Saturday, December 20, 2014

Twas a Mystery Writer's Night Before Christmas...Redux

From the pencils of

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. 

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 nine 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, Justin! on, Mario 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 Chanukah” and “Kala Kristouyenna.”



  1. Oy, it's official, Christmas IS coming! Thanks, Jeff! And thanks to Barbara for the Bassedeer, love it!

  2. And the very best wishes to you, my friend, for 2015 and far, far beyond!

  3. Happy holiday to all and peace for all of us.

  4. Almost as good as your miralogia. Bassedeer--Everett, that was great!

    Best wishes to everyone at MIE.

    1. Thank you, Barbara! [N.B. For those wondering what might be a mirologia, it's a Greek funeral lamentation following a strict poetic form but delivered spontaneously by female mourners (think rap style) that I composed for a key scene in "Sons of Sparta."]

  5. Bravo, Jeff, lovely piece.

    Every good wish to you and yours this Holiday Season


    1. Thank you, Zoe, my love, and--as I said to EvKa--all the very best to you for 2015 and far, far beyond.