A Little Christmas Magic

December 16, 2008

Hey, sorry I haven’t been around for a couple of days. It’s been crazy. New and strange things are happening here, and I will tell you about them as they unfold.

In the meantime, I just dug up an old story of mine from about six years ago. It’s fiction, a goofy Christmas tale about a kid who meets Santa.

What happened was this: I was an editor at a daily in northern Ontario. We had sold a month-long ad campaign featuring a Christmas advertisement that almost filled a page, but not quite, and we needed something to run across the top each day for the month leading up to Christmas. A lot of ideas were knocked around — Christmas carol lyrics, recipes, photos, that sort of thing. But then we hit on the idea of running a serialized short story.

I was drafted to write it, because I am that extremely rare animal: a journalist who write fiction on the side.

Then it got corporatized, of course. Our publisher heard about the plan and asked us to centre the story on a community north of the city itself, a town that had been a famously tough sell for our paper. For decades, this area — predominantly francophone — had refused to embrace the paper, saying we didn’t represent them or their interests.

“Get a lot of references in there,” the publisher said. “Make these people think we care about them!”

The end result is a little strange, and not at all representative of my actual work. But it was fun to read again. I hope you like it.

You can read it here: When Santa Stalled


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