Monday, December 17, 2012

Give and Take

The always always amazing Cole came up with this truly awesome question for our latest blog chain:

In this season of giving, what one piece of advice you can gift aspiring authors?

Oh wow. I have to give a gift of advice?!? Eek. Pressure. 

Wouldn't you rather have a $5 Starbucks gift card? You could buy an eggnog latte and... Well that's pretty much all $5 would buy at Starbucks. But still - yummy, right? 

Okay, no. I can do this. Advice. Wrapped up and with a bow on top. 

But first, let me go off on a tangent, that will then circle back around to the whole advice gift thing. I'll be quick - I promise.

I love Christmas movies and Christmas specials. And I tend to get teary-eyed very easily while watching these - it's mostly just my allergies from all those dusty Christmas decorations. I mean, for goodness sakes, I'm not really getting choked up over the stupid Folgers commercial where the girl tells her brother that he's her Christmas gift this year... could I? 

Anyway, moving on...

A lot of these specials have the common theme of family and being with those you love - like that emotionally manipulative coffee commercial. But my favorite theme - and the one that gets every stinking time - is that of belief. I guess the belief thing gets me because it's not about believing in Santa or even the power of little baby Jesus. It's bigger than that. It's belief in something good and magical and sacred that goes beyond presents and decorated trees and cookies. For me it's belief in the human spirit - that someone survives even the tragedy of this past week.

That belief is what makes the Grinch's small heart grow three sizes.

Yeah, the Grinch has always been one of my favorites. But in the last few years, there's another Christmas movie, that I might like even more. Maybe it's because this one gets a lot of play in my house due to my son - the train lover. Or maybe it's because I just love what it has to say. 

That book and movie is The Polar Express. 

So to all those aspiring writers out there - here is my gift to you - by way of The Polar Express.

First be ready to ride. 

Once on your way, don't forget that...

And finally just...

And I know it's not really in the Christmas spirit - but I totally gave myself the same gift too.

Want to open another present? You'll find it wrapped up and waiting for you on Sandra's blog tomorrow.

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