A Christmas Poem Spoof

‘Twas the night before Xmas, when all through the base
Only robots were stirring, but none with much haste.
The backpacks were taped to the air vents with care,
In hopes that old Santa would find his way there;

The kiddos were tucked in their coffin-shaped beds,
As a Twix induced sugar-rush played with their heads;
Mom in her flannel and I in tighty-whites
Had just settled in after saying good nights.

When suddenly our module shook to and fro,
I leapt from my bed and was soon ready to go.
Away to the view screen I flew like the Flash,
And focused the monitor in a hurried dash.

The blue Earth above gave an eerie luster
To the dwellings that formed our lunar cluster.
Then, a vision beyond belief did appear,
A tiny red shuttle, manned by tiny reindeer.

Anon, a weird looking pilot escorted them out.
“I am Captain Saint Nick,” he said with a shout.
His four-legged crew must surely be tame,
Because clearly I heard him call them by name;

“Now, Crasher. now, Lancer. Now, Rancher and Buttless.
On, Gromit. On, Wallace. On, Dander and Gutless.
Gather your pouches, gifts stuffed to the top,
We must hurry and scurry there’s no time to stop.

And then in a jiffy, I heard from the ceiling
The clatter and chatter of eight little beings.
I stood from my perch and then turned around,
To see the pilot materialize with nary a sound.

Unsure of his purpose, my phaser at ready,
I stunned the old guy, my aim was quite steady.
His bundle of toys were thrown to the floor
“Oh no, this must be Santa,” I had to implore.

His eyes – how they twinkled, from the stun no doubt.
His cheeks soon grew as red as if they had gout.
His mouth formed a circle like a black hole,
His chest expelled the growl of an evil troll.

The sound of his anguish filled me with grief;
I feared for my life when he gritted his teeth.
He had a narrow face and surprising round belly.
Plus a wicked smile; I thought of Machiavelli.

With the wink of his eye he turned his head;
The look on his face filled me with dread.
But soon I realized I feared without reason
When he chuckled and said, “I love this season.”

He looked to the floor and gathered the toys,
Several were for girls and others for boys,
He filled all of the packs hung by the vents
Then touched his comm-unit and off he went.

From my viewer I saw him gather his troops,
The eight little reindeer were a strange group.
He walked up the ramp, his team close behind.
When the shuttle rumbled, it began to climb.

The craft hovered high over our airless dorm;
Through some unknown magic a dome did form.
These words were written on the white hemisphere,
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


By David P. Cantrell (c) 2017 with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

First posted on http://www.myrddinpublishing.com/twas-night-b4-xmas/

New Book Soon

My first fantasy adventure story is coming soon. I’m looking for pre-publication readers, also known as Advanced Review Copy readers, to give feedback. It’s my hope that each ARC reader will also post an honest review on Amazon when the book is published. If you’re interested, sign up at this link.

Gates of Fire and Ash – Blurb

Gates of Fire and Ash is an adventure story set in a world limited to medieval technology after an ice age destroyed modern civilization centuries ago.

Royar Abele escapes the brutality of his father and brothers at the age of twelve when his rare ability to communicate with dogs wins him a place in the Army’s elite hundteam school. Now, sixteen-year-old Royar and his trusted dog, Felmer, are ready for their new lives as scouts.

But, he never dreamed their first mission would determine the future of the country and its people. They and their teammates deal with vicious animals, treacherous humans and deadly weather, but worst of all they face the horror and death that is the Gates of Fire and Ash.

Will they succeed where so many others have failed?

 

Game of Thrones – Jon & Dany Do IT?

The seventh season of Game of Thrones on HBO will wrap up next Sunday. This season has generated a good deal of speculation regarding whether or not Jon Snow, the bastard child of the dead King of the North or maybe the dead Queen of the North, will have sex with Daenerys. She is the mothers of Dragons, savior of the chained and potentially, Jon’s aunt and not by marriage. This meme is my contribution to the silliness.

Baby Jon_edited-2

 

Book Review: Dark Space Universe – The Enemy Within by Jasper T. Scott

“Perhaps Jasper’s greatest gift is his ability to yank readers out of their stream of thought by introducing a plot twist that leaves them flopping on the river bank …”

Jasper T. Scott is an accomplished science fiction author evidenced by the tens of thousands of books he has sold over the last few years. His stories include plenty of action and suspense, but they aren’t dominated by it. Philosophical and spiritual issues are neatly woven into his plots. He doesn’t preach to the reader—far from it. Instead, he creates situations that allow the reader to raise questions in his or her own mind.

I’ve always been impressed by his respect for science in his fiction. For example, in his most recent trilogy, Dark Space Universe, the shape and extent of the universe is a plot point that he develops based on current scientific theories, and in an interesting way.

Perhaps Jasper’s greatest gift is his ability to yank readers out of their stream of thought by introducing a plot twist that leaves them flopping on the river bank saying, “I didn’t see that coming.” Yet, the hints were always there. Chubby Checker has nothing on Scott.

Dark Space Universe – The Enemy Within, Book 2 in the series, is scheduled to be released on August 17, 2017. As a structural editor, I had the great pleasure of reading an early draft and will say this, “It’s a great book, six stars, at least, and maybe Scott’s best, yet.”

So, get caught up. Buy Dark Space Universe (Book 1) or read it for free with Kindle Unlimited here.

#amwriting: submissions: discovering who wants them and how to manage your backlist

Great information here for writers and want-to-be ones.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

I’m a member of several author groups who regularly meet in online chat-rooms to talk about the craft. Every member of these groups are published authors, some traditionally, and some Indie. Many are hybrid, with work both traditionally and Indie published.

Much of what we discuss involves the problems we face in developing marketing strategies. While we all agree that only publishing work that is of the highest quality is of paramount importance, one thing is clear: the greatest hurdle Indie authors face is getting our work in front of readers’ eyes.

Therefore, we write short stories and submit them to various anthologies, magazines, and contests. Those of us who write in less popular genres have fewer sales of our novels through Amazon and other eBook sales outlets, which makes it even more important for us to submit short stories to the many contests and publications that are out there…

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My Blog Sucks

sucking-babyFor the few that truly read this blog, I’m compelled to explain that I’ve decided to “improve” it. For the hoards that follow, but don’t read it, well, you don’t give a hoot.

I’m in the process of consolidating my online work into one location. To start, I’ve imported several dozen posts I authored as a contributor to Edgewise Words Inn.

Over time, I hope to organize the posts by logical categories and will eventually provide a table of contents based on the categories. Please excuse the inevitable screw-ups I’ll make–I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.

Dave

Get Lucky

Euphemisms, on the other hand, are used to obfuscate the actual meaning of a word. For example, intercourse is a synonym for sex, while diddle is a euphemism.

euphemism-pictureToday’s English is loaded with euphemisms for delicate subjects. They’re often used in polite society to avoid appearing uncivilized. But don’t confuse them with synonyms. A synonym is a word replacement that has the same or very similar meaning to the original word. They are often used to enrich prose and clarify meaning. Euphemisms, on the other hand, are used to obfuscate the actual meaning of a word. For example, intercourse is a synonym for sex, while diddle is a euphemism.

It can be difficult to understate the “true” meaning of a euphemism unless it’s been widely used over a long period. Eventually, euphemisms lose their impact like a punch-drunk fighter, which of course is a simile.

Benjamin Franklin was a student of many intellectual disciplines, language being one of them. In the 1730s he published a list of 227 euphemisms and 1 synonym for a common vice of his day. The vice is as common now as it was then but tolerated better today. I’ve shared twenty of the euphemistic phrases and words below–the synonym would have let the cat out of the bag: metaphor. Can you identify the vice?

  1. Affected
  2. Biggy
  3. Cock’d
  4. Has killed a dog
  5. Prince Eugene
  6. Frogs for breakfast
  7. Got a kick in the gut
  8. Hammerish
  9. Jagged
  10. Got kibed heels
  11. Makes indentures with his legs
  12. Seen a flock of moons
  13. Nimtopsical
  14. Smelt an onion
  15. Pungy
  16. Like a rat in trouble
  17. Burnt his shoulder
  18. Tanned
  19. Makes Virginia fame
  20. Wise

There is a subtle, some might say obscure, hint in the opening. If you want the answer, post your guess in the comment field here or on Facebook, and I’ll let you know if you’re correct.


(c) 2017 David P. Cantrell

Exodus by Jasper T. Scott – Review

First the Blub:

THIS INTERSTELLAR VOYAGE MIGHT BE OUR LAST

With androids in control of Earth, and humans relegated to colonies on Mars and the outer planets, tensions are rising, and war looks inevitable. Looking for a way to escape the looming conflict, Alexander and Catalina de Leon board the Liberty with 70,000 other colonists on a voyage to Proxima Centauri, but it’s going to take them nine years to reach their destination, and a lot can happen in that time. As the trip progresses, everything that can happen does, and what was meant to be a monotonous voyage becomes a fight for survival against mysterious forces that threaten not only the passengers and crew, but the entire human race.

Review:

Scott brings a philosophical glint to all of his books, which puts them a step above the typical in my mind. He’s not an erudite lecturer, however. The novel is gripping and full of twists and surprises. The action scenes are heart thumping and suspenseful, and human interactions are believable, often humorous and sometimes emotional. Readers of Scott’s Dark Space series will enjoy the tie-in to that story line, but new readers won’t be hampered by the references at all. I got a kick out of the not-so-subtle allusion to the UFO community’s ideas.

Conclusion:

A hearty 4 ½ starts.

Disclosures:

I had the pleasure to be a structural editor on this novel but I am under no obligation to review it.

Dear Santa

xmas-tree    Dear Santa,

It was my sister’s fault. Well, she didn’t light the fire. I did that, but there’s no doubt she caused the damage, and she could have stopped it if she hadn’t been running so fast. She’s selfish like that.

The fire wasn’t that big. It charred the front leg of Mommy’s favorite chair. I sat in it, so I know it’s okay. It does smell odd. Mommy says a skunk peed on it. I didn’t see a skunk, so I think she was wrong. Nobody’s noticed the scorched leg on Daddy’s chair. It always smells funny according to Mommy.

This all started in Mrs. Gold’s third-grade class. She showed us how to make candles and told us to make one to celebrate the holidays. Bobbie Schultz said our teacher was Jewish and didn’t like Christmas. I don’t know why she doesn’t like Christmas. For that matter, I don’t know what Jewish is, but Bobbie is smart. He knows the time’s tables all the way to thirteen.

Most kids made candles that looked like Rudolph, Frosty, or an angel. Two kids made pitchforks. They called them mininoras, I think. Zachery made a Navytea scene. It had little farm animals in a circle around a butterfly larva. I asked Zachery if it was a Monarch. He said it was a Baby Jesus. I’d never heard of that kind of butterfly. They probably come from Utah like Zachery.

I think I upset Mrs. Gold. I didn’t mean to. Honest, I didn’t. I made a devil. Mommy wouldn’t let me be a devil for Halloween–I had to wear Sara’s old Princess Jasmine costume. My devil was really cool, Santa. It had goat legs, the body of a man and the head of a bull. The bull horns had wicks in them. It was all red like you are, but not so round. Daddy says it’s not nice to call people fat. I hope round is okay. Anyway, it was sooooo cool. It didn’t stand up very well, so I glued on Popsicle sticks–they looked like snow skis.

Mommy and Daddy went shopping after dinner last night and left Sara and me to protect the house. I put the last ornaments on the Christmas tree, which sat between Mommy and Daddy’s chairs in front of the fireplace. We don’t use the fireplace because it’s anyfishunt. But, we still have a log lighter. I know, because I saw Daddy point it at Mommy like a gun. He said, ‘I’m going to light your fire woman.’ I wonder if I was adopted, sometimes.

Mommy and Daddy would be home soon, and I wanted to surprise them with my devil. I stood on Mommy’s chair to put the devil on the mantle. It looked great next to Grandma’s antique quilt on the wall.

“Sara where is the log lighter?”

She continued texting and mumbled, “On the hearth by Dad’s chair.”

“Thank you,” I said, but she ignored me, like always.

I had to stand on the armrest to reach the devil horns. The first one lit easily. I stretched to reach the second horn. The wick had started to flicker when Sara screamed, “What are you doing?”

I yelped and lost my balance. My hand caught the devil’s skis, and we both fell into the Christmas tree which fell on Sara. She squealed and ran like the wind. I landed on my back and stood up. The devil ignited the tree skirt which exploded in flames that died down quickly after I threw Mommy’s poinsettia plant on it. The ceiling sprinklers helped, too.

I hope you take it easy on Sara. I know this horrible incident was her fault, but she tries hard to be good. Sometimes things just don’t work out for her.

By the way, I’d like a Lego Super Hero High School for Christmas.

Yours most sincerely truly,

Elsie Montgomery, age 7 and 3/4ths.


(c) 2016 David P. Cantrell