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Stories for the Cold Nights
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Xmas is upon us, which means it's time -- as every year -- to re-read Elizabeth Hand's "Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol. (I also read Glen Hirshberg's "Mr. Dark's Carnival" at Halloween and Joyce Carol Oates's "Thanksgiving" at Thanksgiving and though I don't read Joe R. Lansdale's "The Steel Valentine" on Valentine's Day every year maybe I should. Mostly those stories don't, like, make your heart sing -- they're pretty dark -- but "Chip Crockett" always makes me feel good without feeling manipulated.)

Go read Greg's "In the Late December" while you're at it, too, or if you're strapped for time -- it's short and still wonderful, every time.

Three weeks to Xmas. Our tree is trimmed, some decorations are hung, a few presents have been wrapped (others remain to be bought or made, eek)... I do love this time of year. Hot apple cider and mulled wine and good music and good stories and, of course, friends and family. River was around last Xmas, but he was just a tiny thing. This year he'll get presents and like them, tear off wrapping paper, etc. I can't wait, but then again, I also like having Xmas morning to look forward to.

Rich Horton writes about Flytrap in his year-end round-up. I'm gonna miss that little 'zine. Though I won't miss doing the mailing.

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