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    Fiction Writing and "The Big Audacious Lie"



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    Make it a great week,



    In Lieu of Resolutions

    If you're not one to write out new year's resolutions, then maybe starting off with a smile is more your style. Here is a sweet poem by Archer Prince to kick off 2017 with a happy thought.

    Try Smiling.....

    When the weather suits you not,
    Try smiling!
    When the coffee isn't hot,
    Try smiling!
    When your neighbors don't do right,
    Or your relatives all fight,
    Sure 'tis hard, but then you might
    Try smiling!

    Doesn't change the things, of course,

    Just smiling.
    But it cannot make them worse,

    Just smiling.
    And it seems to help your case,
    Brightens up a gloomy place,
    Then, it sort o' rests your face,

    Just smiling!

    – Archer Prince

    Happy New Year,


    My Favorite Fictional Christmas Stories

    My recommended story selections for Christmas:

    1. The Snowman – Dianne Jackson, Raymond Briggs. (Animated without words with one song, “Walking in the Air,” you can purchase the DVD at Wal-Mart or B&N for less than ten dollars.) It's the story of a little boy who builds a snowman, and overnight the snowman comes to life magically. A relationship develops between the boy and the snowman who whisks the boy away to the north pole to meet Santa Claus. Even though the storyline is simple, it is so well constructed with music, animation, and the clear tones of an English boy's choir, it will touch your heart. A DVD story perfect to share with a youngster, or your inner child.

      This is a very special Christmas story for me. Maybe because it is one I watched with two of my granddaughters every year when they were little. Or maybe because while living in Connecticut, I had the distinct privilege of singing ventriloquially through my little girl puppet, “Walking in the Air” accompanied by the Meriden Symphony Orchestra.

    2. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
      Is anyone not familiar with this story? Hard to imagine. A poor man – with a happy but struggling family that includes a small crippled boy – works for Scrooge, a bitter and parsimonious boss. Scrooge finally comes around to the meaning of Christmas through a dream, or nightmare that becomes the major part of the story. So stinginess, and selfishness give way to generosity and kindness. I like the story not just because of a stingy attitude that transforms into a generous one, it's the journey of how the main character arrives at that altruistic place that makes it so outstanding and such a classic.

    3. The Gift of the Magi – O Henry

      Grab your tissue box. This story comes with tears, even with a good ending. Doesn't matter. I still get all soppy, because the gift of each person in this story is sacrificial. It's a level of giving that comes from deep love. A noble and selfless gift makes this a beautiful story.

    4. The Other Wiseman – Henry Van Dyke

      Artaban is the fourth wiseman, who carries gifts to the newborn king. However, after he sets off on his journey he feels compelled to stop when he sees others in need, using his gifts for the Christ child to pay to help the needy. All of these good deed delays him. By the time he reaches the stable, the Holy Family have moved to Egypt. The story has a beautiful ending and reinforces the belief that spending time with those we care about, and showing kindness are our greatest gifts.


    Enjoy your week,



    Three Camels 


    PYREX: Did you remember to bring extra sandals?

    FRED: Real Camels wear Herman Survivors.

    CRYSTAL: I just had a pedicure! Sand is so abrasive, hope I don't break a nail.

    FRED: Did you remember to bring your compass?

    PYREX: We don't need a compass, we're following that star.

    CRYSTAL: I don't want to get lost. There isn't a shopping mall for miles.

    PYREX: Did you pack your gifts? I'm bringing Frankincense, a gift from Fire.

    CRYSTAL: I'm bringing Gold, a gift from Earth.

    PYREX: What are you bringing, Fred?

    FRED: Fruitcake. A gift from Aunt Ethel.

    CRYSTAL: Everyone knows the Wise Men's gifts were Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

    FRED: I couldn't find any Myrrh.

    PYREX: Do you realize how that's going to sound when clergy all over the world read from the Holy Scriptures, Gold, Frankincense, and Fruitcake?

    FRED: Our Masters are always searching for God. How much longer before we get there?

    CRYSTAL: Why did your Master name you Pyrex?

    PYREX: Because I can stand the desert heat. It's tough being a Magi's Camel.

    CRYSTAL: But it is a status symbol.

    PYREX: If you want status you go on a pilgrimage.

    FRED: What's a pilgrimage?

    CRYSTAL: ...a long journey to look for God. And sometimes you can find the cutest little boutiques along the way.

    PYREX: You began to have a deeper understanding of spiritual things.

    FRED: Sounds like a headache.

    CRYSTAL: People seek God, because they want their lives to matter, to know there is a Supreme plan, and a Nordstroms nearby.

    PYREX: People are like a puzzle with a missing piece.

    CRYSTAL: It's so sad, like a beautiful brooch missing a diamond chip.

    PYREX: Speaking of diamonds, look at that star.

    CRYSTAL: I love sparkles.

    PYREX: We have an important task, to carry our three Kings to find the Christ Child.

    FRED: I could use a change of scenery.

    CRYSTAL: The scenery reminds me of Vanilla, Butterscotch, Caramel, Milk Chocolate, Mocha...

    PYREX: Stop. You're making me hungry.

    PYREX: Look to your left, there's a big wind storm.

    CRYSTAL: I hate getting sand in my mouth.

    PYREX: That's why camels spit.

    CRYSTAL: I prefer to rinse, thank you.

    PYREX: The star seems to be lowering over that small town ahead.

    CRYSTAL: "Bethleham City Limits, Population 300 and 1." And the paint is still wet! Oooh, I just love babies!

    PYREX: Kneel down. We are experiencing a miracle in history. "And you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

    CRYSTAL: How disgusting! It doesn't even have a bed-skirt!

    FRED: Look! Our Masters are presenting their gifts.

    PYREX: The parents are smiling. They call the baby, “Jesus.”

    CRYSTAL: I wonder if that halo is 24 carot?

    FRED: Hey... Do you see that? Where did my Master get the Myrrh? I couldn't find it.

    CRYSTAL: What a trip, I'm starving.

    FRED: Want some fruitcake?

    PYREX: It's a miracle.

    FRED: What, the fruitcake?

    PYREX: No. God in flesh. The Savior of the World.


    Peace and Joy!





    An Excerpt from "The Killer Show"

    This three-character scene includes the narrator, Simone, her sister, Violet, and their father, Grit.This scene depicts Grit's nature and his relationship with his daughters.

    The scene's backstory: Grit has had a pulmonary embolism and a week long hospital stay. Now he's eager to go home.

    Thanks for reading.

    The sky, a cobalt blue, looked like a touched-up post card, with a bright sun bouncing off signs and windows. We parked in the car park, on the top floor, and headed through the connector hallway into the building on the fourth floor.

    When we pushed open Grit's door, he was dressed, sitting in a chair, facing the door.

    “There you are!” His face lit up.

    Not ten minutes later, the nurse walked in and said Grit was cleared to leave. An attendant wheeled him out to the front door while I pulled his old Buick around. The attendant buckled him into the passenger seat, and I eased ahead.

    “Watch that vehicle. He's pulling out.” Grit jabbed a finger at the windshield.

    I nodded and slowed.

    “Breathe. Just be patient,” I told myself.

    “Turn left here. You want to avoid that intersection straight a head.”

    “Hey. Relax.” I gripped the steering wheel, and turned left.

    For the rest of the drive, I bit my tongue.

    But getting him out of the car was another matter.

    I have to admit, Violet and I fussed over him like a couple of kids with a fragile kitten. One of us on either side of him, holding his arms. In this manner, we stumbled with him into the house, bumped doorways, knocked into the kitchen table, and in a clumsy effort, navigated through the family room, colliding with a side table. Finally, we reached his threshold of anger.

    He flailed his arms loose and chaffed us with a loud burst of invective objections. At that moment, we both fell back in silence, back into the role of small children under his parental authority.

    Make it a great week,