First Christmas Card
Christopher, like me, was raised a Roman Catholic, and cheerfully celebrates Christmas, even though on the Belief-o-matic quiz (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html) he ends up something like a Mahayana Buddhist. (Belief-o-matic, btw, rates me a Unitarian Universalist, and puts Roman Catholicism dead last on my list. Sorry, sister Scholastica.) I can't speak for Carolyn's current beliefs.
Every year Christopher invents a fable, and Carolyn illustrates it. This year's story concerns the three Magi, and follows them on their trip to Bethlehem and back. Chris gives each magus a distinct character.
Right there is the difference between the two of us as writers. Chris has just finished writing a historical novel, and will soon begin editing it. I have no doubt the book will find a publisher, as Chris already has several books in print and other impressive writing credentials.
I, on the other hand, have trouble making things up. I've got a great idea for a historical novel myself, but as I sketch it out, I keep coming up against elements about which I feel I'm insufficiently knowledgeable. I worry excessively about anachronisms, for example, although, if they were okay by Shakespeare, why should I care? I struggle over creating a fictional reality at a point in time and space where, unbeknownst to me, something else entirely actually existed.
I guess I'm underestimating the power of narrative on an audience. All that other stuff goes out the window when you're in the grip of a story. Skeptic that I am, I don't understand how we can ever know anything at all for certain. But maybe, as a writer, I should try writing my way out of this problem. Starting with something small and harmless, perhaps, like a Christmas card?