Rocking Chair Reflections on "The Mysterious Tale of the Vanishing Toys"
I am continuing my Rocking Chair Reflections. If you missed my first entry, feel free to click here.
Tonight I want to discuss the creative process behind "The Mysterious Tale of the Vanishing Toys", the 2nd story in A Scribe's Sentiments.
"The Mysterious Tale of the Vanishing Toys" took shape based on how I view the Christmas holidays. Growing up, I learned to value whatever you received, and in the absence of such, show thankfulness for good company, good food, and the like. In my opinion, Christmas has become so commercialized that one has lost sight of the spirit of Christmas, and deeper than that, the spirit of humanity. The combination of that disenchantment with the drive to deliver an inspirational message set the foundation for this story.
"Vanishing Toys" (an abbreviation of the title) takes place in a community called Clifton Pines. I take my time to fully describe the backdrop before introducing any characters. It set the stage and has the reader understand the conflict to come.
Excerpt (beginning of the story)
Welcome to Clifton Pines, a community like no other.
The lettering was engraved in the ivory arch which hung high in the sky, supported by two sturdy posts of similar coloring. One didn't see many pine trees upon entry: they were only sprinkled throughout the suburban area beyond the train tracks.
As the reader enters into Clifton Pines and gets one fill of the city, then I speak on the suburban area as follows:
The crux of Clifton Pines' beauty rested beyond the city itself: the suburban area. There were myriads of designs--from brick to siding to cement. Most of the houses were ranch style. However, there was a dwelling which stood out--towered above the rest. It was a Victorian mansion built by Clifton Pines himself hundreds of years ago.
Then one goes past the suburbs to talk about the other segment of Clifton Pines.
If it weren't for the freight train twice a day, one might say these cruddy tracks weren't needed--they took away from the appeal of Clifton Pines. That may also be the opinion of the people living among the pine trees, beyond the tracks.
"The Yonder", as nicknamed by the locals, was a mobile home community. It was primarily for those who were not financially in a position to live in the city or the suburbs. The main population was composed of Caucasians, as opposed to the rest of Clifton Pines, which was almost predominantly African-American.
After setting the stage, the conflict is introduced. Durham Hills, the adjacent city, is stretched thin with providing resources to "The Yonder" segment of Clifton Pines. They make an executive decision which leads to some of the children residing in The Yonder to integrate with the city and suburban kids. There is a bit of resistance but Mrs. Patrice Henderson is able to calm the objections by reminding everyone what made Clifton Pines great in the first place.
Donnie Polk, one of the poorest kids in The Yonder, is a budding artist but cannot escape the bullying due to his circumstances. After Patrice Henderson's son Jasper prevents a potential fight, Donnie and he strike a friendship. Getting peeks here and there into Donnie's trials and tribulations prompt Jasper to do an amazing act that takes his family and Donnie's family by surprise.
When you look beyond the toys, this tale is a story of acceptance, friendship, and the intangibles that matter in life.