A Christmas Gift

December 24th, 2010 § 0 comments

Last Christmas I really wanted to write a piece that would be more deeply meditative than my usual fare (even though I’m not exactly an author of lighthearted stories on any day). And I had this idea. At the time I was working on “Sensitivity to Initial Conditions” and harnessing the power of telling several short stories about the different characters, and I thought, “Boy, it’d be fun to do one in the same vein of where all the Cullens are before they meet each other.”

And then I was busy, and I let it languish. A fic like this requires a certain headspace that I couldn’t manage to get in. But the idea stayed with me, and I knew it was a piece that I would write, at some point.

Enter A Different Forest. They decided this year to run several small contests for Christmas, one of which was to write a 500 to 1,000-word canon Christmas-related story. There were lots of wonderful entries, which can be read here (http://adifferentforest.com/Campfire_Comment.aspx?ID=9663). The small word-count limit, and the 24-hour deadline forced me to get into the right space. Importantly, it made me get rid of the other four Cullens and focus just on Carlisle, Esme, and Edward–and the moment I did that, I knew exactly what shape the story needed to take.

One of the things that always drives my writing of the Cullens is the idea that family isn’t something they get to take for granted. We humans get stuck with parents, siblings, extended family that we didn’t necessarily intend to have. But the Cullens are constantly in the process of choosing, day by day, to remain together, to continue loving one another. To them, the presence of a family is a blessing and one they don’t easily take for granted. This fic is about that blessing.

A few borrowed things: The idea that Edward’s mother is Irish Catholic and that he is Episcopalian are both taken from Minisnoo’s “Beauty, Shining in Company.” The title is from “My Soul In Stillness Waits,” an Advent hymn by a Roman Catholic hymnist, Marty Haugen. Openhome provided me some small, but very vital, feedback on the penultimate draft.

Thank you, as always for reading.

Merry Christmas!


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