Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Gift

The Gift, a short story

Featured Song: “We Three Kings” by David Tolk

For some reason, my publisher asked me to write a short story for Christmas the year that this was released. (2005) I wrote one and they didn’t like it. Yes, Anita Stansfield is still subject to rejection. At that point, I was immersed in working on something else and very busy, and they wanted a short story very quickly. So, I did what any resourceful writer would do: I plagiarized myself. For those of you who have to look up big words in the dictionary, that means to steal someone else’s writing. But since it was actually my own writing, there’s no law suit or anything.

This is the reason, if you are a sharp reader, you might recognize the fact that you’ve read this somewhere else, except the original source was published later on. I went to an unpublished novel and pulled out this wonderful Christmas sequence, changed the characters’ names and some of the situation, and voila! Short story. At the time, I didn’t think the novel would get published for a long time, if ever, because it was too long and I didn’t know how to divide it. So, when you read “The Gift,” and then you read about Jayson Wolfe, you’re not having a strange deja-vu. Some of the dialogue is almost word for word. Yes, I cheated. I admit it. So sue me.

The main focus of this story is overcoming prescription drug addiction, and it has a lovely message about the healing power of the Atonement. That’s certainly a message that we can afford to hear over and over again, and by changing some minor elements, there was also a bit of a shift in how the message was applied to the characters’ lives.

The song is actually by an LDS artist; I love his Christmas music! This particular piece is not the actual song I described being played when the healing incident took place, but it is the style of how it was played, and I could visualize it very clearly, both in this story AND with Jayson Wolfe.

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