The January Louisville SCBWI Chit Chatters Social is tomorrow!

(the icy conditions should end by noon)

Anyone from Kentucky, Tennessee, and surrounding states is welcome.

Monday, January 8, 6 to 8 pm. No RSVP required.

The first hour will be for socializing, the second hour for optional critiques. Writers can read for three minutes. Illustrators are always welcome.

Barnes & Noble’s Café, 801 South Hurstbourne Parkway, 1 mile north of I-64, on the right. This is NOT the Paddock Shopping Center B&N.
You do not need to be an SCBWI member to attend. For more information, contact Charles Suddeth csuddeth@iglou.com  502-339-9349, c 502-649-9944

I want to wish everyone a Super Happy New Years!

New Years Cherokee Style: Alihelisdi itse udetiyv’asadisv! ᎠᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎢᏤ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᎠᏌᏗᏒ! Happy New Years!

Happy New Year baby boy, studio isolated on white.

I want to wish everyone a happy, super-safe New Year’s Eve!
As the Cherokee’s say: Nvnohi tsaksesdesdi! ᏅᏃᎯ ᏣᎧᏎᏍᏕᏍᏗ! Be careful on the road! (Thanks to Cherokee Language & Culture Forum)

Wounded Knee Massacre: December 29, 1890. Over 200 Lakota Sioux men, women, & children killed by the US 7th Cavalry in South Dakota. Probably the worst massacre in US history until 911.

Merry Christmas! (and Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa) What follows is my twisted humor:

Old Fashioned Hillbilly Christmas 2017

Hello All,

We tore the CONDEMNED signs down & have once again gathered at the old home place. (don’t tell the sheriff) It turned cold, but the neighbors had plenty of firewood. The kids kept the sheriff busy while Grandpa & Uncle Bob borrowed the town Christmas tree.

Cousin Al is out of jail, but he has monitors on his ankles and wrists. He took the kids to see Santa, though Santa tried to hide under the sleigh. The kids took Santa’s beard & boots while Cousin Al borrowed the reindeer. Santa can get more, we hope. (roast reindeer is so good)

The kids hid Uncle Bob’s bourbon, so he is tearing the house apart looking for it. The kids are always so cute, but Uncle Bob is crying. A neighbor gave Uncle Joe milk & eggs, because he promised not to play his accordion. (the kids had already buried it in the pigpen) Now, Cousin Cindy can make eggnog, providing Uncle Bob finds the bourbon.

Grandma can’t read, but that doesn’t stop her from making a Shaker lemon pie. Where are all the salt & pepper shakers? Grandma wouldn’t? Would she? The baby’s face is stuck in the pie. Now the baby is crying. And elves are at the door, demanding that we give them the reindeer back. Grouchy elves. They should mind their own business.

Uncle Bob found the bourbon, & he passed out. The baby got sick on him, but at least the mess isn’t all over the floor where I would have to clean it up. Who gave Uncle Joe a banjo? He can’t play it, not that he would let it stop him from torturing the strings. Uncle Joe sounds like a colicky cow (his banjo, his singing is worse). Cousin Al took off all his monitors, hoping the sheriff takes him back to jail where no one can hear Uncle Joe.

Cousin Ralph wrapped the presents, but he ran out of time for tags. We will have our usual free-for-all over presents. Except Grandma is so tough she gets first pick. The kids put Cousin Al’s monitors on the elves, but Uncle Joe’s Christmas carol singing is making the reindeer sick. Santa is out by the road, so he is suspicious. (our family gets accused of everything)

Grandpa found the bourbon, & was howling with the hounds. While Cousin Ralph was trying to get Grandpa in the house, the reindeer slipped away. The elves escaped, but they are still wearing monitors, & the sheriff is chasing them. My head is pounding from too much eggnog & Uncle Joe’s wailing. And the baby just threw up all over my bunny slippers.

You guessed it, more Christmas fun just like last year.

Merry Christmas,

You know who

This is a twisted, tortured version of the Night Before Christmas, inspired by Austrian customs:

A Visit from Old Krampus

Charles Suddeth

(with profound apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house

Not a critter was stirring, not even my spouse;

The stockings were tacked by the fireplace so bare,

In hopes that Krampus would never be there;

The children were all huddling under their beds;

While visions of sumac switches tortured their heads;

And mamma in her snuggy, and I with my booze,

Had just settled ourselves for a long winter’s snooze,

When out on the road there arose such a clatter,

I leaped from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew right quickly,

Tore open the shutters and felt mighty sickly.

The moon glittered on the edge of the new-fallen snow,

Giving a daylight-luster to the objects below,

When what to my red, aching eyes did show,

But a miniature wagon and eight tiny goats to go,

With a mean old driver who raised such a rumpus,

I knew in a moment he just had to be Krampus.

Speedier than vultures his billy goats came,

And he cursed, and yelled, and called them by name:

“Now Pokey! Now, Porky! Now Antsy and Blunder!

On, Demon! On, Devil! On, Dummy and Wonder!

On the top of the roof! On the top of that wall!

Now rush away! Rush away! Rush away yall!”

As shingles before wild tornadoes do fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, jump to the sky;

So over the housetop the eight goats they flew

With the wagon full of switches, and mean, old Krampus too—

And then, in an instant, I heard on the roof

The dancing and dinging of each cloven hoof.

As I ducked down my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney old Krampus fell with a bound.

He was dressed in leather, from his head to his toe,

And his clothes were dirty and greasy to show,

A bundle of whips he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a thief who was opening his sack.

His eyes—how red they glowed! His head, how hairy!

His cheeks were like leather, his nose like a berry!

His scowling, blistered mouth was frightful to see,

And the beard on his chin was as black as could be;

The stinky cigar he held clamped in his teeth,

And smoke circled his head like a funeral wreath;

He had an ornery face and a hard-bound belly

That quivered when he cackled, like reindeer jelly.

He was thin and bony, like a wicked old elf,

And I wept when I saw him, and tried to hide myself;

A blink of his evil eye, a shake of his head

Soon let me know I had everything to dread;

He uttered no words, but went straight to his work,

Filled the stockings with coal; then swiveled with a jerk,

And laying his claws beside his hairy snout,

And giving a smirk, the back door he went out;

He shot to his wagon, to his team gave a clap,

And away they all soared with thunder and zap.

But I heard him exclaim as he dashed out of sight—

“Nightmares to all, and to all a bad night!”



Winter Solstice Warning!

Originally a Germanic bogeyman, Krampus is many things: Christmas demon (capable of great evil), Santa’s evil twin (the punisher of bad kids), or the son of Hel from Norse mythology. Krampusnacht is December 5th, but he is sometimes present at Yule/Winter Solstice or Christmas.

Twisted Christmas


Charles Suddeth


He is hairy, his beard down to his waist,

He has billy goat’s horns and cloven hooves.

His forked tongue pokes through wolf fangs,

He is nonother than Hillbilly Krampus.


He drags long chains, flicks his whip,

Clangs the devil’s dingy dinner bell,

Packs a burlap poke on his back,

Fills it with bad, little boys and girls.


He drives a rickety old wagon,

Pulled by eight ornery mules,

All splay-footed and flop-eared,

Braying and bawling and belching.


He has his certain little helpers,

Trolls and ogres and gnomes,

If you see any of them coming,

You better start running.


If you’re a good little boy or girl,

You have nothing at all to fear.

If you’ve been naughty or bad,

Old Saint Nick will never find you.


Krampus is meaner than a moonshiner,

The lucky ones, he drowns in the creek,

Still others get grilled and barbecued,

The unlucky ones get hauled off to Hell.


Now I believe in Santa Claus,

Always have, and always will.

Now of Krampus I have my doubts,

But I’m not taking any chances.


St. Nick, I’ve been good. Oh so very, very good.