This week’s First Line Friday is another Christmas novel. This one intrigued me so much that it has been added to my wish list!
SATURDAY, THREE WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
James Kier looked back and forth between the newspaper headline and the photograph of himself, not sure if he should laugh or call his attorney.
When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don’t remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn’t considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.
What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson’s assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.
As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.
Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family’s holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, “giddy-as-aschoolboy” man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That’s what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas — a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.
There are only four Fridays until Christmas (I know- I hate the reminder!) So again this year for the next 4 weeks First Line Friday will be Christmas related! This weeks is a classic, and though I have not read it, I loved the movie from 1994! Here is this week’s First Line Friday:
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with “woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the “girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.
Today’s First Line Friday is a bit different: It is Black Friday here in the US, a day of all kinds of sales in stores where people will be up at 2am and line up for! And get this: Those lines are not for things NEEDED, just wants!!! Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday season with all the chaos you can get! I actually did early Black Friday shopping one year, but it was for a need: I was in college and my computer was dying, so I needed another one. Needless to say I got my computer!
I admit that I do some Black Friday shopping, but it is mainly online or at Target where they have two days sales. No early rising with the crazies for me! I find myself really wanting to read this book: I may have to buy it: Not because I want it, I need it! 😉
The reason this post is up so early is in case anyone who follows this page is up doing their Black Friday shopping! So in the spirit of today, here is today’s First Line Friday, Black Friday Edition: Black Friday by Michael Hodges:
Patricia Sundstrom wanted it. Now, she didn’t want it, she needed it. All the coupon sites were pointing her to the SaveRite waffle iron. She maneuvered through the slog of webpages with purpose, her breathe quickening as she glanced over each deal.
Patricia worships Zoot, CoupFinity, CashReturn, and DealParadise—her favorite shopping apps and websites. Every buzz of her smart phone is a celebration of savings. So Patricia takes a trip to Bridgefield Mall on Black Friday, her face buried in the glow of her smart phone.
While scanning deals at a kitchen appliance store, the fire alarm roars. The horde of shoppers she’d been elbowing stampedes out the exits, leaving Patricia with all the deals to herself.
After securing her items under a cloth-draped table, Patricia decides it’s time to investigate why no one came back. She tries calling her family, but her smart phone won’t work. Not even Twitter.
The mall lights flicker and surge. Bulbs shatter and spray glass into the air. Patricia bolts for the Macy’s exit, the mall quaking under her feet. When she reaches the parking lot, an ominous mist surrounds the mall, and an unseen, crazed man shouts out to her.
Woken from her shopping craze, she realizes there’ll be no deals at Bridgefield Mall today, and no app to save her.
Because it is all in the spirit of Christmas….. Greed and all!