Twas the night before Christmas, and in every nook,
Not a creature was stirring except me and my book.
The deadline was looming, I tried not to care though I knew that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The family were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of editors danced in my head.
My agent would freak out and I’d be a wreck if the copious copy edits didn’t get back.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I abandoned my work to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutter and threw up the sash.
The moon on the stretches of overgrown grass gave the lustre of midday to what I saw pass,
As what to my wondering eyes did appear, but Santa and sleigh pulled by lots of reindeer.
The man in the sleigh was so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than a rejection, his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now Harlequin, now Penguin, now Allen & Unwin,
On Macmillan, on Carina, on Samhain and Random.”
From the top of the porch, I heard his wry call, “Now write away, write away, write away all.”
As blank pages mock an author’s best try, when we meet with a plothole, and look to the sky,
So up to the rooftop, those publishers flew, with a sleigh full of books and St Nicholas, too.
I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed in red ink from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all grimy with ashes and soot.
A flash drive or two he had in his pack. I started to shake but he motioned me back.
A wink of his eye and a nod of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word as he bent to his task, took the drive to my tablet, not stopping to ask,
turned my chaos to order, the edits all done, I was freed from their yoke, there’d be time to have fun.
And laying a finger aside of his nose, Santa gave me a grin; up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to the publishers cried, and away they all flew while I turned back inside.
As I heard him exclaim, my heart beat like a drum,
“Merry Christmas all writers, New York Times here you come.”
With every good wish!
on Twitter @valerieparv
With acknowledgement to Clement Clarke Moore/ Henry Livingston
who gave us the original The Night Before Christmas.