Twas the Night Before Christmas, and here on the blog
Not a creature was stirring, not even the frog;
The keyboards and mice had all been tucked away,
There’d be no more writing—at least for a day;
The authors were nestled all snug in their beds,
While plotlines and characters danced in their heads;
Stephanie was dreaming in third-person point of view;
As Rob worked out another insane interview;
Julie was munching Canadian candy,
And Kerry thought no snow for Christmas was dandy;
Jeff was just glad he wasn’t still in the skies,
While Sariah concocted a prophet’s demise;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter;
Away to the window Kerry spun with a whirl,
While Rob covered his eyes as he screamed like a girl;
“What is it?” called Sariah brandishing a Lamanite blade,
“There, there.” Stephanie comforted Rob. “Don’t be afraid.”
“Not sure.” Julie burped. The candy had made her feel gassy,
Jeff snarled, “Probably just another dumb SASE.”
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a fat little guy with a whole bunch of deer;
“I think it’s St. Nick,” Stephanie said, as she stifled a yawn.
Kerry frowned. “Now who’s going to clean up the lawn?”
More rapid than Rob can come up with a joke,
The dude leaned from his sleigh and gave each deer a poke
“Now Shakespeare! Now Milton! Now Dickens and Dante!
On Melville! on Chaucer! On Tolkien and Bronte!
To the top of the porch to the top of the wall,
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
So up to the housetop, the coursers they flew,
Jeff frowned. “Do any of those names sound familiar to you?”
“You buffoon,” Stephanie said, “Have you not read a book?”
Julie nodded and both of them gave him a look.
“They’re all famous authors.” Kerry’s tone was aloof.
“And if I’m not mistaken they’re up on our roof”
As Rob and Sariah were turning around,
Down the chimney the little guy came with a bound.
“Nice furs,” Julie said. “But they’re covered with soot.”
“Not at all,” the man said with a stomp of his of his foot.
“The dark stuff you see on my hands and my feet,
is not what you think, it’s a whole case of ink.”
“Ink?” questioned Rob with a curious glance,
“Well what’s in the sack? Are they Whitney’s perchance?”
“I know who you are,” Julie said, much too quick,
“Even north of the US we call you St. Nick.”
Then he pulled off the bag he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his sack.
He eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks blushed likes roses as he flirted with Kerry.
“You think I’m St. Nick, let me give you some news.
I’m really not Santa. You can just call me Muse.”
He was chubby and plump a right Jolly old elf,
Yet Jeff seemed intrigued in spite of himself.
muse,” he asked with a slight trace of dread;
And it only got worse when the man nodded his head.
“I give you ideas, and send inspiration,
When you have writer’s block and much consternation.
I’m the one who sends plot twists and character flaws.
I work sight unseen, but I’ve come here because . . .”
Then he tuned with a jerk and opened his sack,
All the authors gathered round and stared over his back.
“Did you bring me more romance with laughs?” questioned Rob
“And how ‘bout intrigue?” Stephanie said with a bob.
“Contracts,” called Julie. “Advances,” cried Kerry
“Bestsellers!” shouted Sariah in a voice that was merry.
“Have a look,” the man said with a step to one side.
The authors all gasped seeing what was inside.
“No,” Kerry moaned and the rest nearly fainted.
What they saw ‘neath the tree was a pile which was tainted.
Clichés, misspellings, and stories all trite,
Words overused and endings not right.
“Ly” adverbs and chapters too short or too long,
Characters boring, and descriptions all wrong.
“Take them back, take them back” pleaded Sariah.
“I’ve only begun. I’ll be a pariah.”
“We’ll never get published,” said Julie. “That’s cruel.”
Rob patted his brow, “I’m sure glad that I went back to school.”
“But why would you do it?” The authors all cried.
Kerry was weeping. Jeff thought that he’d died.
“I once was an editor,” said the jolly old elf,
And couldn’t help laughing in spite of himself.
“The stuff that you sent me was boring and smelly.
I’ve seen better text on a jar of grape jelly.
You turn it in late and you never proofread;
Then expect me to fix it with kindness and speed.
You whine about titles and don’t like the cover,
And cancel your signings for something or other.
A good manuscript is one of life’s greatest joys,
But frankly you’ve been naughty girls and bad boys.”
“We’re sorry!” the authors all cried with one voice.
“We admit we messed up. But it wasn’t by choice.
Give us just one more chance and we really will try,
We’ll avoid passive voice and fix lay and lie.
If we mess up again you can give us all lashes
We’ll never mistakenly use hyphens for m-dashes.”
Then the muse tapped his head and his beard gave a wag
At last he put the things back in his bag.
And laying (not lying) his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
But they heard him exclaim ere he drove out of site.
“Give me two thousand words by the end of the night.”
Merry Christmas from your friends at the Frog Blog