A Blogger’s Week Before Xmas

santa at computerHere’s a repost of a poem I wrote in December 2013. Written by me, with copious assistance from Clement Clarke Moore, who wrote the original “Night Before Christmas” back in 1823.  Hope you enjoy this silly fun!

T’was the week before Xmas, and here at our blog,

We’d all hunkered down for a holiday slog.

With so many deadlines and so much to do.

We had no ideas for our blog – sad but true.

The child was nestled all snug in her bed,

While visions of toy robots danced in her head.

And I in my PJ’s, with a latte night cap,

Was typing and wishing for just one more nap.

The lights shining up from my laptop so bright,

Brightened my screen on this cold winter’s night,

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a strange little gif of six tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so full of good news,

I knew in a moment it must be my muse!

More rapid than eagles the genres they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now, Steampunk! Now, Romance!  Now, Noir Mystery!

Now, Science!  Now, YA!  Now, High Fantasy!”

To the top of the bookshelf!  To the top of the wall!

Now pile them up, stack them up, and read them all!”

And there, in a twinkling, I saw on my shelf,

Books about robots and pirates and elves.

Huge dictionaries to fix all my spelling,

Books about cooking and fixing my dwelling.

So many authors inspired my heart!

I flew to my keyboard!  Quick!  Where to start!

My fingers they flew, as my thoughts ran apace,

As I learned about oceans and atoms and space.

He sprang to the screen, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, as he blinked out of sight,

“Happy writing to all!  And to all a good night!”

The One Thing You Should Buy For the Holidays

Cover---Year-of-the-Poser-not-signedOK everyone, I know the holidays are a stressful time, but all your shopping worries are over.  Behold the glory that is the 2014 Year of the Poser Calendar!  Which you can buy at The Tinker’s Packs!

Jim C. Hines is a science fiction and fantasy author.  What possessed him to make a calendar of himself baring his abs?  Here’s the story, as told by Jim C. Hines himself:

In 2012, Jim wanted to start a discussion about science fiction and fantasy cover art, particularly the ways women were portrayed. To do this, he attempted to contort himself into the poses of various cover art heroines, leading to many discussions about sexism and objectification, the purpose of cover art, and who could do the better Christmas-themed cover pose, Jim Hines or John Scalzi. (Spoiler: it was totally Jim!)

Toward the end of the year, Jim launched another round of poses, this time to raise money for the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation. He offered rewards for various fundraising goals, including a cover pose calendar if the fundraiser brought in more than $15,000. Jim figured that was an absurdly high goal, and that he’d be safe. He figured wrong… and thus a calendar was born!

This calendar is funny, thought-provoking, and benefits charity.  It’s even signed.  Jim C. Hines braved some serious back pain to demonstrate how men and women are portrayed on book covers and he made us laugh while doing it.  Here’s a couple of examples:



You can find out more about why Jim C. Hines took this project on, and what it taught him about gender and sexism in publishing, at jimchines.com.  Here you can find all his cover poses, and some funny, interesting, challenging essays about them.  This project is a great example of “show, don’t tell” and of using humor to make a point.  And oh yeah, Hines is right – insulin pumps are cool.