In which it’s Adrienne’s turn

For the month of December–with bonus posts on November 30 and January 1!–I am delighted to welcome a wonderful assortment of guest bloggers to take over the helm. Please enjoy their generous contributions to the blog this month. My own bloggery will resume January 2. I wish you and yours happiness and health this holiday season. Please note: comments are disabled until my return.


Hello and Happy Holidays to all of you! I want to give a huge THANKS to the fabulous Deanna for opening up her blog to all of us, especially those of us who aren’t quite published yet. (*cough* me) I’m Adrienne Proctor, and I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where I now live with my husband, five kids, one insane cat, and a chill turtle. When I’m not writing or reading, you can find me shooting arrows, throwing knives, or drinking scotch. For research. Mostly.

For me, this time of year is always associated with secrets. Not the bad kind of secrets. Not lies or deceit. No, this is the time for good secrets. Like the secret of a nighttime snowfall. Of a special Christmas ornament tucked beneath some branches. Of a newborn’s fleeting smile or an unopened letter received from a far away friend. These have a special weight. A girth of potential energy. Their power lies in the anticipation of their discovery.

The first time I recall being entrusted with a secret of magnitude, I was six. My mom and I were in our living room, probably decorating the tree, and she told me what she’d gotten my two-year-old sister for Christmas. Then she leaned in and very seriously told me not to tell. That the surprise would be ruined if I said anything. Well, this was a huge responsibility, and one I took on with all sincerity. My mom had confided in me. I could not fail.

But the weight of carrying this information around forever, or in reality, probably a few days, was great. With horrific detail, I imagined spilling my guts to my sister, accidentally blurting it out one night over our plates of spaghetti. I could see the repelled look on my mother’s face, the disappointed lowering of my father’s brow as he sighed over his garlic bread. The lack of surprise in my sister’s eyes upon peeling back the wrapping paper on Christmas morning, already knowing what was beneath it.

I kept the secret close inside, repeating to myself, “DO NOT TELL HER. DO NOT RUIN IT.” And on Christmas morning, I was so proud of myself. I’d made it. And my sister got to enjoy her surprise, unspoiled. To this day, she still has no idea that I knew she was going to get a…

Nope! Not gonna tell!

If you want to chat about reading, writing, secrets, research, or anything, you can hop on over to, or follow me on Twitter at @almcall. I hope you all enjoy the holidays!