December 24, 2015

Alert: The Elf is Dead

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

Today is Christmas Eve and The Elf on the Shelf's job is done. The book by the same name was written by Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell in 2004. Their self-published book highlights the old tradition about an elf sent from Santa who came to watch over children at Christmas time. Another daughter, Christa Pitts had sales and marketing experience and developed the elf that was packaged with the book. They all attended book signings and trade shows to promote their book product now a Christmas tradition for many families. 
The Elf on the Shelf has won the Best Toy Award and Book of the Year Award. The Elf on the Shelf has its own balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There is even an animated Christmas TV show, An Elf's Story: The Elf on the Shelf.
The Elf is very big. My children were too old when the book first released. I'm secretly glad. The idea of an Elf moving around my home from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve is creepy. Maybe I'd like it better if the Elf was looking out for "The Great Pumpkin." 
I was scrolling through Facebook earlier this week and found a post by my author friend, Cara Brookins. She is an inspiring author and motivational speaker. Here is her Elf Land original post, "No down time at our house for Christmas week. A murder mystery in my library to ponder over coffee. #whodunit". Obviously, likes and comments abound when it was determined the "murder" victim was an elf off the shelf surrounded with crime scene tape. 
My comment was, "elves on the shelves are creepy...a new 2016 show by Jerry Bruckheimer..."CSI Elves." The best comment came from author, Roger McKasson, "The detective should ask Santa who did it, as HE KNOWS, who's been naughty or nice! ;)"
It's amazing how a Christmas children's book subject has now turned into a cozy murder mystery plot playing out on Facebook. Great way to develop a story. 
Cara advised she planned other Elf Land crime investigation scenes. Her second post, "Breaking news: This morning Santa uncovered the elves secret poker lair and some clues about the recent murder in Elfland. #elfonashelf #gonebad". 
Oh the horrors! Santa and the North Pole are appalled!
This Facebook writing exercise just goes to show you can take time between holiday activities to write daily even if it is to add a comment on Cara's Elf Land crime scene. You are thinking, plotting and writing. 
So this Christmas season tap into your magical inner writing "elf." Create a story of 1500 words. You can do it. Remember an elf somewhere may be watching. 

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