Back in July, I wrote about my struggle to step out of my comfort zone and take a risk on a holiday-themed story. I really pushed myself to get this out on time, and am very grateful to all the folks who supported me while I did so. I have never had to work through resistance more than when writing this story, and I learned a lot about my writing process while doing so.
And now, it's here! In my new novella, I'm asking the question: can you find joy while holding on to the past?
The Christmas Spirit: a paranormal holiday adventureThirty-something New York City native Charlene Dickenson has never been good at letting things go, which is why she finds herself mildly stalking her ex-boyfriend after she spots him on her way to work. When this leads to her untimely death in a Christmas-related accident, she discovers a whole new world in the Hall of Christmas Spirits. Now she’s stuck in a place where the Christmas music never ends, mistletoe hangs in every doorway, and the holiday treats will never make you full. As if learning the new rules of her afterlife isn’t hard enough, Charlene must do whatever it takes to become a Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future—helping mortals transform their lives like Ebenezer Scrooge—or end up like Jacob Marley and spend the rest of her existence in chains. But letting go of her pre-ghost life is harder than Charlene thought, and she can’t help but break all the rules in her attempts to hold on to who she was. In this dark comedy inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Charlene is going to have to figure out how to let go of her mortal life and embrace the Christmas Spirit.
***J.M. Phillippe is the author of the novels Perfect Likeness and Aurora One, and the short stories The Sight and Plane Signals. She has lived in the deserts of California, the suburbs of Seattle, and the mad rush of New York City. She works as a clinical social worker in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time binge-watching quality TV, drinking cider with amazing friends, and learning the art of radical self-acceptance, one day at a time.