Author Archives: Christy B

About Christy B

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer, author and poet. As the owner of When Women Inspire, she supports female initiatives to positively impact and change the world. In addition, she owns Poetic Parfait, a site dedicated to poetry and all kinds of literary goodness. Feel free to connect across the networks!

Words to Walter de la Mare's Mistletoe

Poetry Analysis of ‘Misletoe’ by Walter de la Mare

When Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) wrote the poem “Mistletoe,” he may not have realized the longevity of his words. “Mistletoe,” which first published in 1913, remains popular today. The 14-line poem is easily found online in several Christmas poetry collections, and I have been a fan of it for several years.

Structure of the 1913 Mistletoe Poem

The English poet de la Mare combines a clever rhyme scheme with flowing lines over two verses. He writes in the first-person perspective, and, as with many of his other poems, “Mistletoe” paints a deceptively simple scene and featured ghostly imagery (if this topic intrigues you, perhaps a read of his book Eight Tales would be one to check out). If you read the lines of this Christmas poem out loud, you may notice it has a musical quality about it.

What is Walter de la Mare’s  ‘Mistletoe’ About?

The first few lines offer a snapshot of the central character sitting alone in a room under the mistletoe. A reader may assume it is nighttime as there is “one last candle burning low, / All the sleepy dancers gone.” The narrator is painted as being tired and lonely.

With the background set, de la Mare then writes that “Some one came, and kissed me there.” He repeats the sentiment at the end of the poem: “Stooped in the still and shadowy air / Lips unseen – and kissed me there.” The kiss is from a stranger and the mood the poet creates is eerie.

Continue reading

Short story about a snow outing

One Leg at a Time: A Christmas Story

We recently had snow in Victoria, BC and it inspired this short story. I hope you all are having a nice December and, just think, it’s almost Christmas time!

One Leg at a Time

“Here are your pants and coat,” mom said, handing them both to me. I was eight now, and there would be none of this put on my clothes for me nonsense. It was a one leg at time routine, sure and steady, pulling up the waterproof red pants over my fleece leggings.

Now in the warm outfit, I slowly made my way to the front door as my bulky legs wouldn’t let me go at the quick pace I wanted. Mom had to help this time with putting on my boots as bending over would have thrown off my balance and sent me headfirst into the wooden shoe rack.

First, she put the plastic bags that once held loaves of bread over each socked foot, one at a time. No snow was going to dampen my feet if we could help it. Then I dove my wrapped feet into each boot held in place on the ground by my mom’s solid grip. No need to ask how I knew that grip was such a good one.

Continue reading

Science Fiction and Bio-Terrorism

Women Survivors of Bio-Terrorism: Dana Scully and Elizabeth Shaw

It’s all about science fiction today with this guest post from the talented writer Natacha Guyot. You may remember her from a popular post called My Love of Spaceships. I’m happy to have her back to talk more about sci-fi, this time with an emphasis on two female characters whose names may sound familiar: Dana Scully and Elizabeth Shaw. The stage is all yours, Natacha!

♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀

Guest Post from Writer Natacha Guyot

Author Natacha Guyot Discusses Science Fiction and Women.

Today, I would like to give a closer look at two female characters who could not only survive their ordeal but turn their circumstances around in an empowered manner. These two are Dana Scully from the X-Files and Elizabeth Shaw from Prometheus.

Both are submitted to traumatic experiments against their will. Several events occur between seasons 2 to 5 of the X-Files. Dana Scully is abducted and has her reproductive material harvested, leading her to be pronounced infertile.

What was stolen from Scully was partially used to create a human and alien hybrid daughter, Emily, she briefly knows before the girl’s death. Scully was also implanted with a chip during her abduction whose removal causes cancer.

In Prometheus, Elizabeth Shaw was impregnated with alien genetic material, thus finding herself pregnant with a monstrous fetus, although she stated earlier in the movie that she couldn’t conceive children. Continue reading

Holiday Reading with Sue Moorcroft's Book

Why Write a Christmas Book? Author Sue Moorcroft Explains

Please join me in welcoming author Sue Moorcroft to the blog! She offers insights into writing a Christmas book and the origins of her latest novel The Christmas Promise in this holiday guest post. Take it away, Sue!

*<[:{)  *<[:{)  *<[:{)

Writing a Christmas book was a new experience for me. I’d written quite a few short stories for magazines set at or around Christmas but never anything longer. I’m not the world’s biggest Christmas fan.

I suppose there are three reasons I wrote The Christmas Promise. Here’s the chronology:

Waterstones had given me an opportunity to sign books in my local store. While I was handing out my bookmarks and chatting to prospective readers I was able to observe the table at the front of the store piled high with novels featuring Christmas. Those novels were just walking out of the store. A couple of people even came up to look at my books and said that if there had been a Christmas one they would have bought it because they make such good presents for friends or stocking fillers for relatives. Continue reading