Book Review: The Twelve Ways of Christmas by Sandra M. Odellcategories: Book, Holiday, Short Stories, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Christmas Carol, Partridge, Twelve Days, Christmas
Sandra M. Odellabout this book: What inspired "The Twelve Ways of Christmas"? Hope.
In 2011 I suffered a major health setback and struggled to regain much of what I had lost. I couldn't write, in many ways couldn't think, and felt lost in a way known only to a scarce few: a mother losing a child; a spouse losing a loved one; an athlete a critical limb. Months went by, and with them my hopes for the future. While putting away laundry one evening, I took the first steps towards redefining my abilities and decided that one of those steps would be a celebration of the holidays. How best to do that? Write. That's what writers do. I'd been writing since I was six years old, had dozens of publication credits to my name, and decided I would not go down without a fight.
Finding inspiration in the traditional Christmas carol, twelve days before Christmas I began to write the first story of the collection. Yes, The Twelve Days of Christmas refers to the twelve days between Christmas and the Epiphany, but I knew that if I waited for the calendar to catch up to my determination there would be no hope of writing again. For twelve days I wrote, edited, and posted a story a day to my website, a genre re-imagining of each of the lyrics. Partridge. Turtle doves. French hens. Calling birds. And no cheating. I didn't start a day early, I finished before midnight. I refused to give up. I wanted my words back, dammit!, and no pansy-ass diagnosis was going to take them from me without a fight.
THE TWELVE WAYS OF CHRISTMAS is the collection of those twelve stories, with cover and interior art by Larry Cox. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Humor. There is something for everyone with this collection: celebrating the holiday on a space station; saying good-bye to a loved one on Christmas Eve; a gift that's good for the gander; the bitter touch of Christmas ghosts; how not to clone your daughter for Christmas; even a nod to the drummers bringing up the rear. Between these covers are stories not only of Christmas, but of the spirit of dreams that drive us to look beyond our world to ones that might be just around the corner. Yes, they are Christmas stories, but not one of them is warm, fuzzy, or even remotely dashes through the snow. Some will sit beside you and share a coffee, maybe a joke. Others will grab you by the throat and not let you go until the sugar plums dancing in your head have moldered away. This is a collection of Christmas stories for someone not afraid to look out the window and wonder, if only for a moment, what lives in the tick of the clock between the Eve and the holiday.
I hope you are that person.
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ImaginatingThe variety of stories is amazing ...there is something for everyone...touching..spine tingling ..funny. Ms Odell gives us all of these in her new book..She is a great writer..I am happy to see that more people who love good stories can finally see how good she is. I Suggest you make this little book a part of your library ..you will not be sorry [by Moyra Rutherford]
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