Today I welcome Christopher Stone to the blog . Christopher shares some of his Christmas stories with us, and a little about his upcoming holiday story (released 11th December from MLR Press).
Shaking the Holiday Blues Away
by Christopher Stone
As a last resort, a gay married ex-sailor turns to a Past Life Regression therapist to help him heal his chronic holiday blues.
For most people, the Winter Holiday Season means family, fun, mistletoe, music, merriment, parties, and presents. In short, it’s the happiest time of the year.
Not so for twenty-nine-year-old, ex-sailor, and gay married man, Michael Bourlard. For fifteen years, this blond and buff man has been traumatized by yearly holiday blues that last the entirety of December. Over the years, Michael has sought the help of medical doctors, psychiatrists, traditional therapists, New Age crystal and magnet therapies, hoping to shake away the holiday blues. But it has all been to no avail.
Finally, in an act of desperation, Michael turns to his last, best, hope: Dr. Minnow Saint James, America’s premier Past Life Regression therapist.
But can Dr. Saint James find the origin of his patient’s annual malady in a past life, or will Michael be staying in bed with the covers pulled over his head, and listening to “Eve of Destruction,” while everyone else enjoys “Silent Night,” yet again, when the clock strikes December 1, 2015?
Interview – Holiday Spirit
I love Christmas and always look forward to it. What’s your favorite holiday of the year and what makes it so special?
I’m a Christmas person, too. For some reason, this holiday causes me to focus upon something much larger than my physical self. It makes me think about who I truly am, or, at least, who I believe myself to be: God’s child, spiritually, and not physically, created – an individualized consciousness with an eternal validity.
That’s not to say I spend Christmastime in a metaphysical haze. I like to joke, “Deep down inside, I’m shallow.” But I tend to dwell upon things real and eternal more at this time of year than I do the rest of the year.
Over and over again, during Christmastime, I return to the message of the 1959 Cahn and Van Heusen song, “The Secret of Christmas.” It suggests, “The Secret of Christmas is not the things you do at Christmastime, but the Christmas things you do all year through.”
Do you and your family/friends have any special holiday traditions?
This will be my spouse and my twenty-first Christmas together. Our relationship, a legal marriage for the past six years, qualifies as a quantum blessing. Traditions have developed. We always put our holiday greeting cards – the old-fashioned, paper kind – into the mail on the day after American Thanksgiving. We always buy our Christmas tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
The first Sunday of December is reserved for the Christmas Lessons and Carols music program at our church – for which my David is pianist and organist. For the last three years, as a member of our church’s Executive Board of Directors, I’ve been actively involved in planning and promoting the program.
Congratulations on twenty-one years. That’s wonderful. 🙂 If you could be granted one special gift for the world for Christmas, what would it be?
It’s a cliché, but Peace on Earth, most definitely.
What is the best Christmas gift you ever received?
Our beloved tortoise-shell calico cat, Willie Belle. See below.
Our dear friends, Mary Sheldon and Bob Van Dusen, gave her to us when we arrived for Christmas dinner at their Beverly Hills home, Christmas Day, 1999.
She showered us with affection, companionship, and love, for more than fifteen years, before passing in May.
Aww…she’s gorgeous. There’s nothing like the love of a pet.
What inspired your currently holiday story?
Just for openers, there is Dr. Minnow Saint James, the Past Life Regression therapist, and the protagonist of my upcoming novel, Going and Coming. I’m introducing him to readers in Shaking the Holiday Blues Away.
And then, through the years, I’ve met many people who claim to suffer holiday blues throughout the month of December.
And I was inspired by stories my father told me about his Italian-American parents, in New York.
Tell us a little something about the main characters in your holiday story?
Dr. Minnow Saint James, America’s premier Past Life Regression therapist, is forty, fit, and fabulous. So, of course, he’s gay. Minn is in the business of going and coming – that is – he goes into the past, and sometimes future, lives of his patients, coming back with the origin of their present day challenges. Knowing the genesis of his patients’ problems, he is able to assist in their healing.
The other principal character is Michael Bourlard, a twenty-nine-year-old, gay married, gorgeous ex-sailor, who has suffered debilitating holiday blues for the past fifteen years.
Share a favorite holiday photo or a holiday recipe.
Here’s my dining table, set for dinner, New Year’s Day.
Christopher has shared a favourite holiday song. Have a listen while you check out his story.
About the Author
Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Fresno, California, Christopher Stone’s early years were dominated by school, watching television and motion pictures, bicycling, skating, and reading avidly. Summers were spent swimming, and doing whatever it took to survive the oppressive San Joaquin Valley heat. But he also remembers fondly the yearly summer trips to New York, to visit family and friends – and to see Broadway shows.
Christopher left Fresno, for Hollywood, California, during his college years after being accepted into the Writers Guild of America’s Open Door Program, a two-year, scholarship, training ground for aspiring screen and television writers. As it happened, rather than a teleplay or screenwriting gig, his first professional writing job was in journalism – as the Los Angeles Editor for Stage Door, at that time, Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. entertainment trade weekly, Variety.
Christopher would later use his Writers Guild of America training to co-author and sell the original screenplay, The Living Legend, with Jon Mercedes III, to the Erin Organization, and later, and also with Mercedes, to write two seasons of The Party Game, a Canadian TV game show.
As a young freelance entertainment journalist, he contributed to many Los Angeles-based publications, among them The Advocate, for which he wrote a breezy film column, “Reeling ‘Round,” and the Los Angeles Free Press. During this time, he became a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
Christopher dipped his toes into the world of motion picture advertising and publicity, as assistant to the West Coast Director of Advertising and Publicity for Cinerama Releasing Corporation, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, he also did special advertising and publicity projects for 20th Century-Fox. Christopher went on to become an Account Executive for David Wallace & Company, a public relations firm specializing in entertainment accounts – and located on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip.
Returning to his first love, writing, Christopher became a full time freelance contributor to national consumer publications including Us, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, McCall’s, In Cinema, and The National Enquirer, among others. Many of his stories were syndicated worldwide by the New York Times Syndication Corp.
Another important area of endeavor for Christopher Stone was Re-Creating Your Self. A Blueprint for Personal Change that he first developed for himself, the journalist went on to teach the principles and processes of Re-Creating Your Self to others – first, in private sessions, later, in workshops and seminars, and, finally, for California State University Extended Education. Eventually, one of his students suggested he write a book version.
Re-Creating Your Self was first published in hardcover by Metamorphous Press, and subsequently published in a trade paperback edition by Hay House. It has since been published in Spanish, Swedish and Hebrew language editions.
When not writing, Christopher used his longtime interest in, and study of, metaphysics, to teach meditation and psychic development classes – first in Beverly Hills, then later, in Manhattan Beach.
He went on to co-author, with Mary Sheldon, four novellas for a Japanese educational publisher, and then, also with Mary Sheldon, the highly successful The Meditation Journal trilogy of hardcover books. Subsequently, he returned to journalism, this time, contributing hundreds of print and online entertainment features, columns and reviews to magazines and websites. For eight years, Christopher was the Box-office Columnist for MatchFlick.com, a popular online motion picture site.
In his private life, Christopher Stone met David M. Stoebner on May 17, 1994, and they have been together ever since. In 2008, they were married in Los Angeles.
They share a home with their three pets in Coastal Los Angeles County.
In 2013, Christopher’s pet project has been transforming their rarely used kitchen table area into a killer, retro 1950s Diner Nook, complete with a 1952 Seeburg Table Top jukebox, a neon diner sign, and a malt machine.
Christopher’s first novel, Frame of Reference was e and print published, in fall 2012, by MLR Press. A short story, Sweet Homo Alabama was published by MLR Press, December 19, 2012.
Stone spent much of 2013 writing Frame of Reference 2: The Dark Side of Stardom, a sequel novel to Frame of Reference, as well as, Abracadabra, and a short story, published at Halloween. But the indefatigable scribe also found time to contribute weekly reviews, columns and interviews to Queer Town Abbey.
Christopher is currently writing Going and Coming, a novel laced with metaphysical themes, and wrapped around the character of Dr. Minnow Saint James, a highly successful Past Lives Regression Therapist, and the author of a best-selling nonfiction book. It will be published by MLR Press, Friday, January 22, 2016. Christopher hopes Going and Coming will launch a series of Dr. Minnow Saint James Metaphysical Adventures novels. As of this writing, Going and Coming is tentatively scheduled for November 2015 publication, by MLR Press.
On a personal note, Christopher and David adopted a five-month-old Yellow Lab puppy, Sammy (Samantha Stevens), on February 6, following the sudden passing of their beloved Yellow Lab, Gracie, on January 22.