Faith Filter

Local woman pens a familiar Christmas story, with a twist

December 2, 2013 

Marianne Jordan of Fuquay-Varina wrote “The First Christmas Carol: A Miser, A Manger, A Miracle.”

LIZA WEIDLE — LIZA WEIDLE

  • If you go

    Dawn Michelle Williams and her band will perform “Wonder: The Sounds and Stories of Christmas,” and Bill Jordan will read from “The First Christmas Carol: A Miser, A Manger, A Miracle,” written by Marianne Jordan. Tickets are $15, and book signings will be available.

    • 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St., Durham. For tickets, go to www.reverbnation.com/venue/durhamartscouncil.

    • 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W. Garner Road, Garner. For tickets, go to www.garnerperformingartscenter.com/DawnWilliams.asp.

Marianne Jordan could hardly believe it when she held a copy of her book, “The First Christmas Carol: A Miser, A Manger, A Miracle.”

“I find it amazing that a play I wrote for kids so that everyone would have a part has become a book,” said Jordan, 56, who lives in Fuquay-Varina with her husband, Bill, and their two dogs.

I was among the many people who saw Jordan’s play about a Christmas Eve like none other in the New Horizon’s Fellowship sanctuary in 1999.

Through the years, I have kept in touch with her to find out if she had published the screenplay. She would always smile and say, “One day, maybe.”

One day came Nov. 7, when her book was released on Amazon. It’s now available at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, and Jordan is planning two book-signing events this month.

I got my copy on my Kindle and couldn’t stop reading it. In Jordan’s imaginative retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, Scrooge is cast as the innkeeper from Bethlehem in the days before the birth of Jesus.

As the story progresses, Scrooge feels all sorts of emotions. I particularly enjoyed how Jordan phrased the first time he was sad: “Something on Ebenezer’s face tickled, like a bug crawling down his cheek. Wiping his fingers across it, he realized it was a tear.”

Delving deep into Scripture, Jordan teases out moments of wonder that point toward the birth and resurrection of Jesus. At the same time, she keeps the storyline of Tiny Tim, the nephew and the beloved sister intact.

The weaving of the stories comes together when the future that Scrooge sees is not his but that of Jesus.

In the story, Jordan pays special attention to Jesus’ mother.

“I hope this book sheds a realistic light on what it was like for Mary to be pregnant and going through labor in a stable without drugs,” she said.

Storytelling and writing come easily for Jordan, who graduated from Radford University with a degree in speech telecommunications. Her first job was as a disc jockey for a music station in Roanoke, Va.

That’s where she met Bill Jordan, who recently retired from his DJ gig on local radio station 101.5.

“We were married in 1981, and the local paper ran a story about our call letters merging,” Marianne said, laughing.

Over the last decade, she worked on the book idea as she drove back and forth to Virginia to care for her ailing mother. The joy of having her book published was diminished greatly by her mother’s continued decline and death a week after the book was released.

“It’s been overwhelming to have all the emotions packed in at this time,” Jordan said.

After raising a child and having successful careers, the Jordans are entering their second act in life. Bill spends his time volunteering as his wife’s junior marketing director and will help with special Christmas events in Durham and Garner. Marianne is working on her next book.

They spend as much time as they can with their grandson.

liza@lizaweidle.com

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