Friday, December 1, 2023

Want a New Short Story Everyday for the Christmas Season?

Scott D. Parker

We are in December now and the 2023 holiday season has begun. I’ve already been listening to my Christmas albums—always start with Chicago’s three Christmas albums—but made a fun discovery this year: Richard Marx’s “Christmas Spirit.” Boy, is that a fun song, and you simply have to watch the video.

I’ve also started my season’s readings and, for the past past five years, my annual Christmas reading is anchored by an Advent calendar of short stories.

The WMG Holiday Spectacular is the brainchild of veteran author Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She wondered what it would be like to have a new short story each day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Now, in its fifth year, the WMG Holiday Spectacular is one of the things I look forward every year.

Rusch curates all the stories and is mindful of where in the season certain stories land. There are hard-boiled stories but not during the last days leading up to Christmas. There are other holidays in the season like St. Nicholas’s Day so if one of the authors submitted a story that goes with that day, that’s what you’ll get.

Everyday, you get an email with Rusch’s introduction to that day’s story including genre and mood and link’s to the author’s website. You can read the stories on any device you prefer. I prefer my Kindle Paperwhite but the browser experience is perfectly good. It’s especially good during lunch hours when my Paperwhite is at home and I can’t wait to read a story.

There have been some gems so far. “The Great Tamale Sauce Bakeoff” by Kat Simons mixes romance and cooking while C.H. Hung delivers a great hard-boiled story in “The Dead Ringer.” There are some nice, positive messages from Irette Y. Patterson’s “Tremelo” as well as Rusch’s own “Hidden Treasures.”

If you subscribe today, you’ll get all the stories up to now and then you’ll be in for a treat. If you need the math, it’s $25 for 40 short stories. It’s a no brainer and it’ll help enliven your season all the way to that New Year’s Day hangover.

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