“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge’s name was good upon ’change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”Love those first lines in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Dead as a doornail really sticks out in my mind. Dickens sure had a way with words! And believe it or not, Charles Dickens wrote the classic Christmas tale as a novella—something I never knew. In fact, I decided to read A Christmas Carol for the first time a few years ago. I knew the story like the back of my hand, and most movies based on the book were true to form. But there’s nothing like reading the actual script written by an author’s hand. Though the language was a little archaic, it still didn’t take away from the magic of the story.
For many historians, the success of A Christmas Carol directly redefined the modern Western conception of Christmas and its sentiments, in effect creating the modern version of the holiday itself. Charles Dickens wrote four more novellas with a Christmas theme after the great success of A Christmas Carol, which was published in 1843: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. Hey, when you’re on a roll, you don’t want to disappoint your readers!As this is a Tween the Weekends post, I thought I’d share the movie trailer of one of the most recent family oriented versions of A Christmas Carol produced by Disney in 2009. Love Jim Carrey’s take on Ebenezer Scrooge!
Since it’s Christmas Day, and the Ghost of Christmas Present is probably hanging around, I thought I’d share that I have a free short story available for download only through Musa Publishing until the end of December. It’s called The Terrible, Mighty Crystal and features a teenage portrayal of Shu-Tu, the old, cross-eyed seer from the prequel of The Last Timekeepers series, Legend of the Timekeepers. Here’s the tagline and blurb:There is the known and the unknown. And then there is the unknowable.
A rumor around Atlantis whispers that the mighty crystal has the power of resurrection. Fourteen-year-old Shu-Tu believes this to be true and will do whatever it takes to bring her father back from the dead. Recruiting two trustworthy classmates, and with the help of her beloved teacher Thoth, Shu-Tu sets out to change her father’s fate, and right a wrong.Instructed to meet Thoth at his grotto, Shu-Tu and her friends are forced to flee underground, and must follow the maze of passages to find another way out. There, they come across a baboon-headed human hybrid possessing a rare firestone—one of six harvested from the mighty crystal—which has the power to restore life. Shu-Tu agrees to play the hybrid’s bizarre game to win the firestone, knowing that if she loses, she loses her father forever.
Wishing you and your families a very safe and happy holiday season, and a prosperous 2014! I thought I’d leave you with Charles Dickens’s preface to A Christmas Carol:“I have endeavoured in this ghostly little book, to raise the ghost of an idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”
Their faithful friend and servant,Charles Dickens