When I write a story or play, I often go back to some former work, pull it out, look it over to see if there are any valuable bon mots that I can use. Generally there are a few. The first story I wrote and sent off to be considered for publication was titled “Ella’s Christmas Star.” It was rejected, but I’ve kept it with my writings because I know it has some merit. From time to time, I’ve pulled it out and read it. It seems awfully quaint by today’s standards. It was about a girl who wanted to give her friends a “real” Christmas experience, and she comes up with the idea of a Christmas walk. The story is set in the country, and her a Christmas walk leads her classmates from field to forest and barn to house. Ella (the main character) is afraid her friends will think it’s a stupid idea, but she decides to “just do it.” Ah, the joy, the happiness, the sweet responses! This story was written before computers were in every house, and there was no such thing as CD’s, wireless phones, or tablets. How quaint it seems now.
Yet, yet, there is a point to be made. Do we not search for that Christmas we remember in our hearts? Or think we remember? Or believe must have occurred somewhere, sometime—with a certain silence, wonder, beauty, and awe? It comes when we look at the stars, feel the wind on our cheeks, and know there is a warm place waiting for us just inside a door. I believe my story,” Ella’s Christmas Star” will someday find its place.
And so it is with stories, blogs, essays, and plays. In our hearts we know there is a place for the idea or germ of the story or plot. Perhaps when we assess its worthiness, we’ll see that with a few changes, it can be glorious and complete. We may have to develop a character or replace some words, maybe put in a plot twist we hadn’t thought about, or rearrange the setting. Often the ideas come just when we think we should pitch the whole enterprise, but just can’t bear to trash the story or play. Then, as we reflect, some new idea or awareness comes, and we are glad. Perhaps it’s a gift. Merry Christmas.