Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Fun Facts: Merry (Almost) Christmas!

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Merry Christmas, everyone! Blessings to you and your family!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: Murder New York Style

Today, in the true manner of Writers' Wednesday, I'd like to give a shout-out to the 22 authors of the recently-released anthology Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices. If you can't tell by the title (or the cover!), it's a collection of mystery/crime short stories, all written by members of the New York chapter of Sisters in Crime. And all the stories are set in or around New York City.

I had the pleasure of attending a reading this past Monday, and the 4 authors who were there offered great insight regarding their inspirations, their writing process, and the stories themselves. It was great to hear them read and great to be around fellow writers. (Although one of the audience questions was "Since you write about murders, and people always say to write about what you know, have any of you ever experienced a murder?")


But beyond that, it was a lovely evening, and though I don't normally read this genre, from the taste I got Monday night, I'm really looking forward to checking out these stories. Are you a fan of crime fiction? You might want to give this anthology a try! (Best part about short stories: less time to read all the way through one, which is great for this time of year when free time seems to be at a premium)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Mentionables: Two Chances to Win Today!

Less than a week until Christmas...are you ready??

Well, in case you're still looking for gifts - for yourself, that is - today you have not one but TWO chances to win one!

Over at The Romance Studio, my contemporary romance novel Summer's Song is being featured as part of the Book-a-Day Giveaway, and all you have to do is enter your email address for a chance to win!

Then, I'm also guest blogging at The Long and the Short of It (10 am EST) as part of their "Stuff Your Stockings With Books" holiday contest - there are tons of books and gift certificates to be won, and every comment earns you another chance!

So...join me at one (or both) sites today, and wish yourself an early Merry Christmas!