Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Did You Ask Santa For?

I want to wish my kind readers a very Merry Christmas. May this season be the best ever for you and your family. I'm an unabashed romantic and traditionalist and for me Christmas is sparkly-lit trees, front yard lights, slushy snow and warm friends. You can never have enough Christmas.

So in the spirit of the season I have a couple of gifts for you and yours.

Ten gifts to get that writer:

1. An agent who loves them for who they are, not what they write.
2. A publisher with endless patience and excitement over your new project.
3. A publishing contract, with two additional books.
4. A new computer that writes wonderful stories all by itself without typos or the parts no one wants to read anyway.
5. An additional nine and one half hours a week.
6. An app that seamlessly interconnects all your social applications so you can write something pithy once and it becomes viral.
7. A séance with Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, and Elmore Leonard. I will provide the bourbon and cigars.
8. A first edition of The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
9. A Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock Fountain Pen with white gold nib, black lacquer and sterling silver bands. They will never use it out of fear but will love it all the same.
10. Sam Spade's fedora and failing that, a black dingus.

The season is also a source of inspiration, fun, enjoyment, and reruns of great holiday movies we watch every year. Our goal to get through them by Christmas Eve, here are my top fourteen Christmas movies. And I emphasize my top fourteen; everyone has their own favorites.

The Thin Man (1934) – most especially the BB gun scene
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) – Christmas and Jimmy Stewart, who would have thought.
Holiday Inn (1942) – where the song White Christmas was introduced to most people – it had been released about a year earlier, Irving Berlin wrote it in one long night.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945) – the formidable Barbra Stanwyck and that wonderful politically incorrect coat, PETA is protesting.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – And how did Mr. Gailey get that apartment?
The Bishop's Wife (1947) – Cary Grant at his most debonair as an angel
Holiday Affair (1949) – led to the sale of thousands of train sets
White Christmas (1954) – we have watched this on Christmas Eve now going on 35 years straight.
Scrooge (1970 – Albert Finney as the miserly one, singing and dancing.
The Christmas Story (1983) thank you Jean Shepherd
Die Hard (1- 1988 and 2 - 1990) – yes, seriously
Home Alone (1990 - the first is the best and Macaulay is now 33, go figure)
While You Were Sleeping (1995) – a year before Bill Pullman did Independence Day, another holiday classic.
Love Actually (2003) – originally panned but incredibly endearing

All of these are great stories and some even have great music. Many of been remade but the originals are still the best.

Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year

More later . . . . . . . .

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