Worst Christmas ever.
Christmas was about traditions. Currently, Zay and her mom had about five traditions, things like gingerbread cookies and tree decorating. Not going to work.
Zay has to stay home. On Christmas. Alone.
Mom said her boss felt real bad about the whole thing so he was sending a nanny. It just keeps getting worse. She's fourteen years old. She doesn't need a nanny. But then the nanny shows up. She's not really a she. Or a he.
More of an it.
The nanny shows her that it's not really magic that makes Christmas special. It's the adventure. And when it's all over, she'll never forget.
The best Christmas ever.
This is an introduction to the Claus Universe, a series of original retellings of holiday legends.
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About the Author
I grew up in the Midwest where the land is flat and the corn is tall. The winters are bleak and cold. I hated winters.
I always wanted to write. But writing was hard. And I wasn’t very disciplined. The cold had nothing to do with that, but it didn’t help. That changed in grad school.
After several attempts at a proposal, my major advisor was losing money on red ink and advised me to figure it out. Somehow, I did.
After grad school, my wife and my two very little children moved to the South in Charleston, South Carolina where the winters are spring and the summers are a sauna (cliche but dead accurate). That’s when I started teaching and writing articles for trade magazines. I eventually published two textbooks on landscape design. I then transitioned to writing a column for the Post and Courier. They were all great gigs, but they weren’t fiction.
That was a few years later.
My daughter started reading before she could read, pretending she knew the words in books she propped on her lap. My son was a different story. In an attempt to change that, I began writing a story with him. We made up a character, gave him a name, and something to do. As with much of parenting, it did not go as planned. But the character got stuck in my head.
He wanted out.
A few years later, Socket Greeny was born. It was a science fiction trilogy that was gritty and thoughtful. That was 2005.
I have been practicing Zen since I was 23 years old. A daily meditator, I wanted to instill something meaningful in my stories that appeals to a young adult crowd as well as adult. I hadn’t planned to write fiction, didn’t even know if I had anymore stories in me after Socket Greeny.
Turns out I did.