Behind the Scenes – Cecile’s Christmas Miracle
In August 2013 I was invited to write a story for the Kathi Macias 12 Days of Christmas Series which is being published by Helping Hands Press. This story started over a year ago when I wrote a 1,000 word entry for a Fiction in Five contest. The prompt I received was: “Living in the desert at Christmas time is so depressing,” along with five words I had to use somewhere in the story (like turkey, carols, etc.)
As a child I became acquainted with the Kalahari Desert while living in Botswana, Africa, where my parents were serving as missionaries. We had an “aunty” who was a missionary nurse in the Kalahari Desert. I was surprised how many memories came to life as I thought of Aunt Ngairie and her work among the San Bushmen. Writing a very short story was OK, but I wanted to expand it.
When the opportunity came to write a story for the 12 Days of Christmas series, I decided to revisit Cecile and her adventures among the San Bushmen. The story needed fleshing out, so I did some research and discovered the controversy over the resettling of the San Bushmen. (For more details, Google “Botswana resettlement”.) This helped add a new dimension and external conflict to the story. Colin and his story grew out of the early flashback which Cecile has and then he took on a life of his own.
Here’s a small introduction to Cecile’s Christmas Miracle
Living and working here was nothing like she had imagined it. In many ways, Cecile felt like she’d been plunked into the middle of a movie set for The Gods Must Be Crazy. The calendar said 2002, but these people lived like early settlers in North America. To top it all off, she was hearing rumors about the government relocating the San Bushmen and closing clinics. Something to do with a major discovery of diamonds in the area. She had poured her heart and soul into ministering to these people. Was it all going to come to a sudden ignoble end, like a puff of dandelion seeds being blown into the air?
NOTE: This post was written several years ago. The rights for this story have reverted to me and I’m thinking about what I want to do. If you were me, would you just republish Cecile’s Christmas Miracle or would you turn it into a full-length novel?