Fact Stranger than Fiction

The greatest story every told begins with these words. “For unto us a child is born” (Isaiah 9:6) . What we know as the Christmas Story, can be found in the biblical accounts of Matthew and Luke (Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20). Although there has been much debate over the details of the birth of Jesus, one thing is certain – His mission.

I often marvel at the resolve of the writers of this story because of the risks they took in telling it. An old priest is visited by an angel while serving in the temple. The angel tells him that he and his wife will have a son and that he is to be named John.  The old man can’t believe it and so the angel makes him mute until the birth of the child as a sign that what he says will be so.  Some how he is able to communicate to his wife what happens. Sure enough she gets pregnant at her advanced age. Six months into the pregnancy the old woman is visited by her cousin, a young girl who is also pregnant with the Son of God. The young girl was also visited by an angel who told her she would become pregnant without knowing a man and that her son was to be called Emmanuel (Jesus).  The news was so shocking that her fiance was about ready to call off the marriage until he was visited in a dream by an angel that told him not to worry.  Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Joseph had a lot riding on these angelic visitations. Can you imagine waiting nine months for a child to be born with everyone around you speaking  words of doubt and unbelief? Then watching and waiting as the child grew to see if there was any sign of what you claim was true.

Fact is often stranger than fiction. When this story was told it was written as historic accounts of the birth of a savior. The Jewish world at that time was awaiting a Messiah that had been promised through the prophets of old. Some believed that Jesus was that Messiah and others did not. For those of us who believe, Christmas is a celebration to this miraculous birth.  There is no greater gift than the gift of salvation and there is no better time to receive that gift than today.

Merry Christmas,

Nicole D.P. McLaughlin

 

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What If …

images-5                 I’m convinced that the best sellers are those that ask the question, “What if?” I admit that I’m a little partial to a Mystery or a Whodunit. However, what a reader really wants is to be taken on an adventure. I also happen to like learning something new or being challenged in some way. So let’s examine what would happen if …

Christmas is the perfect time to ask this question and many of our beloved holiday stories start with this premise. Frosty the Snowman asks the question, “What would happen if a snowman came to life?” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer asks, “What would happen if one of Santa’s reindeer had a red nose?” The Grinch Who Stole Christmas asks, “What would happen if someone stole Christmas?” I followed this same formula with my own children’s story, I Wish For Snow. I was curious to know, what would happen if a little girl asks for snow on an island?

I Wish for Snow Cover

The next time you are having difficulty with a theme or plot twist begin with a question – What if? Exploring all the possibilities and even the impossibilities of a situation will open the story up to intrigue. The best way to give your characters an interesting dilemma is to examine how they would respond if the rug is pulled out from under them. The most interesting characters are those that are a little abnormal in some way.  Edward Scissorhands was one of the most unusual Holiday tales that asks, “What if a man was created with scissors for hands?” The answer, is what makes this a classic story.

Until Next Time,

Nicole D.P. McLaughlin

Book Trailer for I Wish For Snow by Flye Books