I rejoice in the holiday season, not only because I love all the lights and decorations, but because with all the negativity in the world, I’m happy to celebrate anything. It seems like these days every time you turn around, there is another act of hatred being perpetrated somewhere, so for me it is especially significant to celebrate the time of year meant to bring “peace on Earth, good will toward men.” I believe in miracles, especially Christmas miracles, and I often think we’re too quick to overlook the smaller things while we search for the miracle on a grand scale.
On top of being the holiday season, I have the pleasure of finally working on my next book — a process that allows me to go delve into other worlds and spend time with my characters as they live through their stories. As I often say, I am the journalist simply writing the story my characters share. And the process gives me an immense amount of satisfaction. I recently watched The Man Who Invented Christmas and I absolutely loved how they handled Dickens’ writing process and the way his characters appeared and how he had conversations with them. Because it mirrors so much my own process. Now Dickens’ characters revealed facets of him more than mine do, but as with his, there is no controlling mine … and I no longer try. My characters appear and tell me what their story is. So in a way, the writing process for me is a miracle all on its own.
Which brings me to one of my characters in the Homeless Myths series I am currently working on. Quentin is a ten-year-old from the Solomon Islands and he has the sweetest spirit, even though he does lose it during the course of The Star Warriors and the Scret of the Red Key for a little while. Anyway, part of my process is to listen to whatever songs help my characters tell their story. And Quentin’s choice has been Christmas music (he told me this in July). I wish there was a way to pluck from my mind what happens when the Pentatonix version of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” comes up in the playlist. The first notes hit and Quentin starts dancing … and to me he is joy personified. He dances beside a campfire without thought for what anyone will think, and simply moves to the music in celebration of the moment. I’d love to be able to share his moment with you. Every time it reminds me to be see the joy in the daily moments in life.
I love watching him dance to the song, and what may seem odd, I don’t think it is a part of the story (but if there is even the remotest possibility, I’ll sneak it in). But even if not a moment from the story, I feel blessed to have such a happy feeling triggered by a song.