The Broken Christmas Tree, as mentioned before, was first a collection of real events in my childhood life. Our family struggled, lived in dilapidated places such as one by the railroad tracks that had dirt floors where the wood flooring had all rotted out. There was no running water either as I recall taking showers outside when it rained. This is only one example, I have several but I think you get the picture.
I saw how strong my mom was through those years of hardship and struggle. I wanted to write something that would show her just how much I cared about her. So, the Broken Christmas Tree was born.
Though as I wrote the Broken Christmas Tree it became apparent it was not a story at all so I turned to my creative side and fictionalized much of the story and its characters. What the book was suppose to be isn’t what it is now.
During this process of changing the book into something creative for others to enjoy, my old friend’s name Cluster was used for one of the main characters in the book. Though this character is fictionalized I kept my friend’s name as the character with the permission of his family.
The story is based off one true event in my life – it was when I was twelve years old. I wanted to do something special for my mom for Christmas and I got in my head to go out into the woods and bring home a real Christmas tree. I couldn’t do it alone so I enlisted the help of my friend Cluster.
The Broken Christmas Tree isn’t just about this one event either – there is more to the story and you’ll see it once you’ve read it’s content.
As I wrote the Broken Christmas Tree it slowly became a way for me to honor my friend Cluster McGraw and how much I miss him. It became apparent in me that I was going back in time and visiting my friend through my writing and I enjoyed my time with him again. It had been so long since the last time I really felt his presence but this book awakened myself to my lost friend. Cluster, as many in my home town know, passed away when he was 18 year old. I miss him, I miss our friendship we had growing up. All those times running around in the hills of Southern Ohio I’ll never forget nor will I ever forget my friend Cluster.
I write this post and I’m not ashamed to say tears fill my eyes once again in remembrance of Cluster. I want people to know why I wrote this book and how much it means to me. This book being my first to be published book was not a plan but something that happened unexpectedly.
Image Credit: An American flag is prepared for presentation to the next of kin by Beverly & Pack
Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.