Monday, November 30, 2015

Small Business Saturday and the Reason for the Season

          “No one in Newkirk remembered the reason for the season, except Friar Assalam . . .

The opening words of The Season reflect the message intended for the young adult audience of the 21st
 Century, but it is a message for all generations. My inspiration for “The Season” was borne from the tragic killings in New Town, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. I wanted to write a fantasy with a metaphorical message about the tragedy and what can be done to “return the robin’s song” to replace senseless violence.  
“The Season” chronicles a young man’s journey to the mountains to study the ancient texts that describe the reason for the season and his work to return the “robin’s song” to an area that has descended into crass commercialism and loss of interpersonal relationships due to the rise of social media. Since the publishing of the short story, there has been a small but growing revolution to balance the commercial intent of Christmas with a return to the original intent of the season. One such event is the designation of the Saturday after Black Friday as Small Business Saturday to emphasize shopping local and small on that day.  I was one of 15 local authors invited to Dog Eared Books to set up a table and sell my books Saturday. My experience has rejuvenated my belief that we are moving toward a solution to some of these horrific scenes of violence that seem to ironically escalate during the season of peace and good will. 
When I arrived at the book store I was greeted by T.J. Rayhill, the owner who happens to be a student at Campbellsville University. Helping him was his grandmother Diana who cordially greeted each author and talked to us about our books. She assisted in picture taking and general host type duties. T.J.’s younger brother was dressed as Dewey the Dog and posed with each child who came into the store and there were many – all coming with parents and grandparents. It was a genuine family experience. The children were as enthusiastic about the books as were there parents. There was a nice assortment of customers coming through during the day and I sold quite a few books during my two and one-half hours there. The highlight of my day, however, was the sale of a copy of The Season to a woman who came with her eleven year old son. She told me of her intent to read the story with her son during this holiday season. If I sold only that one story, the day would have been a success.

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