Coming 11-30 from Aspen Mountain Press
As I relax next to the roaring fire and sip my egg nog, I wonder what my first guest will have in store for me. I flip open my notebook and look at my questions. Fortunately my interviews have garnered me enough money that I have hired a helper. Tonight I made Tina dress in a silly elf costume to greet my guest. I know she doesn’t feel comfortable, but my goal is to catch my guest off guard and put her at ease.
I’ve heard about the books at Aspen Mountain Press, hell, one of my very own characters will be interviewed tonight, but I can’t help being just a touch nervous. I hope my first guest doesn’t mind being a guinea pig.
I turn and look at my reluctant elf. Judging by the look on my guest’s face, the outfit was appreciated. Though I wasn’t expecting Kayleigh so soon, I was eager to get started with the interview.
Kayleigh’s appearance caught me off guard. Not what I expected in a high priestess. So… ordinary. Kayleigh was short but curvy with pale skin, brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair that just brushed a casual cotton top. No sign of either tie-dye or gypsy flounces. Jeans and a pair of hiking boots completed her outfit.
“Thank you for joining me tonight.” I put down my file and picked up my notepad and pen.
“Hi, Michelle. Thanks for inviting me. Sorry if I’m moving a little slowly.”
“Not a problem, Kayleigh. Take your time. I hope you don’t mind if I take notes this way. The last time I used a tape recorder there were…difficulties.”
“Not a problem. I get along well with electronics but have no problem with notes, either.”
“Are you ready to get started? Can I offer you some refreshments? Food and beverage, name your desire and my super-efficient elf, Tina, will be delighted to bring it.” I ignore Tina’s glare and smile at my guest.
“Some water would be nice. I haven’t had much of an appetite since the accident, though.”
After Kayleigh settles into her chair, I raise my pen and smile. “What are you?”
“I’m just a regular human being. Well, maybe not regular but not anything particularly special.”
“I highly doubt that, Kayleigh. From what I’ve heard, your family and friends hold you in high regards. My research confirms you are being modest.” I get the feeling I’m making her uncomfortable, so I change the subject. “So what do you do for a living, and do you enjoy it?”
“I’m a technical writer, specializing in software manuals. I really do enjoy it. I like teaching people things that seem really difficult until they are clearly explained. Watching that light bulb go on is great. I also do some web design work for friends and family.”
“Hmm. That doesn’t sound like much fun. What do you do for fun?”
“I read and do some crafting. I love to make beaded jewelry and quilt.”
“Wonderful! I’ll have to get you to show me some of your work later. Do you have any hobbies or interesting information about yourself you’d like to share?”
“I guess the only interesting thing is that I’m a wiccan high priestess. Many people find that quite the conversation starter – or ender. I also was in a car accident a few weeks ago that almost killed me.”
“People often fear the unknown.” I shift on my seat not sure if I should mention the accident or not, but she did bring it up. “You look like you are healing well.”
“Actually I am. My doctors and my family have taken great care of me but it may be a while before I’m completely healed and feeling less exhausted. Thanks for asking. So many people are afraid to say anything.”
“What are your plans for this holiday season? Which holidays do you celebrate, if any, and how do you celebrate them?”
“Being a wiccan, I celebrate Yule. This is the time of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year and the time when the Holly King and the Oak King do ritual battle so the Oak King can take over dominion of the world until the Summer Solstice. I usually set up a Yule tree but I think that may be a bit much for me this year. I will burn a nice Yule log and keep my fire going all night, to light the darkness.
It’s not a huge celebration but I do exchange gifts with my family and friends.”
“It sounds beautiful. Is there anyone special in your life?”
“Not right now. I’ve been working a lot or teaching my coven and just haven’t had time since the last guy I dated and I decided to go our separate ways. I’m not unhappy alone and I’m not willing to compromise my dream of a very special love.”
“Are you looking for someone?”
“I’m not actively looking for anyone. I have a great belief that the Goddess will someday present someone that will love me the way my parents love each other. I’m open to relationships in general, though.
At the moment, I really need to heal from my accident before I even consider a new relationship. I need to get my life back to normal.”
“That makes a lot of sense. You’re one smart lady.” I take a sip of my egg nog and wonder if I should switch to hot cocoa. Maybe Tina spiked my drink. “What are your goals for the rest of the year?”
“To heal and get back to normal. This accident has had a really extreme impact on me and I need to find my center again. I feel like I’m walking around with my skin off and I just have this overwhelming feeling that something even bigger is going to happen. I don’t know what and I hope it doesn’t kill me this time.”
“Well, I definitely hope nothing kills you. It’s been wonderful getting to know you, and I hope this isn’t the last time we meet. I’d love to see some of your work. And I don’t mean the technical writing.” I wink and put down my notepad and pen. “Thank you so much for joining me tonight. I really enjoyed getting to know you.”
“Thanks for having me over. This was my last appointment before I take a break from things for Yule. I rented the most fantastic arts & crafts bungalow with these amazing woods. I can’t wait to explore them.
Nice Elf by the way, though the sticking her tongue out behind your back sort of destroys the image.”
I snicker and turn to frown at Tina. I hiss at her to behave, then turn back to Kayleigh. “I hope you enjoy your rest and don’t overdo things.”
As I watched Kayleigh leave, I wondered that my next guest would have in store for me. Hopefully they will be as friendly as Kayleigh. I look at Tina. Maybe she needs a different outfit.