How Are You Handling the Holidays?

The holidays can be complex, and we all experience them differently. Here's a bit about what I've been up to as we move toward the final round of holidays in 2022.

How Are You Handling the Holidays?
I enjoyed a solitary frosty walk earlier this week. The world was covered in ice, and it felt like modernity lay in a different reality altogether as I strolled along the silent paths of a local park.

Hello there! How has your week been going?

I’ve been out of it this week, barely able to function. I mean, I’ve still been doing a lot, because it’s me, but I’ve been wanting to just curl up and experience a period of true quietude. Instead… there’s been lots of stuff to do! That’s adult life for you, though.

Remember when you were a kid? How it seemed like adults could do all sorts of cool things, like stay up late and eat all the fun food whenever they wanted to? Funny how most of actually being an adult is watching what you eat and struggling with insomnia.

There’s also something about this time of year… for many of us, the holidays are stressful. This is largely a byproduct of consumerism and capitalism, interrupting an ancient process of natural seasonal change.

Capitalism doesn’t recognize natural cycles: it forces us to work within very unnatural and, frankly, horrific, confines. During winter, our subconscious rebels against this forced labor most intently, as the deathly season connects with our own struggles. A lot of the problems we face, from the increased stress, to the family difficulties, stem from this artificial reality that’s been created for us.

Of course, there are other reasons why we might struggle as well. This is a natural time of surrendering to the darkness of the dying months, of holding tight to what little warmth and light we can foster through the cold. Our brain chemistry fights for balance in the middle of a literal loss of light!

Personally, December brings up some old struggles for me. December first marks the date of my father’s death when I was seventeen, and there are some deep patterns in my psyche that play out every year around this time.

What to do, what to do? For an introvert, like me, there’s a paradoxical importance of having lots of community while also having respect for lots solitude.

Trying to balance that can be hard on us, as well as those closest to us. Communicating our needs clearly and early, keeping a Winter Journal wherein we write our daily thoughts and emotions, or changing up our routines by getting out into nature (and what little sunlight there is), are all viable options.

What helps you? Tell me privately or in the comments, I’d love to hear about what winter is like in your life.


Returned to work on my novel this week (the fantasy novel, not the science fiction novel). It was nice going back and checking in with it, but I’ve got the terminal rewrite problem still knocking me about. I already want to go back and fine-tune the first chapter! Part of this is because I’m finding the plot and purpose of the novel. Part of it is because I’m finding my own voice through the novel. Mainly, I just need to have a lot of patience with myself as I keep working on it. Like everything that I do, this novel is a huge project that requires intense skill and concentration. It’s going to take a while for me to grow into it. But that’s okay.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some other writing!

Note: All the Medium articles I write are paywall-free only from these links! If you try to read my posts by clicking on them directly within Medium, you’ll need a paid account. Just use these links, though, and you’ll be able to read freely!



This week, I only got these three done! Still, I’m so very happy that I was able to get even this many done.

A super frosty morning walk with Katie. Absolutely glorious. I love cold weather, and we were delighted by the thick (for California) frost that covered the world).


My other projects right now are:

  • a re-read of Joseph Cambell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces,
  • the curation/creation of a holiday practice guide for next year (alongside Katie),
  • the curation of my January fitness challenge calendar (keep an eye out for this!),
  • working on this month’s fitness goals,
  • building my own Christmas tree stand,
  • hand-crafting presents for Katie and my mom,
  • preparing holiday cards to send (I know, a bit on the late side, but it’s they’ll get there around the right time),
  • continuing grant research for the MLIS,
  • dealing with housing/life stuff that requires paperwork (UGH),
  • getting a vaccination I need for the heath paperwork for my new university,
  • finding a good, reputable mask alternative (many KN-95 masks, the most comfortable kind of mask, are fake these days—even ones from previously good brands!). I went with a bi-fold kf-94 (yay, Korean standards!) and I’m really happy with it. I’ll share an article about it next week!
  • And, of course, working with EveryLibrary on their newest project…

Halvorson Times is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

EveryLibrary’s Fight for the First platform

I can finally reveal what all my hard work the last few months has been for! This is a pre-alpha soft launch, not the finished thing by any means. But, the site itself is live, and we’re quietly inviting folks to come along and look at it, poke it, and give us feedback.

Fight for the First is an action website dedicated to fighting for the first amendment right to free speech and freedom of expression. That means: fighting against book bans, fighting for freedom of the press, and fighting to ensure the right to assembly. It’s actually a huge deal, and an area too frequently cornered by alt-right loudmouths. It’s really exciting to be part of taking free speech back.

EveryLibrary has spent a decade fighting for libraries across the country, building powerful coalitions to defend libraries against growing systemic attacks by small extremist conservative action groups that are frequently well funded by powerful far-right sources. Everything that Fight for the First does will be backed up by EveryLibrary’s experience and resources, and we have the opportunity here to create real change.

It’s all pretty rough right now… we have a soft launch planned for the first week of the new year, with a hard launch a couple of months later. But, the bones are there, and they’re pretty dang cool.

I created the community guidelines, as well as the information in the About section! I’m so proud to have been a contributor to this amazing project, alongside a team of extremely talented and dedicated individuals.

Thank you for reading Halvorson Times. This post is public so feel free to share it.

The World Wide Web

The first thing that I absolutely need to share is Neil Gaiman reading “A Christmas Carol” (it doesn’t get better than this, folks).

One of the first stories I read by myself as a kid was The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. I just encountered a super trippy 1980 British film version that looks out of this world (heh).

A Calvin and Hobbes comic strip featuring Calvin’s dad venting about the burdens of modern technology.
Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes was, and will always be, my favorite comic.

I’m in love with Chill Subs, which seems to be offering an alternative to Moksha and, more importantly, that horrible corporate juggernaut known as Submittable. It appears to be free, which is a huge deal for small publishers looking for a handy submission manager. I’m excited to start using it for my own work, whenever it’s presented as a viable alternative. If I ever get Round Table Writers’ magazine off the ground, I might start out using this service, too!

And, in keeping with how I started this newsletter, here’s a little infographic for anyone struggling with some holiday stresses.

Found on Tumblr, credit goes to iamhayleykaye

Alright, that’s it for now, folks!

This next week, I’m going to likely be keeping both the articles and micro fiction low-key, so no promises on how much I actually have for you. But, I am planning on a posting something on Christmas Day, so keep an eye out for that.

With lots of love and holiday blessings,

Go easy… and if you can’t go easy, go as easy as you can.


Me, pulling our tree through its netting!

Subscribe for my regular newsletter. No spam, just the big updates.