Saturday, December 28, 2013

Twas a Mystery Writer's Belated Night Before Christmas.

To all of you from the many different corners of our world who so kindly follow us on MIE the very best of the Holiday Season, no matter how you may choose to celebrate the time.  For many of us it’s all about family traditions, and as I’m blessed to be part of the MIE family I have a little tradition of my own I like to sneak in here during the holiday season.  It’s a little something I composed for my Christmas Eve post a few years back and thought you might like seeing again, updated to include the new members of our MIE family. I take great pleasure in brutally fracturing the classic poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston—history is still not sure who wrote it, so apologies to both. 

Henry Livingston
Clement Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a laptop was stirring, nor even a mouse.
The reviews were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that new readers would soon find them there.

The critics were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of best-seller danced in my head.
And DorothyL in her wimsey, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for the hiatus nap.

When out on the Net there arose such a chatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the keyboard I flew like a flash,
Tore open the browser and dove in with a splash.

The glow on the screen cast like new-fallen snow,
A lustre of brilliance onto writing so-so.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the sight of a blog with ten writers so dear.

With a little bold driver so quick with a thrill,
I knew in a moment he hailed from Brazil.
More rapid than eBooks their creations they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now, Kubu! now, Aimee! now, Charlie and Thora!
On, Kaldis! On, Duarte! on, Bishop and Ellie!
To the top of the Times! to the top of them all!
Now Anderson, slash away! slash away pall!”

As wry thoughts, that before the final deadline fly,
When they meet with an obstacle soar to the sky.
So off to their blog-posts these non-courtiers flew,
With a sleigh full of ploys, and opinions not few.

And then, in a twinkling, I saw not from aloof,
The prancing and gnawing of hard comments and spoof
Taking aim at some points so to bring them to ground,
Brought on by hard thinkers from near and far ‘round.

The writers were dressed from each head to each foot
In bold clothes that were tarnished with gashes well put.
A bundle of ARCs each had flung on its back,
They looked like kind peddlers bringing books to a rack.

Their eyes—how they twinkled! Their dimples how merry!
Their cheeks like Jeff Bezos’s, their noses like sherry!
One’s droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
‘Til his bottle of bourbon fell out on the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
Threw up smoke of the kind to fire scotch from the heath.
He had a broad face that would fill up the telly,
And as he reached for his bottle mumbled, “Just jelly.”

Neither chubby nor plump, more like jolly and svelte,
I laughed when I saw him, ‘til his stare I felt.
But a wink of his eye and no twist to my head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

They all spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
And filled all the bookshelves, then turned with a jerk.
And crossing their fingers aside of their noses,
And giving great nods, passed around the Four Roses.

They kept all at play ‘til the ladies gave whistle,
Then each turned as one to read an epistle. 
And I heard them exclaim, ‘ere my charger lost might,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-fright!”

And, of course, Happy New Year and a healthy joyful 2014.



  1. Thanks Jeffrey for this little Xmas gem's adaptation to modern life. The first two lines especially made me smile. Best wishes for a wonderful 2014 full of ... happy critics and soaring sales! Francesca

  2. Thank you, Francesca. Enjoy your flight (sans sleigh) and the very best to you in 2014

  3. Great, Jeff! Now, about your author's side-panel picture:

    After posing as a grainy black and white P.I.
    I hope to soon see you in a sleigh in the sky,
    After your current "Annette Funicello" sidekick,
    As a jolly good-natured, red-nosed St. Nick.

    Best of the holidays to you, too, and to everyone else hereabouts!!!

    1. Alas, poor Annette I knew her well. But she's gone and Mouseketeerdom shall never be the same, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears notwithstanding.

      Everett, may 2014 bring you only more joyful thoughts to share among we hereabouts.

  4. Happy New Year to all of you. I wish you many sales and much joy-like the joy you bring us!

  5. Thanks. Lil, it's our pleasure and joy!