It’s not a merry Christmas for the orange menace. He finds neither rest nor peace in the holiday. In the night, Mr. Crusher is visited by three spirits. The first is the Ghost of Presidents Past, Mr. John F. Kennedy.
Gather around, children, gather around. That’s right, at my feet, like good patriotic Americans. Kids, don’t sit on the Louis XIV chairs, made of the best 24k gold, okay? Sit here on the marble floor, which my servants will have an easier time sanitizing after you’re gone, which hopefully will be soon. I am kidding, just kidding … well, sort of kidding. You know satire, right? It’s when you’re sort of kidding, but also sort of serious, but also you really mean it but you don’t. You can tell satire, right? I hope so, but most people can’t, even adults can’t. Even adults who read this website, in many cases.
When I runned for Vice President gosh you know our Heavenly Father was there with me running beside me like you know in that inspirational poster with the footprints in the sand on the beach where sometimes there is only one pair of footprints and that is like you know God carrying you. Because golly you know sometimes he carried me on the beach and so like there was only you know one set of footprints in the sand. It was God’s will that I runned for Vice President in 2008 and jeez we went in a wrong direction there as a country for eight years but it was God’s will that Mr. Crusher won I saw it. Everything is God’s will you know like that I runned and it was His will that I won but I didn’t won but it was God’s will and it wasn’t God’s will you know the last eight years of a wrong direction but now it is God’s will done praise God.
A FEW YEARS AGO a fictional person I’ll call Max discovered video games. He loved to play Internet games on the family desktop computer. They were freely available and provided the occasional hour or-so, here and there, of fun. But this happy condition didn’t last.
Obviously the bells jingle: that’s what they are made to do. Try “bells, bells all the way.” (See Strunk and White, “Omit needless words.”) Also, does the protagonist have some sort of objection to a multi-horse and/or closed sleigh? If so, explain; if not, cut. C-
Let it Snow
Do you really mean to say that the weather outside is filled with fright? If so, this is a pathetic fallacy. And who exactly is going to “let it snow”? Who could stop it snowing? Use the indicative mood to invigorate your prose. C
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
What is the significance of the chestnuts? You open the scene with them but don’t do much else. Remember: if there is a gun on the mantle in act one, it must be fired by act four. Perhaps the roasted chestnuts could explode and disfigure Jack Frost, or the reindeer could eat them and lose their powers of flight. This would create an interesting narrative problem for Santa to resolve. “Yuletide carols being sung by a choir” should be “a choir sings Yuletide carols.” Avoid passive voice. D+
Little Drummer Boy
What on earth is a pa rum pum pum pum? Does the drummer boy suffer from some kind of compulsive tick? Is he trying to communicate an important message. Is the pa-rum-pum-pum-pum akin to the “ou-boum” of E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India? Explore. D-
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
If the nose is said to glow, then it is implicitly very bright. Show, don’t tell. D
Silent? With the quaking shepherds and the streaming glories and the singing hosts. Do you know how many people are in a host? And they’re singing. Try editing this one with a view to making it about a rowdy night. C
O Christmas Tree
Twenty-four lines to establish that it’s a nice tree, because it has green and sparkly branches? Remember: brevity is the soul of wit. D-
Too much going on here. First there are bells, then glistening snow. Why has the bluebird gone? And what is the significance of this “new bird”? Why even bring birds into it? Clearly this story is about a couple who are so eager to marry that they’ll let a snowman “do the job,” as you so vulgarly put it. The rest is just confusing. Cut. C-
Away in a Manger
The baby is either away, or else in the manger. I don’t understand how the protagonist can be in the barn, and then looking down from the sky—all within a few lines. This is fine if you are writing in a genre, such as science fiction, that allows for teleportation. Perhaps you could re-write this as an extra-terrestrial carol about futuristic travel. C
DECEMBER 1st has arrived, and here at the ranch that means it’s time to light the advent candle!
WELCOME to Christmas, the time of year when people dress up like serious adults, to go to staff parties where they act like drunken toddlers.
• Week of 28.12.2013
Thousands across eastern Canada still in the dark | Stephen Harper thanks ‘brave men and women in uniform’ in annual Christmas message | Canada departs Afghanistan in 100 days | Featured Article: The Corporate “Free Speech” Racket – How corporations are using the First Amendment to destroy government regulation | Associated Press announces Top 10 stories of 2013 | Music: Ian and Sylvia, “Got No More Home Than A Dog” | Edward Snowden says government surveillance now far worse than George Orwell’s 1984 envisioned | Activists clear to come home after Russian charges dropped | Wisconsin Has So Much Cheese They’re Using it to De-Ice the Roads | Botched circumcision allegations against Quebec doctor grow | 27 Things to Leave Behind in 2014
A LOVER OF languages and of literature — the name of this website is Owenna’shon:a, or words — as well as of all related matters, I’ve put together over the years a decent collection of the various tools of the trade. A recent move and downsizing compelled me to get rid of my 1952 Corona Silent typewriter, but I have kept (among other things) my writing papers and blank books and cards and my lap-desk. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I have a stationery fetish with an emphasis on the fountain pen. I don’t expect anyone not afflicted likewise to understand, and so what follows is less an attempt to bring you around to my view of things than a mere indulgence.