Holiday stories do not come easily to this cynical old gal. In fact, last year was the first time I submitted a story for Dreamspinner’s Advent calendar anthology. My futuristic story was set in a homeless shelter run by a gay pastor who thinks he’s loosing his mind, but by the end of the story, a few miracles happen.
I was stunned and delighted when “The Colors of Pastor Saul” was accepted for publication. I love my Dreamspinner editors.
Upon release, quite a few easily upset souls complained about the story. Too “sad” too “dark”, too “unsettling”… but wait, I thought, what about the miracles? Certain readers didn’t want to read about miracles in a homeless shelter, not for Christmas. These delicate readers wanted holiday trees and pretty lights…wait, I did feature those items in my story. Hmm. Maybe the specter of Death during Christmas upset readers. Cue Dickens. Obviously the oh-so-sensitive souls had never bothered to read Dickens.
Snarky? Me? Absolutely. I don’t tolerate ignorance and wanting intellect.
Back in March, I attempted to write a cheerful Christmas story set in 1947 Cornwell. Suddenly the trauma of World War 2 seeped into the celebration. I gave up and gently placed the story in storage.
When I saw RJ Scott’s invitation to submit a story to her “Christmas Delights” anthology, I said what the hell, I’ll give this holiday story game another shot. This time I selected nice hot sex as the story’s centerpiece. No trauma, no lurking death… there’s sex, voyeurism, snow, sweat, surprises, and a 1966 cherry red Mustang convertible named Sheila. When I feature a car in a story, I need to name her something fun.
There you go. I have discovered the ability to write a cheerful holiday story. OK, yes, there’s a little trauma, but it’s resolved in a blink.
To prove my holiday cheer, I’m giving away a holiday present of three novels: Cupid Knows Best, The Gospel According to Cher and Love in the Shadows. I’ll even throw in a copy of “The Colors of Pastor Saul.”
Your task is simple: recommend a great holiday story to me and end the post with the Mustang's name. *snicker*
My partner Professor Sandy will pick the winner on Sunday night.
Also, hop over to RJ’s blog for the chance to win great RJ-related prizes!
PS: By the way, the Cornwell story is coming out of storage. I think I found a happy ending. I'm trying, kittens, yes I am.