A VERY Happy New Year!

The Hour Between the Years

Round the dial the shadows run
To trace the path of solstice sun
‘Fore shadows claim the dial entire
And new moon climbs to heaven’s spire.

This day, the shortest of the year
Marks the spinning of the sphere,
One cycle spent, its seasons done
The solar tale renewed, begun.

But in the hour when seasons turn
That hour when blue candles burn,
To mark the pass of time’s own ghost
We’ll offer up a timeless toast.

To hope, to light, an end to fears!
In that hour between the years,
The hour when beasts may speak as men,
And long-dead loved ones live again.

A sacred spoke upon the wheel,
When all we dream is seeming real,
Not yesterday, nor the days ahead,
But an endless skein of the weaver’s thread.

I’ll hold you in that timeless time
And bind you with enchanter’s rhyme,
And time will stop, on this longest night,
And you will be my brightest light.

An hour, no more, oh precious span,
We cannot stay the sun’s own plan,
No plea avails, time scorns our tears,
And we pass the hour between the years.

But longest night gives birth to day
And we resume our destined way,
Reborn and strong, bright as the sun,
Our hopes, our love, renewed, begun.

Copyright 2007 Angela Caperton

Be Happy, Be Safe, and May Your New Year be Prosperous and Filled with Joy!

Ghosts of Christmas Told

Christmas traditions in the United States are a smorgasbord of rituals from Europe, mixed in the blender of regional migrations, but the dish did not really jell until the rise of mass media in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Thomas Nast, Coca Cola, and right-wing religious wingnuts, among countless others, have helped Yuletide morph into the commercial, de-paganized holiday so many of us have a love-hate relationship with today.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the good parts of Christmas.  I love giving and receiving gifts that are chosen with real feeling, visiting and celebrating with family members, some I see every day, others not for years, and the marking of midwinter with festivals of lights and feasting to remind us of our place on the seasonal wheel.

But, honestly, I wish we had kept more of the tradition of imagination that our ancestors cherished at this time of year. I think our Christmases would be livelier and more fun with a Krampus in them.  Another fine custom that never really made the leap from England to the US is the tradition of the Christmas ghost story.

Because our midwinter holidays are rooted in myth and legend, ghosts are right at home. Several European cultures hold the belief that the dead return on Christmas Eve to mingle with the living – the Finnish Christmas sauna began as a ritual bath with dead ancestors – but the English made a literary tradition of spooky stories at the yuletide.

The most famous example, of course, is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but other writers, such as ghost story master M.R. James marked the season with tales of haunting and dread, and ghost stories were a staple of the English “annual” given as presents to young boys and girls. Even in recent years, the BBC had a tradition of presenting a televised ghost story every year during the holiday season.

Sadly, like so much of our culture, Christmas has been sanitized. We’ve rejected the dark companions and the ghosts, and I think in some ways we’ve lost an important element to the holiday.  We yearn for light every day, but without the dark, how do we know the value of what we so fervently pray for?   The ghosts and the Krampuses of Christmas are part of our past and they are likely always to be lurking at our thresholds – or coming down our chimneys – so why not just save the scratches on the door and the soot tracks through the house.

Open the front door and let them in… 

(For a dark. erotic Christmas celebration, read my holiday story, “St. Nicholas’ Eve”.)

eXtasy Holiday Xtravaganza – Dec 12 – 14!!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Yes, it’s that time of year again, and one of my publishers, eXtasy Books, is gearing up to host their three day holiday Xtravaganza!

Join me and other eXtasy authors December 12 – 14 at the eXtasy Yahoo Group, The eX Factor,
for one heck of a holiday party! Chat with authors and readers, take
fun quizzes, ask ANYTHING of the authors, enjoy excerpts, be entered to
win some GREAT prizes, and have a ton of fun!

I will be one of the hostesses/moderators on December 13, from 6-8 PM EST, and December 14 from 8-10 AM EST.

Check out the prizes eXtasy’s giving away, as well as other author sponsored prizes here!

I will be giving away two fabulous original ornaments crafted by local
artists, and a signed paperback copy of my 2008 Eppie winner, WOMAN OF THE

ALSO!!  From December 1st – 31st, enjoy 30% off all eBook back lists at eXtasy Books.  That includes my three stories epublished by them!  Check out all the titles at eXtasy Books.

A Tale for the Season

I’ve posted a holiday story on my website. I wrote this for the monthly Erotica Readers and Writers theme weekend a few weeks back, and thought it would make a nice little gift for my readers and friends. I’ll leave it up through New Years and try to find it a home in print for next year.

Last year, Drake wrote a blog entry about the Krampus and some of the darker traditions of the Yule season. He and I thought this story would be a good way to mark one year of blogging here and to celebrate St. Nicholas’ Eve and all of the delights of midwinter.

Please let me know if you like it.

Read St. Nicholas’ Eve.