I am terrible at wrapping presents.
At this very moment, across the room from me, sits the gift* I just wrapped for my husband.
It is not an attractive piece.
I won't go into details, but please understand that whatever vision of hideousness your mind may have conjured, the reality is much, much worse.
So it's fortunate that I have one present this year that doesn't need to be wrapped.
This year's Insert Winter Holiday Of Choice present isn't the story I'd intended to write: that one has to wait until The Wolf-finder General has been published. But a story came to mind anyway, so that's what I wrote.
It's not quite as dark as last year's story, nor as light-hearted as the year before's. It's just a glimpse into Dora's past, on a difficult night, at a particularly difficult age.
That doesn't sound like much of a present, but I hope it's a good one nonetheless. You can download it here, or just go here and read it right away. Whatever you celebrate, I hope this year's is a good one, and if you don't celebrate anything, then may what remains of the year be kind.
*Dave Gorman has strong opinions on the difference between a gift and a present.
Or at least strong enough to make a medium size segment of one episode of his long-ish running television programme Modern Life Is Goodish.
He also holds, or pretends for professional reasons** to hold, similarly strong opinions on the excessive use of synonyms.
But he isn't writing this blog.
So there. **I.E. because it's funny.