You can hang on shining star on Christmas for this year, because it's ON! Santa has left the Circle.
While watching the elves load up the sleigh, I noticed that a lot of you asked my dad to bring you my critically acclaimed book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus. I thank you for that, and I am super flattered.
No matter what Daddy gives you this year, may it bring you happiness and joy. I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest new year ever.
Remember to be Nice and my dad will bring you more goodies next Christmas!
Poor Ebenezer. He's the guy you loved to hate, until he found his Christmas Spirit. So it seems like an oxymoron to be looking for the "best" Scrooge. But that is the question I pose to you now.
Here are my five favorite Scrooges:
Okay, this is one actor with some serious Christmas issues. First he played The Grinch in the 2000 live-action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. A mere nine years later, the Dumb and Dumber star bah-humbugged his way through Disney's motion-capture-animated version of A Christmas Carol. How many lumps of coal did this guy get from Santa anyway?
At the height of his Fonziness, Winkler brought Dickens' character stateside, renaming him Benedict Slade, for the 1979 TV movie An American Christmas Carol. More recently, the former Fonz has celebrated the season with appearances in the TV movies Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year on Hallmark, both from 2008.
A two-time Academy Award winner and thrice Batman's butler, Sir Michael sang his bah-humbugs to Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and a trio of Muppety ghosts in the 1992 musical comedy The Muppet Christmas Carol. He was still pretty mean.
Talk about a method actor! Mr. McDuck modeled his whole life on his Dickensian namesake. The miserly duck first appeared in his nephew's comic book in 1947, eventually headlining his own series, Uncle Scrooge, beginning in 1952. But it wasn't until 1983 that he finally got to portray his "hero," Ebenezer Scrooge, on the big screen in the Oscar-nominated short Mickey's Christmas Carol.
Shakespearean actor and former Starfleet commander Jean-Luc "Patrick Stewart" Picard took the conn for TNT's 1999 adaptation of A Christmas Carol after creating a one-man stage show based on the novel that he performed on Broadway and in London. As convincing a portrayal as a holodeck simulation.
I know, I know. You're all waiting for the man with bag. He's coming. I promise. I should know. He's my dad. Like the song says, old Mr. Kringle is soon gonna jingle all your trebles away.
This swingin' jingle was first made famous by jazz singer Kay Starr in 1950. More recently, Boston University's student a cappella ensemble, The Treblemakers, performed their festive rendition as part of BU's Holiday Harmonies series. Enjoy!
Lords-a-leaping! We're just one week away from the most wonderful day of the year!
In the air, there's a feeling of Christmas.
Even stoplights blink a bright red and green.
Those lyrics are from the song "Silver Bells," written for the 1951 film The Lemon Drop Kid.
Bob Hope must pay his gambling debts to gangsters by Christmas Eve, or else. He tries to raise the money by dressing as a streetcorner Santa collecting "donations," then opens an illegal casino to scam more loot from little old ladies. That may not sound very wholesome, but he manages to stay off Santa's Naughty List by introducing us to this classic song:
Released during the extended holiday season in March of 1951, the movie co-stars Marilyn Maxwell, who joins Hope in singing about silver bells, Christmas time in the city, and Santa's big scene.
Yes, Virginia, very soon it will be Christmas Day!
So, a beautiful Christmas tree arrived at the White House this year promptly on the day after Thanksgiving.
I hope Bo and Sunny aren't thinking what I think they're thinking.
A week later, Mrs. Obama welcomed children from Santa's Really Nice List to see the decorations for her "favorite time of year" and have some delicious milk and cookies.
The following night, the president lit up the beautiful National Christmas Tree, then his wife led a spirited reading of one of the best poems ever written, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," by Clement Clarke Moore.
Does all this national merriment mean the War on Christmas is over? Only Grinchy O'Reilly can say for sure.
American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel knows how busy Santa is, so he and his sidekick decided to help out and take care of some of that double-checking Santa always has to do with his Naughty and Nice Lists.
Santa truly appreciates Jimmy's assistance. This saved him a lot of time.
And here's a brand new Christmas song that tells the true story of how Santa started the tradition of giving coal to children on the Naughty List and what you can do with the filthy lump if you get one. Jimmy calls "Joel, the Lump of Coal" by The Killers "the greatest holiday song ever recorded by non-chipmunks."
I'm lobbying to get this song added to the caroling curriculum at North Pole High.
With less than three weeks till the Big Day, things are pretty crazy up here at the North Pole.
I'm happy to see so many people are picking up my book to read on their Kindles or stuff into someone's stocking. I hope you enjoy it.
Guest Blog Post
I don't normally write about writing here, but if you're curious about how I approach my authorial craft, you might enjoy a guest post I contributed to WriteVault.com about my experiences working with a brilliant editor. Write Vault is a great service for independent writers to protect their intellectual property.
Merry Thank Yous
I'm sending big candy cane hugs to all the great websites that have recommend my book while it's on sale. If you're always on the lookout for free or bargain-priced ebooks, check out these fantastic sites and subscribe to their free newsletters, then follow them on Twitter and Facebook!
Weather Report for Denver, Colorado:
Looks like it's going to be raining CANDY CANES!
Hammond's Candies is having a Candy Cane Festival this December 12th and 13th. Is this in my honor? I'm flattered. Here's a video from last year's super sweet mile-high Christmaspalooza:
Both my dad and my mom made an appearance. How cool is that?
I was beginning to think December would never get here, but now the most wonderful month of the year is finally upon us!
Want something more to fa-la-la about? For the first TWELVE DAYS of December, the newly updated electronic edition of my book is just $1.99. That's less than the cost of a hot chocolate at Starbucks. It's also more entertaining and just as delicious.
So while you're waiting for Santa to slide down your chimney, enjoy the true behind-the-scenes stories of what really goes into making Christmas happen, in North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus. Merry Cyber Monday!
To all my friends in the U.S., I wish you a Merry Thanksgiving.
The festive turkey feast is quite important to us here in the North
Pole -- because so many of you can't seem to get serious about Christmas
until you get this other holiday out of the way. So after today, no
more excuses. You'd better haul out the holly.
This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for many things.
I'm thankful that Taylor Swift won a special award at the AMAs this week, because that girl really needs a little recognition.
I'm thankful that none of my friends at North Pole High have been drafted to fight in the War on Christmas. I'm thankful for eggnog and mistletoe and peppermint milkshakes and candy canes dipped in chocolate.
I'm super thankful for reaching 3,000 followers on Twitter this week!
And I'm thankful to each and every one of my 3,000 followers. Including you, if you follow.
I'm super-duper thankful to the Kindle elves for fixing a bug in the Kindle edition of my critically acclaimed book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus.
On some Kindle devices, the ending was cut off. If you think you may have been affected by this, contact me using the 'Contact Me" form in the sidebar on the right hand side of my web site and I'll help you upgrade to the brand new 2nd Edition!
In addition to the technical fix, this edition, which is also available for the Nook and other eReader devices, includes a brand new, exclusive, in-depth interview with the author (me), as well as a handy Reading Group Guide with questions and topics for discussion!
If you purchased the paperback edition from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version, with this fun bonus content, for just ninety-nine cents.
And if you're new to North Pole High, be on the lookout for a super generous Black Friday discount on the ebook in all formats tomorrow! Who knows? The price cut might even be in effect by the time you finish your turkey tonight!
Less than a month to go! Soon it will be Santa's big day! It's definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmastime in the city. When you finish your turkey tomorrow, you'll no longer have an excuse. Put up your tree, string up the lights, and SING!
I love this bouncy, snappy rendition of one of my favorite classic carols, Silver Bells, by Canadian singer Meaghan Smith, from her 2009 release, It Snowed. See how she makes the trees light up just by touching them? She might really be from the North Pole.
As saxophonist Dave Koz and his friend, South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, prepare to embark on their annual holiday jazz tour, they have a hilarious disagreement over some of the lyrics to The Christmas Song.
For the record, yes, reindeer really do know how to fly.
Want to find out about my writing process and what inspires me to write and how I went about finding a publisher? Gee, you're nosy. Well, okay then. Go read this interview I did with my friends at Book Goodies!
While you're there, take a look at all the great free and bargain-priced ebooks they list, and sign up for their newsletter too. You won't want to miss their jam-packed YA holiday book buyer's gift guide. (Guess whose book was selected to be featured in it?)
Recently unearthed video of Christmas singing sensations Idina Menzel (Holiday Wishes) and Michael Bublé (Christmas) when they were kids shows they always liked to dance to winter favorite, Baby, It's Cold Outside. Weren't they adorbs? They even changed the controversial date-rape line to "Say, was that a wink?" How cute!
You can tell this is really Idina & Michael by their voices, and because when they look in the mirror, they can see their future selves. I'm still waiting for the elves to make me a mirror like that. They say they have one but it won't work for me because I never age.
I absolutely adore Pentatonix's mash-up of "Winter Wonderland" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy" from their new release, That's Christmas to Me. It's a very McFerrin Christmas. My only suggestion is they should have changed it to "Don't Worry, Be MERRY."
When asked to demonstrate her vocal talents while promoting The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 on Late Show with David Letterman last week, Jennifer Lawrence chose one of my favorite Christmas songs to massacre.
Hope you have a holly jolly Christmas, J-Law! And a glass of beer? :)
Those of you who pre-registered in October, thank you. I can't wait to see your videos! If you did not register in October, it's not too late. Just post your video any time during Round One and send its link to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as it's up. Round One begins at midnight, Pacific time, on November 1, 2014, and ends at midnight, Pacific time, on November 30, 2014. The earlier in November you upload your video, the more time you will have to gather likes, views, and comments needed to become a Finalist, so don't wait till the last minute. Could you imagine what would happen if Santa and the elves waited till the last minute to bring you Christmas? Be sure to read all the rules and terms and conditions and stuff first.
UPDATE: As of November 11, submissions for this contest are no longer open.
(The elves sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused.)
So, my dad promised he won't put you on his Naughty List for clicking on Bitches n Prose. That's because, in addition to all the great book reviews from one of Goodreads' top 1% reviewers, Jillyn has posted an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from my critically-acclaimed book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus.
Read all about how I was forced to work on a school Christmas tree project with a boy who hates Christmas in this passage I like to call, "The Art of Designing Christmas Trees," which has never been seen anywhere on the internet before.
Last December I borrowed Daddy's sleigh to do an interview in Hollywood, U.S.A., on the incredible Create with Jenna podcast. We had such a blast, Jenna invited me to do a guest blog post on how you can be creative and Christmassy right now! Check it out, and then peruse all of Jenna's other inspiring posts and projects while you're there!
Obviously you can tell it's getting closer to Christmas now that I'm
getting out for appearances all over cyberspace. I'm beyond proud to
have my book listed at pretty-hot.com.
Rather than send Jenny the same old boilerplate back-cover copy I've used everywhere else, I had one of Daddy's smartest marketing elves whip up a modified synopsis of the story. Read it and let us know what you think in the comments.
Pretty-hot.com is a pretty hot chocolate resource, so be sure to browse the many other wonderful books listed on the site!
My thanks to Jenny, Jenna, and Jillyn for all the fun and excitement. Have a Merry October!
Lords-a-leaping! My Christmas Countdown app says we only have THREE MONTHS left to make Christmas happen!
Rest assured, Santa, Rudy, Mr. Polar Bear, Tinsel, Snowflake, Silentnight, and every tiny little elf and reindeer at the Pole are working round the tree to bring you the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!
But we need YOUR help! We can't keep up this pace for three months without your Christmas Spirit. PLEASE make a video so we can all see how much you're looking forward to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
And if making thousands of elves happy and having a magical Christmas isn't enough incentive, how about this: We're giving away $300 in prizes to the makers of the bestest Christmas videos we see!
This is it. The most busiest time of the year has begun for us here in the North Pole. Everyone is smiling and singing Christmas carols. The elves have made over ten million toys so far. They'd better get it in gear, or my dad will have to outsource some of their work to the penguins in the South Pole again.
I'm so excited because school has started again. In addition to caroling, gift wrapping, tree decorating, and merriment classes, I've signed up for the Joy to the World Club. And of course we're having a blast playing reindeer games in Phys. Ed.
What's YOUR favorite part of Christmas? Think fast. You only have 100 days left to be JOLLY!
Remember: The next 100 days are all in the Top 100 days of the year, because they're all one day closer to CHRISTMAS!
I want to thank each and every one of you who stopped by and made July MERRY by entering my giveaway. And now...
Stephanie will be getting an early start on Christmas this year with a signed copy of my critically acclaimed memoir, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus. How Stephalicious is that? I'll even have the elves throw in a few extra North Pole High bookmarks she can share with her friends.
You know me. I love to give presents, just like my dad, so I really wish everybody could have won, but, shhhhh, don't tell the elves -- it's not really Christmas yet! Luckily, they've made an early Christmas possible for EVERYONE with electronic and stocking-stuffer-sized paperback editions of my book at super reasonable prices. Head on over to the North Pole High bookstore to get yours while supplies last!
I'm soooo happy to see so much enthusiasm for CHRISTMAS in July!
So, my giveaway is for one of the few remaining ARCs for my critically acclaimed memoir, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus. It's about this new boy at school and how my dad, Santa Claus, didn't want me seeing him, and how Christmas almost didn't happen because of it!
Have you ever wished there was a magazine that only published stories about CHRISTMAS?
Now there is!
Flip through the pages of KRINGLE, powered by Flipboard, and before you know it, you'll have spent half your half-Christmas Day enjoying the more than 100 carefully curated Christmas articles I've personally flipped into KRINGLE just for you! Go ahead, click on the cover and subscribe for free!
See who's releasing a new Christmas album this year!
Find out what new Christmas movies are in the works in Hollywood!
Read about what YOUR Christmas tree says about YOU!
Learn which store won this year's race to put out Christmas items earliest!
Follow tasty recipes for delicious year-round Christmas treats!
Browse photos of beautiful and unusual Christmas trees!
Stay informed with all the latest developments in the War on Christmas!
And, yep, there'll be a few articles about my Dad in there, too.
So check out KRINGLE today. It's free.
Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of it, okay?
I could scream, too. In just seven months, Christmas will be here!
You know who else is excited? Cosmos producer Seth MacFarlane has just recorded a Christmas album with Nora Jones and Sara Bareilles. Let's hope the Family Guy creator doesn't do to Christmas what he did to the Oscars.
I've got tons of jingle bells to polish and tune between now and December, but before I leave, I'm happy to announce that my critically-acclaimed memoir, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus, is now available for the first time on the Nook! If that's the format you've been waiting for, head on over to Barnes & Noble now. If you wait until Christmastime, there may be a line!
Only eight months to go.Experts say NOW is the time to start Christmas shopping. I disagree. I say now is the time to tell SANTA what you want for Christmas. You can get your early Christmas list in by leaving a comment on this blog post and I'll make sure Daddy sees it.
Big CANDY CANE HUGS
to my beautiful
North Pole High
FAN OF THE MONTH
Ogeyi from California
Post your most Christmassy picture on my Facebook page showing your North Pole High Christmas Spirit and if you get picked as my Fan of the Month, you'll get a free Christmas Wish.
(Wishes not guaranteed to come true and have no monetary value. Void where prohibited. Decision of elves on Candycane's Fan-of-the-Month committee is final. By submitting a photo, you authorize Candycane Claus to post it on all her social media channels.)
Unfortunately, I also have to put them on the Naughty List for throwing away their Christmas trees in the first place. Here in the North Pole, we keep our Christmas trees up year-round. Maybe if your halls were still decked in boughs of holly you wouldn't be in such a bah-humbug mood over this. #HoHoHo
Merry 25th of February. Just ten more months till CHRISTMAS!!!
The elves have been pretty busy keeping tabs on who's been Naughty and Nice this year. Bet you didn't know we started keeping track this early? Well, we do. And so far, we've found one very Naughty person who found a very Naughty (and extremely dangerous) way to get rid of his leftover Christmas candy. Santa does NOT approve!
Didn't go too well for him. Here's a little secret: Santa uses MAGIC to get down the chimney!
Not all the Christmas news this month was tragic. In England, some quick-thinking blackbirds nested and laid their eggs in a Christmas tree, forcing the town of Cramlington, Northumberland, to keep their Christmas Spirit going a little longer this year. :)
One of the coolest Christmas trees of the year is not still up...
It's January 25th. One month down, only 11 more to go!
People always ask me what we do when Christmas is over.
Christmas is NEVER over in the North Pole. But we do lay low in the first month after Christmas. Santa goes into hiding to avoid all the complaints from boys and girls who were naughtier than they realized and didn't get everything they wanted for Christmas.
Like the Google+ team, who sent me this mean letter when I created my profile...
So they're basically saying Google doesn't believe Santa Claus is real, and therefore I am not real. Well! I hope they enjoyed their COAL! Ho Ho Ho!
And speaking of Grinches, look who's coming back....
I know another classic Christmas book that might make a good movie. In fact, Nick Abdo, the producer of one of my mom's favorite movies, Beaches, gave my book a 5-star review on Amazon last month!
"Cool characters and a story that will appeal to older kids and adults
alike," said the Big-Time Hollywood Producer! I'm so flattered. :)
And here's some more Christmas movie news: A movie called Happy Christmas premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this month. The holiday film stars Lena Dunham of HBO's Girls and Anna Kendrick of Twilight.
A review in The Guardian said, "Christmas plays little part in the narrative other than as an excuse to bring everyone together," but called it "undeniably charming." I'm just glad to know that some people can still appreciate the undeniable charm of Christmas even in January. :)
Until Christmas, stay on the Nice List. You can do it. It's only eleven months! xoxo