(In my dreams, he'd illustrate my little picture book fairy tale. I don't mind admitting this on the Internet. Why? Because, statistically speaking, I have a better chance of convincing George Clooney to marry me. I understand and accept that.)
But I digress.
I read it every year. My old copy of the story has hot chocolate stains on it. I'm a fast reader, but I love to savor the text, sometimes whispering it aloud to make sure I don't move too quickly. Last Christmas, I ended up reading the last two chapters to two girls I taught. We planted ourselves in a Barnes & Noble as I read aloud. I loved how folks nearby would linger and smile at all the right parts. And I tried desperately not to let my voice break when we got to other parts. (I failed.)
I read A Christmas Carol for the joy of it- not to hone my writing skills or better understand how to craft a story. Yet I realized something as I finished it this evening. I love it because of Dickens' own joy. The text is steeped in his humor and delight- as well as his indignation. (I get chills every time the Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge off while they're visiting the Cratchits.) The truth is, I can't help but follow Dickens emotionally.
It reminds me to bring my own heart to bear this year as I write. I can get lost in getting the plot, characters, and story arc just right. All are essential aspects of writing. However, I want to leave a path of my own emotion for the reader to follow.
Easier said than done, but a worthy goal for 2009.