Friend and fellow writer Dora Abel recommended that I watch THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, so she and Sara and I did. As authors, we loved the visualizations of
- how we gather bits and pieces and slosh ’em around together until some of ’em stick together
- how characters show up and we have conversations with them, asking them questions and using the answers to get to know them and get to know their voices and even let them supply some of their own dialog
- how they sometimes try to bully us into making them do what THEY want to do, rather than what a good story requires them to do
- how a twist or element sometimes comes in the middle of the night
- how we sometimes have to dig deeply within ourselves to find depth for a character
- how a character’s past and associations, whether we use them in the story or not, enrich and explain and motivate the character and deepen and validate the plot
- how we sometimes have to threaten them with erasure to get them to reveal the aspects of themselves we need in order to make them really really real
This was all beautifully done in THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, besides it’s being perfectly costumed and set-dressed and beautifully acted.
I only had two quibbles about it: Jonathan Pryce has grown old. I mean, I know I have, but Jonathan Pryce??? That sweet, pretty li’l bubber? //weeps//
Second: DID Dickens really invent Christmas?
Well, of course not! Christmas was invented over 1000 years before Dickens, but he was part of a reinvigoration of the festivities.
At the beginning of the Victorian period the celebration of Christmas was in decline. The medieval Christmas traditions, which combined the celebration of the birth of Christ with the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia (a pagan celebration for the Roman god of agriculture), and the Germanic winter festival of Yule, had come under intense scrutiny by the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell. The Industrial Revolution, in full swing in Dickens’ time, allowed workers little time for the celebration of Christmas.The Charles Dickens Page: Charles Dickens Christmas!
A CHRISTMAS CAROL established Christmas as a time, not only of good cheer and familial warmth, but of generosity and mindfulness of the less fortunate. Not too shabby.
Here are my nails for this week:
The dark basecoat and dark stamp is Sally Hansen’s Pat on the Black (a gift from my late friend Jane). The light basecoat and stamp is L.A.Colors Color Craze’s Dazzle ($1.00 at the Family Dollar Store!). The purple crackle is Sally Hansen’s Vintage Violet, and the purple/blue/pink sparkle is L.A.Colors Color Craze’s Jewel Tone (also $1.00 at the Family Dollar). The plate is Maniology’s MXM051.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: If you’re a writer, how does your main character celebrate Christmas or some other culturally prominent holiday? Your antagonist? If you’re not a writer, what’s your favorite holiday tradition?