Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


An Abundance of Ebenezer

Early this month I had the pleasure of seeing the Guthrie Theater's excellent production of the Christmas Carol. My favorite line was when Scrooge claimed he wasn't "rich," but instead was a "job creator." I was pulled into the story even though I've seen it multiple times and was struck by Scrooge's first ghost visit, that of his former partner Jacob Marley. Marley's ghost, who's dragging around heavy, clanking chains warns him of the danger of being so focused on money and accumulation if he wants to avoid a miserable afterlife. It's Marley's ghost who sets the stage for Scrooge's transformation.

It's interesting that we now associate the word Scrooge with selfishness and stinginess. It's a measure of the extraordinary way Dickens had with names but also our focus on the unredeemed Ebenezer. For this post I am focusing on the generous, giving, and kind Scrooge at the close of the Christmas Carol. This is the spirit that infuses so much of my experience in the world of writing for children. From editors who have been generous with their time and comments to marketing and publicity people, librarians, teachers, my KTM critique group, my wonderful agent, Andrea Cascardi, parents, and readers of all ages, I feel fortunate for such kindness and support. One other group stands out as well--my fellow spud bloggers.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday and please look for the New York Times on Sunday with the beautiful piece by my sister about my mother in the magazine. Watch for the watering can.


Lauren said...

Thank you for this post, John. Ebenezer did indeed transcend his name and became as good and generous a man as ever there was. And that has been my experience in the world of children's literature-- a pervasive sense of generosity.

Happy Holidays to you and all!

Mark said...

Great point, John. This is the season to count our blessings, and your list is a great reminder to the rest of us! I'd really like to see your sister's article but unless it's on the NYT online edition I cannot access it from the island. I will be sure to look for it online.

Christy said...

John, you continue to inspire us to keep our focus positive.

Please send us all a link once the NYT article appears.

Edie Hemingway said...

Thank you for wrapping up our "scrooge" posts with such a positive note! And I will definitely look for the piece about your mother. Please send us a link if you can!

Diane Adams said...

What a great way to tie things up. Thank you John for this blessing.