Arts and Entertainment

Kirkland author writes Santa Claus book that confronts racism

Kaleidoscope Lodge is an e-book that can be found in Amazon’s Kindle Book Store. A paperback edition will be available by March 2013 through Amazon. - Contributed art
Kaleidoscope Lodge is an e-book that can be found in Amazon’s Kindle Book Store. A paperback edition will be available by March 2013 through Amazon.
— image credit: Contributed art

Soweto . . . Freddie . . . Pipestone . . . Hum-Bow . . . Otoño . . . What do all these names have to do with Santa Claus? We all grew up believing in the jolly white man, sporting rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes, who magically left gifts under our Christmas tree. However, we have never been privy to his life-long secret.

What is his secret and what happens this Christmas Season that bursts Santa’s bubble? Who pulls the “moss” over Santa’s eyes? How does Misty [Santa’s wife], resolve her mid-life crisis? What has been brewing in her psychic that temporarily turns her into a Mrs. Claws?

Why does she run away from home? Why does she pretend to be someone she is not? How does she land a coveted job? Who does Misty alienate when she tries to “fix” Santa? How does she right her wrongs? Who in Seattle tries to outwit Santa? Why does a grown woman in Seattle visit Santa Claus? Why is her 8-year-old son angry? What does Santa do to help this woman and her son? Who is the mystery man in this woman’s life? How does Santa “turn the tables” on the Snoopy Reporter? Does the Snoopy Reporter ever get his story? Who puts Santa through a mock trial and why?

WHEW! So many questions! Oops! There is one more—a thought-provoking one. How does this story confront an unconscious ideology of racism without lecturing or judging as noted by Dr. Janice DeLange, an independent psychotherapist and college professor in Michigan?

Kaleidoscope Lodge has a universal message not only about an unconscious ideology concerning racism, but also about the value of each of us as individuals. The word about it needs to get “out there.”

The quest to create a new world view of Santa Claus, one that fits the Twenty-first Century, started 30 years ago for author Mary Korte when a client said to her, “My husband and I don’t promote Santa Claus to our children because Santa is a White thing.”

That statement challenged Mary to find a way to remold this holiday icon into a Santa for all ethnicities without negating anything previously written about him.

What medium did she use to accomplish this? The answer: writing—in the form of fun fiction. You will be amazed at how she creatively creates change without changing anything in Kaleidoscope Lodge. And you will be amazed at how believable the story is.

Korte believes change starts at the top. She wants to influence those who teach small children.

“If I implant this new concept in mature minds, hopefully those minds will, in turn, impart it to younger children.” In the near future, Mary plans to write several books for young children based on specific parts of Kaleidoscope Lodge to help caregivers impart her message.

Korte's intention is for the reader to feel the character’s emotions, to think as they do, to get inside their skins, to identify with them. Her characters present many twists and unexpected surprises in Kaleidoscope Lodge.

"The summer before publication I read my manuscript to my husband on our motor trip from Seattle to Boston. Starting out one morning in Idaho, heading to a friend’s place near Nine Mile Road, Montana, about a two-hour drive time away, I read Kaleidoscope Lodge as my husband drove for what seemed like an eternity. Finally I asked, “Where are we? It seems like I’ve been reading for more than two hours.”

His response: “I don’t know. I’m looking for the sign.”

It was then I spotted a sign that read: Helena, 5 miles ahead. I was shocked. We had driven 95 miles past our destination.

When I confronted my husband about this, he said, “Well, a semi-truck must have blocked my view of the sign [to Nine Mile Road].”

I said, “But, sweetheart, you drove through the next city, Missoula, and that has at least five exit signs!

To this he said, “I did! I didn’t even see it.”

No, he didn’t see Missoula because his eyes had been focused on the road and his ears had been tuned in to my voice. The irony of this story is my husband had been to this friend’s home at least a dozen times. He knew how to get there and he prides himself in finding places without getting lost.

Kaleidoscope Lodge is an e-book that can be found in Amazon’s Kindle Book Store. It will provide 25-35 hours of enjoyable reading for the low cost of $9.99. A paperback edition will be available by March, 2013 through Amazon.

About the Author

Mary Korte received her Masters Degree in social work in 1979. Under contract with a social agency she provided in-home counseling with the intent to maintain children in their homes or to return children to their homes. Later, she became director of her own counseling business. After retiring in 2009, she started writing. She lives in Washington State and winters in Arizona. She sculpts for a hobby.

Mary Korte can be reached at


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