Posts Tagged ‘Gift of the Magi’




The Magic of the Imperfect Ending

Filed under: Touching the Surface, Writing for Children, YA Books

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the Gift of the Magi was a Christmas story that fascinated me from an early age.  I can remember thinking that if I ever wrote stories, I would want them to illicit the same kind of emotional response that the Gift of the Magi did. I didn’t say it in quite those words, but what I knew was that it gave me the same feeling I’d get when I was tickled by my dad–I wanted it to stop AND never end at the same time.

I crave being smack in the middle of an ending that is both emotionally rich and mind bogglingly complicated at the same time.  I want it in life and I want it in my stories.  Even when I was younger I think I sensed that my world could never be flat–it must have it’s ups and downs.  It made me want to have flow–the ability to understand that everything is about perception.  I have my moments of desperation and frustration, but what drives me is my need to be endlessly surprised by our capacity to exceed our own expectations.  

Here’s another Christmas gift that gets me every time.  This one tugs at my heart strings even more than the Magi because it reinforces how I feel about kids–they are constantly underestimated.  If I watch them closely enough, they teach me everything I need to know.  It’s why I write for them.  They are the smartest audience out there.

What story or movie ending do you find perfectly imperfect?

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