A Bloody Good Christmas Story Acceptance; Upstart Poets Farewell Fête (with a Lagniappe, Repeated)

What a Sunday!  A mellow party/poetry reading followed by email including my second Christmas story acceptance for 2013.  The first was for “The Match Story,” a Hans Christian Andersen tale retold in Third Flatiron Publishing’s having-not-a-bit-to-do-with-the-holidays summer anthology PLAYING WITH FIRE (cf. June 2, April 8), while this one will be for the Mocha Memoirs Press non-Christmas anthology IN THE BLOODSTREAM.  “Your submission must contain elements of dark fantasy or horror to be considered.  The subject matter is up to you.  We want beautiful prose and originality wrapped up in the darkest, creepiest story you’ve ever conceived.”  Sound like Christmas to you?

It did to me.  And so my offering in this outing is a modest Lovecraftian variant on a beloved Charles Dickens classic, here titled “A Christmas Carnage.”  It has to do with a recent graduate from Miskatonic U. who happens to have a midnight visit from . . . well let us just say a Christmas Present.  According to the original guidelines, the hope is to publish IN THE BLOODSTREAM in October.

And then the party, bittersweet in its way, was a farewell to Upstart Poets coordinator Joel Barker (see July 25, April 16, et al.) who leaves with his wife for New York on Friday.  Onward and upward.  It may also be a farewell to the People’s Bar, though there is some talk of a possible revival of some poetry program in this venue, though probably under a different name and with different ground rules.  But we shall see.

At least for this evening we had snacks and drinks and music and poems — one poem each from those who chose to read, several with a theme of farewell.  Thus it was that I, called second somewhat to my surprise, read an ultimate “farewell” offering, “Sestina for Death,” but asking Joel also to make like a zombie and come back to see us from time to time.

As for the poem, originally published in STRANGE HORIZONS on August 30 2010, it’s been here once before as a lagniappe (cf. March  6 2011), so why not again?  For those who may have missed it on its first go-round, just press here.


  1. Great news! And congrats on TWO Christmas story acceptances!!

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