A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my need for magic. I wasn’t feeling it, and I was craving a little magic in my life. There seemed to be a dearth, I thought.
Well, as it turns out the magic was just saving itself up to all spill out at once. There is a long story connected to this, involving an impish writer friend (no names, but I call her Julie Butcher) and a website called Book Country, and an amazing and wonderful woman who happens to be an agent by the name of Deidre Knight, senior agent and president of The Knight Agency.
Julie and I have never met in person. Up until yesterday, we hadn’t even spoken on the phone. But we have been friends online for the last couple of years, supporting each other through the usual writer struggles – days when the words won’t show up, the massive self doubt, the rejections. We read for each other off an on. And mostly we just had a lot of fun.
As it turns out, Julie read my last revision of Between and really liked it. I’d posted the first three chapters on Book Country, mostly just because the whole idea of getting my work out there scares me. Let people start reading it and critiquing it before the query rejections start rolling in, was kind of what I was thinking. Anyway – Julie liked my story so much that she kept harassing her agent, Deidre Knight, to go have a look. She was pretty sure that Deidre would love it.
And, as it turned out, Deidre did love it. Enough to ask to read the full, and then to offer to represent me. Which I accepted with great joy.
I’m still walking around a little dazed and confused, like I’ve wandered into my own novel and am caught in the place between dreaming and waking where dreams are real. I still say the words “my agent” with a sort of wonder. I still catch myself thinking about needing to get more queries out, and then remind myself that I don’t need to worry about that anymore.
I know that with this particular brand of magic comes a whole lot of hard work and responsibility, and as I’m coming out of the fog I’m beginning to think about how to re-organize and re-prioritize my busy life to make sure the writing gets done.
But really, for today, it’s just all about the magic.
I’m just going to come out and say it: I love Christmas.
Yes, I know that it’s commercialized. I know that some people object to the Christian elements, and some don’t like the pagan elements. Somebody hates shopping, somebody objects to the proliferation of food, somebody else abhors the music. There’s an objection to gifts, to Secret Santas, to decorations and feasts. This year is seems to me that the pre-redemption Grinch or Scrooge outlook is the cool and popular one, with Christmas snark proliferating to the point where I caught myself feeling almost embarrassed about my love for the season.
Enough of that already. Stop hating on my Christmas!
I believe in an underlying magic of Christmas, or at very least a sense of wonder and delight. It was there when I was a child, but every passing year it seems a little harder to find. It seems to me that the forces of darkness – whatever you want to call them – have mounted an attack on this particular day.
I believe in traditional ritual, in feasts and celebrations and rites of passage. These things have been part of human nature since man began to walk upright, and they are there for a reason. They mark the times and seasons, they bring us together, they provide a moment of brightness and revelry. What’s not to love about bright colors, sparkling lights, delectable food and social interaction in the middle of winter cold?
Sure, the magic and the delight are buried under a slag heap of commercialism and political correctness. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t still there, struggling for life and breath.
I aim to further the magic of Christmas this year. I’m playing the music and baking the cookies. Decorating the house and buying the gifts. Playing Secret Santa at work. And maybe, if I really pay attention, the genuine magic I knew as a child will creep back into my heart when I’m not quite looking.