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A Write Christmas

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived in a sweet little home deep in a big dark forest. The princess’ name was Penelope Pushkin or, to those who knew her well enough, Pennypee.  Pennypee had been raised in the cottage by her Fairy Godmother, Alicia Alderdorf, who taught Pennypee her lessons and encouraged her to follow her dreams.

“Before long,” she told Pennypee, “I will no longer be here and you will have to take care of everything yourself.”

This made Pennypee sad but she realized that if FG said it, then it had to be.

FG, wanting what was best for her Ward, had more to say on the subject and told Pennypee that she must choose something she was passionate about and start doing it. This would bring in the money she needed to pay for her electric, gas, and water and other incidentals like caviar and the odd bottle of good wine.

Recognizing FG’s words of wisdom, Pennypee realized that it would be a good idea to prepare herself for the eventuality of looking after herself, and so began to surf the internet on the brand new Apple computer she had been given last Christmas and never used because she was too busy with the life lessons FG was teaching her.

“What shall I do?” she mumbled to herself as she surfed the internet, looking for inspiration.

Then, one day, she stumbled upon a site that asked the question, “Do you want to be a writer?”

Well, as it happened, Pennypee could write quite well. FG was always praising her for her clever essays and a natural ability to turn a group of words into something worth reading.

“That’s what I’ll do,” she told FG, who had just returned from a walk in the woods, carrying a bowl of mushrooms for their tea. “I’m going to be a writer!”

FG was very happy with Pennypee’s decision and, six months later, told her that the time had come for her to leave. Her job was done. Pennypee had been a good student and learned her lessons well. FG now had an assignment in Saudi Arabia where a prince was about to be born and his parents had applied for the services of a Fairy Godmother and she had been offered the role.

“But where do I begin?” Pennypee wailed. “I’ll be all alone. Who will buy what I write? How will I pay the bills?”

FG smiled.

“Well, we are only three months out from Christmas so now is a good time to start submitting some seasonal writing. The magazine editors are looking for Christmas articles and stories right now.”

And that was how Pennypee began. She waved farewell to FG, promising to visit her one day, then sat down and began to write. Following FG’s advice, she wrote a sweet tale about a girl who lived in a forest and had always yearned to see a white Christmas.

The story, admirable though it was, came back in the post two weeks later with a note from the editor saying the ending was too predictable for their publication but wishing her success in placing it elsewhere.

With no FG around to support her and give her advice, Pennypee was at first downcast and even considered giving up the idea of being a writer. But she was made of sterner stuff than that and, determined not to let it beat her, wrote another story plus two Christmas-related articles and dispatched them via carrier pigeon.

She also rewrote the previous story and sent that off too. And, following FG’s last piece of advice to not sit back on her laurels, continued to write something each and every day.

Within two weeks she had sold one story and one article and had gained a commission to write about the Easter Bunny.

And so, Princess Penelope lived happily ever after, pounding away on her keyboard, paying her bills, and drinking the occasional bottle of fine wine with her new pal, Prince Chugalug, a freelance photographer who lived one forest over.

Motto: Writers write. Giving up is not an option. When a writer gives up, they are no longer a writer.

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