I had the day off, and a mammoth to-do list which is pretty much the way it is at this time of year for everyone, I suppose. Lazy 'Nathan didn't win out, and I got most of the stuff on my list pretty much done, including a few "extras" that snuck on there throughout the day. Delving into Chapter Four between laundry and the dishes was a wee reward to myself for not just sleeping in until eight in the morning.
Four days in, and my chapter-a-day tour of A Coventry Christmas and I'm already itching to sneak ahead. No one would know, right? Re-reading the book is ratcheting up my spirit a little bit, too. I've caught myself humming a Christmas song and it didn't make me want to cry.
Which, if you've worked retail, is some pretty fine magic.
Chapter the Fourth (Or Hair Today, Byrnes Tomorrow)
First off, if you've never heard of "Tuckerization" before, I'm going to take a moment to explain it a bit. Mostly I'm going to reword the Wikipedia article. Short version: when you're writing, it's sometimes fun to put the names of people or places you love into the narrative. To me, it's a mix between an homage and an Easter egg. For example, the proofs I got today for a short story in an upcoming anthology has two characters named for folks from Fool For Love. Incidentally, the R.D. Cochrane who co-edited said anthology is the Becky Cochrane who wrote A Coventry Christmas.
When I first read A Coventry Christmas and got to the scene in chapter four that introduces Major Byrnes, I grinned. See, the character in question is named for Rob Byrnes, the Lambda Award Stealing... uh, Winning author. When I bump into a Tuckerization - and recognize it - it's like I won a little prize or something. I'm just that sad.
Also, can we talk about the joy that was Cleo's? Again, I'm trying to be spoiler free as much as possible, but the not-so-dirty Rat and the tongs and Evan's sniping co-workers and oh, the whole damn scene... Awesome. What I love about fiction done well is that a scene with outrageous events becomes something that seems so plausible. I catch myself wondering if something so crazy must have happened in real life to inspire the scene.
Then I think about rats and I decide I don't want to know.
Coveted Coventry Moments: