The Write Before Christmas

Wouldn’t it be great to have a jolly, old elf pop in and edit your manuscript for you?

A little holiday cheer, for all you writers out there:


The Write Before Christmas

[Yes, Virginia, I wrote this myself.]

‘Twas the cusp of the holidays

And all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Not even her mouse

Her fingers hovered over the keyboard with care

Desperately seeking a masterpiece there

Her children all finally upstairs in bed,

The Writer tried to set free the dreams in her head

With her coffee grown cold

And a quilt on her lap,

She wrestled in vain

With a writer’s great trap

For from her stilled keyboard

Came no further clatter

Writer’s block, she knew,

Was the heart of the matter

Distraught, to the window she flew like a flash

Tossing another page into the trash

The glow from her monitor lit up the room

Imparting a sheen of frustration and gloom

When what to her wondering eyes should appear

But a miniature sleigh, all laden with gear

With a spry little driver, so lively and quick

Great Heavens, she thought, could this be St. Nick?

Swifter than rejection letters his reindeer they came

And the dapper little man called each one by name

“Now, Character Development! Now, Tone, Voice, and Diction!

On Dialogue, Plot, Word-Choice, and Flash Fiction!

To this stumped writer’s keyboard at the end of the hall!

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

As writing professors with their red pens do fly

When they tear through an essay offending the eye,

So straight to her manuscript the proofers they flew

With their sleigh full of gear and St. Nicholas, too

Nitpicky hooves clattering, Dialogue muttered “Oof,

If I’d written this tripe, I’d throw myself off the roof!”

Nick smiled at the Writer, joined his proofers at work.

“Don’t mind Dialogue,” he whispered, “Sometimes he’s a jerk.”

The Writer withdrew to a spot in the back

Watching the reindeers clackety-clack

Nick wore a tweed sportcoat, with natty, patched elbows

Enormous bifocals perched atop his snub nose

His fingers were tarnished with toner and ink

He turned with a smile, gave the Writer a wink

His eyes, how they raced through her work at top speed

His fingers so dexterous, doing their deed

His brow, how it furrowed at each pesky ‘graf

“I’m sorry, “ the Writer said. “It’s just my first draft.”

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave her to know she had nothing to dread

“All that this manuscript needs, my poor dear,

Is a bit more attention here, here, and here.”

He polished each page, worked the point of view over

While his cloven-hoofed proofers munched on some clover

Nick checked both thesaurus and worn dictionary

When at last he was done, his face looked quite merry

“There, now! Just read the feedback I’ve left.

You’ll find the suggestions I’ve made are quite deft.

You’ve got potential, tho’ I’d watch out for trope

Keep up the good work, and don’t ever lose hope.

Like really good stews, manuscripts need to simmer.

So dump that stale coffee, go heat up your dinner.

The more you stare at it, the harder it is:

Sometimes writer’s block is just part of our biz.”

And handing her the new Chicago Manual of Style,

He chortled and winked and turned with a smile.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle

And they left her small office with the speed of a missile.

But she heard Nick exclaim, ere they drove out of sight

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good write!”

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26 Responses to “The Write Before Christmas”

  1. 1 Betsy Norman December 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Betsy Norman and commented:
    This was a fun post I found and thought I’d share with the rest of you from the “Just Scribbling” blog entitled The Write Before Christmas. Enjoy!

  2. 2 Betsy Norman December 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Totally fun post – I reblogged it!

  3. 3 Anonymous December 22, 2012 at 1:20 am

    This is FUN!

  4. 4 WhitneyCarter December 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Invisible Ink and commented:
    I’m not usually one for Christmas-themed things, but this little writer’s version of an old classic was delightful to read – check it out!

  5. 5 Julia Tagliere December 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Glad you’re all enjoying it!

  6. 6 jessicaminyard December 23, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Reblogged this on i before e and commented:
    This is awesome!

  7. 7 Julia Tagliere December 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the reblog, Jessica!

  8. 8 juliascribbling April 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you for the heads-up; I’ve been dealing with WordPress issues for several months now and am still trying to resolve the problem. I apologize for the difficulties you may have had accessing it, but hope it was worth the extra work. :)

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