(also in audio read by the author on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Iew5uh8lbPE)
’Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the land,
Only authors were stirring, and none feeling so grand.
The year’s stories were few, lined up on the shelf,
(and those sure weren’t put there by some magic old elf).
The readers still lay nestled all snug in their bed;
While their iPhones played YouTube, which fills writers with dread.
Yes, me in my bathrobe and no words on the screen,
A vastness of white, like a sun ne’er before seen.
Then out of my window, there rose such a clatter,
That I feared Poe’s raven had come to ask what was the matter.
I huddled quite low, my hopes lay down in the trash,
Give me something, please Muse, to make the words dash.
The setting was lame, I knew that in a tick,
I’d written three thousand words describing a stick.
I peeked out the window, but my hopes were in vain,
I could feel the world laughing; I’d perfected “inane.”
And that little old Muse, oft so lively and quick,
Had clearly just called in to say she was sick.
Less speedy than snails were my words ’pon the page;
Ere my editor saw these, she’d die of old age.
“Come, Sight! Come, Smell! Come Taste so divine!
Please keep my tale from its death on the vine.
To the top of the arc! Add conflict so rich!
(Sometimes this writing gig can be a real bitch.)”
My words that before the wild hurricane fly,
That so lately had leapt…now fell from the sky.
Upon the blank screen, my vain hopes cast a gloom,
(Would it help to heave my laptop across the small room)?
And then, in a twinkling, I had such a thought,
One that I alone could possibly have wrought.
As I set down my hands, ’pon those keys gone so cold,
I wondered if I dared be ever so bold.
My hero had come, with such devilish delight,
To lurk just offstage and find mirth at my plight.
But an idea had come, like a light in the dark,
This tale would now fly, just like a lark.
The hero—he laughed! His dimples, how merry!
Little knew he, he had great cause to worry.
His smirk would not get him some curved willing wench,
I set off to bury him in a musty old trench.
A tale of sweet romance I’d set out to tell
But now that bold hero would not fare half so well.
I’d batter his face and that little round belly,
I’d flatten him dead, ’til he looked just like jelly.
His hair would grow long, he’d soon start to smell.
My heroine would tell him to go straight to hell.
A wink of my eye and a twist of my head,
I coaxed him onstage, knowing soon he’d be dead.
I’d write me a thriller, no true love for a jerk,
With the story before me, I went straight back to work.
And laying a finger aside of my nose,
I set about killing him, in such sweet…sweet prose.
He’d die so horribly, (I tried not to giggle),
That he’d never recover, not so much as a wiggle.
And when the fair lady put her heel on his tomb,
She’d say, “Thank you for saving me from such a dweeb’s doom.”
And with my tale told, there appeared such a light,
“Oh crap, the screen’s blank again! Forget it! Good night!”
Wishing you an awesome year of writing ahead!
M.L. "Matt" Buchman has over 50 novels, 70 short stories, and a fast-growing pile of audiobooks out in the world. M.L. writes romance, thrillers, and SF&F…so far. Three-times Booklist "Top-10 Romance Novel of the Year." NPR and B&N "Best 5 Romance of the Year." RITA finalist. As a 30-year project manager with a geophysics degree who has: designed and built houses, flown and jumped out of planes, and bicycled solo around the world, he is awed by what's possible. More at: .