What I’ve been working on

The first time I finally read Charles Dickens’ immortal story A Christmas Carol, I thought, “This feels very much like something Ray Bradbury would write.”

A few years later, I had the opportunity to meet Bradbury biographer Sam Weller, and I asked him if Bradbury had a favorite book. He didn’t hesitate.

A Christmas Carol,” Weller said. Not really a surprise, but I was delighted to have detected the influence.

I have for many years wanted to explore the happily-ever-after of Ebenezer Scrooge. This is from the introduction to my recently completed novelette:

“I have always been puzzled when people who seem grumpy at Christmastime are chided with, “Oh, don’t be such a Scrooge.” After all, while that classic Dickens character began the story as a curmudgeon, by the end of his fateful night, he had transformed into a cheerful soul who kept Christmas in his heart year-round for the rest of his life.

“I have endeavored, in this little tale, to reclaim Mr. Scrooge not as he was before that fateful Christmas Eve — a silly old humbug — but as the good and generous man he was as he lived the rest of his days.”

Last December the first two chapters of this five-chapter story poured out of my fingers, and I resolved to finish the tale before this Christmas season. Life got in the way for most of the year, but last month I had another burst of energy and the goal was met.

I still need to do some final polishing, and I would like to create an audiobook, but I’ve committed to having Ebenezer for you, in as many formats as I can muster, on the day that has been dubbed Black Friday. It’s a short book — the print edition will be about 60 pages — but it’s got a big message, if I say so myself. I look forward to giving it to you.

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