Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Last November 2022, I received an email blast that asked, “Do you have a holiday story to tell?” The question came from Suzanne Weerts, founder of JAM Creative, a charitable organization that brings stories to the stage. Suzanne is also a Write Where You Are writing circle alumna. In her email, I learned she was producing and directing Jingle Tales & Tunes 2022, a holiday fundraising event at The Colony Theater in Burbank.
I’d attended Suzanne’s live storytelling and music events there in the past and enjoyed them. Easy parking. Spacious theater. Comfortable seats. Funny, poignant stories, music. A relaxing and fun night out.
Yes! I thought. I have a holiday story! But I knew I couldn’t write it and be ready to read it to an audience within a few weeks.
Still, I felt inspired. I wrote the story and sent it to my editor, the awesome Meg Pokrass.
Meg gave me notes, and I tackled revisions.
That story, “Ghost of Christmas Past,” was published in August 2023 in the new literary magazine Does It Have Pockets? (Thanks to the fabulous Camille Griep, writer, editor, and publisher.)
On September 18, I received a call for story submissions for Jingle Tales and Tunes 2023. I was excited to submit my story. It was ready, and so was I.
Or so I thought—until I read the submission guidelines and discovered entries had to be 1,000-1,200 words. Mine was 478.
I emailed Suzanne, explained last year’s call for holiday stories had inspired a recently published micro, and attached the tale.
“Do you want to expand the story and consider submitting it?” She asked.
But the story is published, I thought. It’s done. I wasn’t thrilled about doubling my word count on an already published story.
Still, I wanted to be part of the show, to share from a stage—something I haven’t done in years.
I wondered if there was more to unpack in my story. I returned it to Meg and asked if she had suggestions for expanding it.
Meg provided excellent prompts, and as I worked, my story grew. I was surprised it had more to reveal to me. I like the expanded version so much better!
And the title changed.
I’ll be reading “Ghost of Christmas Perfect” on Wednesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m. at The Colony Theater in Burbank alongside several accomplished writers and performers.
I’d love to see familiar faces. I’ve been a hermit for the past three years and look forward to connecting with old and new friends—and helping Suzanne raise money for the Family Service Agency.
Affordable mental health care is a cause close to my heart.
Last I heard, tickets were selling, and the house was half full. If you live in the L.A. area or will visit in December, please join us! I’d be grateful and thrilled to see you at the theater.
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