Christmas Wrap-Up

Christmas has passed, the eggnog is gone, shredded wrapping paper is strewn all across the floor…

If you had Monday off, maybe you chose to sleep in…

But it’s Tuesday morning, and it’s back to business as usual, because although capitalism spends the entire year building us up for Christmas, it still only gives us a day, so back to work!

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Sarcasm aside, I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and if you didn’t, I hope you at least found something that made you smile this holiday season. The end of the year can be a stressful time, but taking a moment to appreciate those tiny moments that bring us joy, no matter how few or far between, is what gets us through it.

Speaking of what brings me joy, I’m finishing up the final chapters of my Kindle Vella story this week. It has truly been a treasure writing and editing this story, seeing how much it’s changed, and falling in love with these characters all over again (my favorite is Rita, by the way).

I know my followers outside the US unfortunately won’t get to read it. If Vella turns out to be a success, maybe Amazon will expand it to other countries. Or maybe I’ll take the next step and publish my story as an ebook. But to be honest, I’m quite content with having it live on Kindle Vella, as this is my first venture into releasing a full-length title under my name (the word count just over 40,000 words), and I couldn’t be prouder. After three years of feeling unfulfilled, I just want to bask in this accomplishment for a while.

I’m looking forward to 2023 and writing more stories (including my Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve marathon, which I still plan on doing—pray for me!). So for now, I’m closing the chapter on Waiting for the Day, but I hope you enjoyed this incredible journey with me from serial on the blog to published story on Amazon!

As a gift from me to you, here’s an excerpt from the Christmas day chapter.

Photo by Jill Wellington on

The Big Day


Rita is so late. Good thing she’s not the matron of honor. Renee can handle it anyway—mom of three and all. Rita was never upset with Tash for giving the title to Renee without considering her first. They both know how irresponsible Rita is—was.

But maid or matron, old Rita or work in progress, how tacky would it be for her to be late to her best friend’s wedding? Especially after the way she left last night. She’s sure everyone’s still worried, but they don’t need to be, not anymore, not when she tells Tash the news. Renee too. When they see her, they’ll understand, and she can’t wait.

When Rita was growing up, her mom used to warn her against making faces at people. She said Rita’s face would freeze in that expression, and she would forever look like her own mocking joke. Now she glances up at her reflection in the review mirror. She hasn’t stopped smiling since leaving the church last night. Her cheekbones are high and pronounced, with a touch of natural blush on them. At the dress fitting, Tash mentioned she was glowing, now she can see it. Her skin is freshly fallen snow glistening in the morning rays of light.

“I hope it always feels like this,” Rita says, and as she speaks, a single flurry drifts across her windshield. She’s felt it all morning, in the frigid air, the wet sting in her cheeks, the overcast cloud cover. The Christmas snowfall she’s prayed for since childhood has finally come. It’s not the foot she was after—just a few swirling specks in the wind that could easily be written off as dust in the eyes—but she’ll take it!

Rita turns into the Macy’s parking lot. It shocked her at first when she heard on the radio that Macy’s would be open for Christmas, but the store practically invented the holiday, at least the shopping part of it, and as she skips over the threshold, parting the sliding doors, she’s thankful that Macy’s is the only store open because right in front of her, hanging off a men’s wear mannequin, is the only thing she came in to buy. Burgundy red, ridged fabric, crisp lapels. It’s almost identical to the one Mitchell was wearing the night they first met, before beer and hot wings and the rest of the contents of her stomach took over.

She swipes a size large off the rack in front of the mannequin and rushes to the check-out counter. There’s not a single customer in sight. Did Macy’s really think many people would be out shopping on Christmas day? Or maybe they are open just for her. She lifts her head to the ceiling and mouths a “thank you.”

“Would you like this gift wrapped?” asks the cashier, who is surprisingly chipper despite being at work on the one holiday most people have off to spend with family.

“Absolutely.” Rita matches her attitude with a smile and adds, “Merry Christmas!”

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

The final episodes of Waiting for the Day, Christmas Day will be posted this week to close out the year.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been taking a short break from blogging to focus on finishing this Vella story and to prepare for the Lost in the Twilight Zone Marathon. Get ready for 24 straight hours of stories starting midnight this New Year’s Eve!

logo: cartoon of girl with glass and her hair tied in a bun reading a book



5 thoughts on “Christmas Wrap-Up

  1. Woot! Congrats on finishing your story on Vella already, that’s amazing! I skipped your sneak peek because I don’t want any spoilers. I fully plan to read the whole thing as soon as I can. Hopefully sometime soon. Congratulations, again! 🥳

    Liked by 1 person

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