyland is live and will be free from December 14-18. This is the final installment of my War on Christmas series. I hope you enjoy the way it ends.

For those of you that do not know, Deck the Halls and Beyond the Gates of Toyland were once one long story, what the industry calls a novelette. Because I give these stories away and do not make any money off of them (unless you buy them before they go free, then shame on you for buying your own gifts), I couldn’t afford to edit all 12,000 words in one year, so I split the final story into two pieces. I know that upset those of you who read Deck the Halls last year, and I apologize. I understand, truly, I do, but it could not be helped, not if I was to keep my promise of a yearly Christmas story. But, yeah, making you wait a whole year for another 6,000 words and the conclusion to this short series was a dick move, and definitely not a decision I enjoyed making.

To answer a popular question, will there be more free Christmas stories in the future? You betcha. Will they continue the story of my version of Santa? I don’t know. I kinda want to know about Santa and Krampus’s first meeting… and of course why Krampus… Oh, wait. Spoilers. Sorry.

So here you go. Beyond the Gates of Toyland, the conclusion to the War on Christmas. Have fun, and tell Santa, from one big guy to another, I miss his fat ass.

See you tomorrow,

E.

Pic of the Day

Click on the picture to get your copy from Amazon.com. International links are below the image.

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