You’re a Mean One, Miss Kitty

The following poem is my version of Clement C. Moore’s classic poem, with a bit of inspiration from How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. It explains what Kitty’s been up to lately, which I’ve hinted at a couple of times. (Yes, I know this is more appropriate for Christmas Eve. But you don’t want to wait that long, do you?) So, if you stopped by to learn who won the books in the latest giveaways (click here and here for the author interviews), check the end of the poem.

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, save Kitty—that louse!

While the children drew close to the warm fireplace,
Kitty took herself up the stairs to rob the place.

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But a child crept upstairs to observe her at work.
Yet Kitty heard her creeping, and turned with a jerk.

“Are you Santa Claus?” asked the sweet little tike.
“I’d like a Nintendo, and some kind of bike.”

“A Nintendo what?” asked the grumpy fake Nick.
“Nintendo’s a company. Please be specific.”

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“You’re not St. Nick!” cried the suddenly wise child.
“You’re grumpy and harsh; he’s sweet and warm and mild.”

“He sounds like a hot drink,” the would-be thief sneered.
“Take my advice. This Santa Claus? Well, he sounds weird.”

Kitty shooed the child off with a ten-dollar bill.
She returned to the sack she had hastened to fill.

But suddenly outside, there arose such a clatter.
To the window she raced. What on earth was the matter?

Sirens squealed in the distance—what a kerfuffle!
The window was shut; but the noise would not muffle.

She would be caught with the stuff she had stolen.
What could she say about a large sack so swollen?

So, she threw off the disguise, and then she made haste
Down the stairs with her usual cupcake at her waist.

“Oh children,” she said, “I’m a neighbor so near
I stepped through the window to visit you here.”

The child with the ten, not a word did she say.
She felt keeping mum made life better that way.

So, they gave Kitty cocoa and showed her a chair.
And soon, Kitty realized, she was better off there.

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Now let’s turn from a larcenous “Santa” to the winners of the books. As a reminder, I am giving away a copy of How to Share with a Bear and How to Build a Snow Bear by Eric Pinder, as well as Hard to Die by Andra Watkins and Our Justice by John Howell.

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The winner of Eric Pinder’s picture books is . . .
Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Jennie!

The winner of How to Die and Our Justice is . . .
Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Andy!

Winners, please confirm below. Jennie, please email your snail mail information and phone number to lmarie7b(at)gmail(dot)com. (Amazon will not deliver without a phone number.) Andy, when you email, please include the email address you use with Amazon.uk. I believe you can only get the Kindle versions of Hard to Die and Our Justice through Amazon.uk. Hope that is okay.

Thank you to all who commented!

Book covers from Goodreads. Photos by L. Marie. The Happy Places Shopkins Happy Home is a registered trademark of Moose Toys. Hello Kitty is a registered trademark of Sanrio Co., Ltd.

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Dreams

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
From Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore

I miss the dreams I had as a kid, flights of fancy so feathered and unfettered, I hated to wake up. I’d soar off cliffs and over seas. Oh, how I would fly! Or, I went on daring spy capers, intricate plots surpassing anything Ian Fleming, John le Carré, Tom Clancy, or Robert Ludlum could devise.

At a young age, I was a seasoned warrior—the victor of many dream battles, some won only by waking. And when a monster came to call, one beyond my ability to defeat, I still had an escape—the ability to soar away, high over its grinning maw.

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I know. We grow up and get busy with work, bills, kids, and problems like taxes, unfaithful significant others, and health issues. We’re weighted by worries, pain, and loss. So tethered to the earth, who can possibly soar in a dream?

Lately, my dreams have become angst-ridden things, like hands fluttering. Recently, I dreamed I had an advisor who had the look of Matt Smith from Doctor Who, all gangly and twitchy.

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He handed me a paper with a big red F on it, then proceeded to harangue me for not having my entire novel written before the end of the semester. Though I pleaded with him, the grade remained unchanged, a beacon to my incompetence in his eyes.

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At other times, I’ve had the dreams many of us have—not enough credits to graduate; the discovery of a paper due minutes before class; tests for which I didn’t study. Oh, the scenario has switched sometimes: buses and trains I missed; endless train journeys I’ve taken, but never to reach my destination; cars misplaced or stolen.

Life in my dream state. Sometimes I don’t recall my dreams upon waking. Still, a lingering feeling of anxiety drifts after me into the day like a dark cloud, and I’m grateful I don’t recall the plotline of that particular nightmare.

Maybe my waking dreams need to be taken up and flapped and snapped like a rug—to shake away the dust and sediment of doubt or despair. Or, maybe they need to be gussied up—brushed and curled and reminded that they exist, that they are beautiful and possible, and that the time to realize them is, and always was, now.

Then maybe the landscape of my night dreams would expand. Maybe I would return to those visions of sugar-plums. Or better yet, take a flight so glorious—no wings required. Just me and the air.

Oh, how I will fly!

Need a new waking dream? Reach for the sky with me. Together, we’ll soar.

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Pictures from digitalspy.co.uk; photos-public-domain.com