With fond greetings to all my blogging friends, this is my Christmas card to you … and my annual Christmas skit:

Dianne sits in her usual corner with her laptop, Sorcia at her feet. The phone rings.

Dianne: Hello?

Bob: Hi, hon. It’s me. How are things at home? Are you okay?

Dianne: Everything’s fine. Why?

Bob: I didn’t see any Facebook status update from you today, and nothing on Twitter. I was worried.

Dianne: Oh, I’m up to my eyebrows in math tests and reading journals to correct. Then, I was revising The Caged Graves when I thought of something I wanted to do with the first page of Pinpoint. In between, I was finishing a new chapter in the steampunk story.

Bob: I don’t see how you keep all those stories and characters straight.

Dianne: It just takes practice, Nate. Uh, I mean, Hodge.

Bob: My name’s Bob.

Dianne: Whatever. How are things at work?

Bob: Pretty good today. Nobody else wanted to teach Biomed how to use the new system so I got to do that—easy day, answered questions then took them all to lunch. Are the kids around?

Dianne: Let me check. (Texts Gina on her phone.) do u want 2 talk 2 daddy?

Gina: (texts back) yes.

Dianne: (texts) Where r u?

Gina: (texts) sitn nxt 2 u

Dianne: (looks up) Oh, so you are. Here’s the phone.

Gina: Hi, Dad! Guess what, Mom was my science teacher yesterday.

Bob: Yeah, I saw that on your guest post on Mommy’s blog. How was she?

Gina: She was okay. She spelled something wrong on the board.

Dianne: (sends Facebook chat to Gabbey) dad on phone. U want 2 talk 2 him?

Gabbey: (via Facebook chat) no IL txt him l8r

Bob: Where’s Gabbey?

Gina: She’s up in her room, making videos of herself playing the Zelda theme song on the viola and the ocarina and posting them on YouTube. She has a following of like 500 viewers.

Bob: That’s … disturbing. Put your mother back on the phone.

Dianne: Yes, I know. Zeldagirl367 is a bit of a sensation on YouTube. But I’m on it. Her comments are from other Zelda fans, and all they talk about are Link, Hyrule, and the Triforce. It kinda hardly matters if they’re other teens or 50 year old nerds.

Bob: Well, I checked her grades online and emailed her teachers, and she seems up to date on everything.

Dianne: And she was practicing her lines for the play earlier this evening. Gina helped her.

Gina: I told her I would read lines with her if she contributed $10 toward the Game Cube Adaptor for the Wii console I ordered on Amazon.

Dianne: What did you order on Amazon? And how did you order it? (mutters to Bob on the phone) She probably has her own credit card.

Gina: No, I don’t have my own credit card. They didn’t accept my application. But I have a gift certificate from the time I took all your spare change to the Coin Star machine at the grocery store.

Dianne: You took the spare change?

Bob: It’s the least we owe her. She’s the only reason we have an accurate grocery list each week. Hey, Dianne, I have a surprise for you.

DING DONG. At the sound of the doorbell, Sorcia leaps to her feet and launches at the door like a Cruise missile.


Dianne: (putting ice in the cocktail shaker) You finished the job and flew home early. I know. I’ve been tracking your phone by Google Latitude the whole time we’ve been talking.

Bob: (letting himself in) Wow, honey! Look at you working that technology. I’m impressed!

Sorcia: (whirling in a circle and whacking everybody with her tail) BARK! BOB’S HOME! BARK! LOVE BOB! HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!

Gabbey: (via Facebook chat) tell dad hi