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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

STUFF YOUR STOCKING BLOGFEST: ALEX BEECROFT

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Hope when the world gets you down.


Life frequently has periods of darkness. My own family are going through one of those ourselves at the moment, with redundancy and depression, gender issues, teenage trauma, empty nest syndrome and goodness knows what else.

It's funny how in these periods you rarely get hit with just one thing. No, it seems as though everything has to pile in on you at once, taking advantage of the fact that you're already weakened to better put the boot in.

At times like this, Christmas comes as a great reassurance. As a matter of fact, the 25th of December is not Christ's birthday at all, but someone in the early church made a fantastic psychological judgement call and decided that the deepest, darkest point of the winter would make the best time to celebrate the birth of someone who would heal everything – someone who would put everything right.

Christmas, so cunningly located only two or three days after the midwinter solstice, reminds me of every other time of distress in my life. When misfortune and misery accumulated to the point where they were literally unbearable, when I finally stopped trying to bear them and went to my knees, telling God that I could not go on – that was always the point where things began to get better.

We celebrate Christ's birth at the darkest time – at the time where winter suddenly stops growing stronger and begins to recede – because he is the thing that takes what we cannot endure and fixes it, heals us, turns despair into hope and winter into spring.

That doesn't mean we can expect it to happen all at once in a flashy miracle. Christ was a child when he was born. Then there were thirty odd years of him not doing much, and two or three where he walked about, talking to people. And then he saved the world. By – heh, I'm thinking repeated pattern here – by doing something that looked like defeat and death and misery from the outside, and turning it inside out.

So, yes. Sometimes it's easy to get het up in the fraught scurrying of preparation and family and 'will everyone still be speaking to me if I get the wrong presents?' of Christmas. But this year I find that it's the message of hope that speaks to me louder. It's in the darkest time that the light is kindled. It's when we feel worst that hope arrives, even if it still takes a little while afterwards to fully blossom.

~~~~~


Has this anything to do with my books? Not really. I don't think I have the gall to use Christmas as a sales tool. But if you are interested to know what sort of things I write, you can find them here:

http://alexbeecroft.com. I blog on http://alexbeecroft.com/blog and can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

I'm giving away a copy of my two volume fantasy m/m romance. That is, Under the Hill: Bomber's Moon and Under the Hill: Dogfighters

About the Author: Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.

She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency

About the Author: Alex Beecroft was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She studied English and Philosophy before accepting employment with the Crown Court where she worked for a number of years. Now a stay-at-home mum and full time author, Alex lives with her husband and two daughters in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800 year old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.

13 comments:

ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 said...

Love the bio--looking forward to your work!

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Urb said...

Thanks for a great post, something to,thing about. I look forward to reading your work. Thank you!

brendurbanist at gmail dot com

Mountain Laurel said...

You brought up some very interesting points.
Christ birth definitely was NOT in December as you mention...and we do celebrate Christmas during the darker months of winter. I have seen so many families with distress and sadness during the holiday times and it does seem as when it rains it pours. You cannot have just one "sad" event...multiple things tend to happen at once in a family.
I like the idea that Christmas is indeed a time for HOPE and a break from the lonely months of winter. I am wishing for ALL to have a Merry Christmas with happiness and joy this holiday season!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts today! debbifarmer@yahoo.com

kim kieu said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

data.rajah@yahoo.com

Debby said...

Looking forward to reading your books. Debby236 at gmail dot com

nancy said...

Food for thought. Count me in please.

Alex Beecroft said...

Thanks all for the comments :) I'm sorry I was away from the computer yesterday and didn't answer at once.

@Mountain Laurel
It is really hard with all the pressure to perform Christmas - to get it right, not to disappoint people with the wrong presents/too much/too little, to be still talking to your family by the end of it - to remember that it's actually meant to be a holiday which is designed to help you cope with the hardest time of the year.

I just wish we had something similar in February, when the winter really does feel endless :)

JL Merrow said...

A timely message of hope. :)

Alex Beecroft said...

Thanks, Jamie! :)

elingregory said...

I have your books, so I'm here to say how nice it is to see yu and compliment you on your post. A very timely reminder.

Rush said...

Great post. I truly wish I could say the same in my case. The more I prayed the worst things became...Many years and a river of tears later I gave up. I'm glad things worked out for you. Happy Holidays.

~Rush~
taina1959@yahoo.com

Alex Beecroft said...

Thanks, Rush. Well, I have to admit I'm still waiting, in this case, but I find the waiting easier because of the hope.

Alex Beecroft said...

And in keeping with my theme of getting things late, I have finally drawn a winner out of the hat. Congratulations to Urb, the books will be along momentarily :)

Merry Christmas to all!