Here's another story to put in my "Where the Heck did THAT Story Come From?" file.
In my new Christmas comedy, CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS, there is what writers call "the inciting incident." The incident here is when the main character, Dorothy Norton, AKA "Dot," comes home for the holidays to "Nameless, Texas" and helps her father catch a giant runaway inflatable helicopter with a Santa in it.
Sort of like this one. It's SEVEN feet long! Jeepers!
Have you noticed that these things are getting larger EVERY year? Scary. But I digress. . .
Dot isn't paying attention and gets knocked down by her neighbor's VW Bug. I'll leave it up to your imagination to figure out what's real and what isn't, but all sorts of craziness ensues—vintage toys come to life, there's a spunky British Christmas fairy, some ravenous invisible flying monkeys and a very rude Santa who is NOT your typical ho-ho-ho jolly old elf! (Think The Wizard of Oz meets Monty Python meets Lost in Space with Snagglepuss. I think I used up my quota of atrocious groaners with this one.)
Parte Dos! Anyway, when I was a kid, we lived in Ft. Worth, Texas--home of Bell Helicopter. We passed Bell on the drive to our grandmother's house in Dallas. Every year, they'd put one of their older helicopters on their front lawn with an animated Santa inside, and he moved back and forth, waving at the traffic. It was such a thrill to anticipate it. We'd keep asking "How much longer?" and Daddy would frown and say "We'll get there when we get there! Be quiet and let me drive!" Then we'd finally see it and squeal. Daddy would cringe, slow down as we passed and we waved back to Santa, never doubting that he was real. Sigh. Good memories.
(Does ANYONE have a good photo of this? I'd give anyone a free book if they come up with one I can stick here in the blog. Seriously. This would have been back in the '60s.)
So, back to CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS--take an errant yard decoration, a few childhood memories, a love for vintage Christmas with just a bit of snark against all the "holiday hoo-hah" insanity and mix all together. That's where THIS story came from.
And I hope y'all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.