A Calisbury Christmas—my Christmas book hit the market this week

a calisbury christmas children's book by marisa grace porter

Once upon a time in Wyocena, WI, a little girl drove home from a candlelight service in Wyocena, WI with her family of eight in their big yellow station wagon to find the front door lined by lights and the porch covered knee-deep in presents. They walked up the sidewalk to the house in awe, her white stockings glistening with the snow that fell over the little shoes she wore with each step. Each of the six girls had multiple gifts addressed to them, and what an explosion of happiness there was in the tiny grey saltbox house—a house built by their own father. The anonymous givers gave her a white teddy bear that she never forgot, a cheerleader doll named Mandy, and memories that would never leave her heart—the magic of Christmas.

It’s been a total of seven years since I sat in a coffee shop on a rainy December day waiting for my husband to finish his Christmas shopping, scribbling with a pencil in a feverish state, with the sites and sounds of Christmas around me and the most precious memories of Christmas in my heart. The story above is true, and I imagine this is only the first tale its kindness will inspire in me.

The little story I wrote has finally become an illustrated Christmas children’s picture book. I am so touched to be able to share it with you now. “A Calisbury Christmas” is ready to order now in the hardcover edition on my website and on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other places online! (The artist is licensed Dreamworks, Star Wars, and Disney artist Adrianna Vanderstelt—pretty cool).

The first 50 orders from my site (the first link below) get an autographed copy.

Order here: https://marisaporter.me/a-calisbury-christmas/

Here: https://www.amazon.com/Calisbury-Christmas-Marisa-Grace-Porter/dp/0578605163

Or here: https://aerbook.com/maker/productcard-5332151-8046.html

This is my first print book. Its message is so important to me, the simplicity of sharing and kindness, of empathy, and of belief that light is stronger than darkness. You have all supported my journey in some way or another. If you want to know how else to support new authors, here are some of the best ways:

  • Buy their books
  • Tell others about their books
  • Leave fair and kind reviews on Amazon and other markets
  • Ask your bookstore to order the book (this is a simple thing you can do that really helps!)


A Million Sunsets

Bit by bit
Hour by hour
A million sunsets
A thousand hours
A hundred wishes
Myriads of dreams
It’s all too much 
For one lifetime
Of waiting for
Another day
All I have is today
I can’t wait for tomorrow
To be with you.

Stars will Align

Stars will align

And you will find

Your right abode.

Stars will align

And you will find

Where you belong.

Stars will align

And you will find

Your treasure gold.

Stars will align

And you will find

Your proper fit.

Stars will align

And life will give

In to your gift.



Suffering cannot last forever
Green and living sorrows
Will be as the wind-blown leaves.
Wind-blown sorrows,
Wind-blown dreams –
Your tomorrows
Will see them as fallen brown and autumn leaves.
By the time the leaves turn brown,
They’ll be withered on the ground.
Suffering cannot
May not,
Will not
Last forever.
(c) Marisa Porter 2005-2012

Story Ideas I’m Thinking Of

Story ideas I’m thinking of:

A telepathic graphic designer who can change design on a page or screen just by thinking about it – moving around elements, resizing them, and recoloring them. Great for meetings and presentations. Oh the possibilities.

A young woman who loves her small town and lives at the races. Her Dad wants her to be a sprint car racer. She has a close and large extended family. She wants to go to college to be something that sounds silly to him – like a philosophy major or chemist.

A misunderstood artist who actually has the solution to complex math problems embedded or hidden in his random art.  Of course the artist must hate math.

What writing ideas do you have? No worries that anybody will steal anyone else’s ideas – because they are so open that two different writers would weave two very different tales.

Why Monday mornings don’t work – or running low on Caffeine and Creativity

They’re just not good.

They’re not good for production. They’re not good for mood. They’re only good for more tea and more lattes.

The world would be much better off if I was allowed to sleep until 10. Only on Mondays. The rest of the week I’m relatively productive even in the morning.

I begin to come alive Monday afternoon. I start to blog, to work (that’s what I’m supposed to be doing), to think. I design things, solve problems, answer email, imagine stories, and write love letters in my mind all at the same time. My eyes get that wide open crazy feeling I have when I am wide awake and on sufficient amounts of caffeine and creativity to make life worth it.

Caffeine and creativity – I’m running low on both on Monday morning.

When are your most productive times? How do you handle the bear of Monday morning? Please tell me!!

Fairy Tales Themes I believe

Fairy tales at their heart deal with love. So what is it?

By default and necessity, we are born self-centric. Pain, the great teacher of life, would seem to teach us to be this way. We feel our own pain, not another’s. Our fingers burn when we touch a hot pan, and it is only by touching the hot pan that we can feel any sympathy for someone else who has done the same. Now we know what it feels like. Our bellies growl when we are hungry, not when another feels hunger. Because we know life through our five senses, and those senses are our own, we are largely occupied with the pain and hunger and tiredness and happiness that we ourselves feel.

Love changes this.

It pulls us out of our selves into others, whether that’s one person or a whole nation, or a whole world. Now when someone else feels pain, we may not physically feel it, but we feel it nonetheless. In our hearts, our emotions. We may even physically feel something akin to it we are deeply enough affected.

Fairy tales, though not fairy tales alone, tell us that someone can love so deeply that they would sacrifice their life for another.

There is a fairy tale all women want to believe – that they are worth a love that is so great that love would redeem someone. It’s complex. It’s deep. It’s difficult to fathom. It’s at the heart of a lot of good and bad behavior alike.

They want to believe it so badly that I think there must be a reason for it. Though I’m still trying to figure that out.

Or how about this fairy tale theme – someone who has a lot of bad to overcome must have a very strong and beautiful goodness invested in them to overcome it. The darker your past, the stronger the light that must shine to pull you from it. So we love the bad characters walking towards the light.

Love, redemption, the battle between good and evil, light, darkness, all of these things the greatest tales taught us. Why were the stories told – and why do they go so deeply into our hearts?

“Tolkien is saying…… the reason for Fantasy’s power to delight and inspire, is that it is a ‘far-off gleam or echo’ of Christian story – and therefore that this power comes ultimately from God – and not from the artist. It is divinely inspired – and not a product of craft or rtistry.” (taken from http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/2010/11/epilogue-to-on-fairy-stories.html)

“The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Why do we write?

“Why do we write?
To make suffering endurable
To make evil intelligible
To make justice desirable
and … to make love possible”

-Roger Rosenblatt

inspired to requote from:

The Art Center

The room I entered by way of the recording studio was large, airy and sunny. Windows were everywhere, and all were open to allow in the most delicious of summer breezes and clean air.  Two or three students sat at the kitchen bar on some bar stools discussing upcoming musical events, one holding his instrument casually. A row of stringed instruments stood in the center of the wooden floor, one an electric cello. A feeling of peace, hallowedness and safety pervaded the room. Opposite the kitchenette, in front of the half wall of bay windows, was large square wooden table, covered with artist’s books. One was a black and white typographical piece, all in clean sans serif font all throughout, with the occasional German word with the German font. It was a story, a language study, and a typography book, with touches on historical moments, significant to the student artist who made it. A few students discussed art in the collection of white leather furniture on the opposite side of the room from the table, where there was a throw rug (was it a dark fur rug?) and a brown leather circular leather tea table. There were cookies in the kitchenette, which only made the conversation more homey and comfortable.  I, the dreamer, lovingly turned the pages of the black and white artist’s book and longed to be a part of this safety, this peace, this love of human and God and art and music. Further left than the table, where there were more bookshelves and a piano, at the center of the wall, a door opened and an elderly lady came out of her private studio to watch the students create and interact. The artistic peace in the room seemed to engage her soul fully and be a part of her. The students looked up to say hi and she interacted with them as mentor and spiritual leader. Each student found their place at the art center that was attached to a home that held a lifetime of love and mystery.

The Artist is not made for the World

The artist is not made for the world, and therefore the world does not fit or understand him. The Artist goes forth with starry eyes to touch the world with what has touched him, expecting mountains of hierarchy and authority to move, and they do not. They turn their back on him. They are stone cold in the face of his art. The artist is bewildered to find the structure does not bend. It is not even touched. The artist may go through so many disappointments he decides he will not “be an artist” anymore. And therein is the irony and glory – he cannot stop. His straight and narrow circumstances cause him to create again. His injury inspires his poetry.

Again, the artist is not understood by the world, for art is this: a sentence from heaven. A music chord from a heavenly song. A feather falling from an angel’s wing.

The artist rejoices when art, even other’s art, moves the masses. He knows he has had a glimpse of what he was made for.

The artist is not understood by this world, because art is not of this world, but of heaven.