A Copywriter’s Blog
I totally lied back there Ben Levy 26, December

I actually wrote 54,217 words for NaNoWriMo.

I intended to be done after the 26th, and give myself a break for a while before trying to revisit some of the less finished stories and edit the more finished ones.

Then I got this idea for another story on November 30th, and wrote a further 3,389 words before 12am.

Which proves that this at-least-ill-advised-if-not-possibly-flat-out-insane experiment was a total success. I can now convert (questionable) story ideas into words at will. Or at least into a word document full of nonsensical ramblings. My method appears to be less about creating a chronological tale and more about assembling a loose collection of plot holes. But! That’s ok because none of you chumps will ever see that draft. As far as you’ll know, I shit perfect prose and impeccable formatting every time a story comes into my head.

Unless of course you read my blog. Which you just have. So, crap.

Not everything I wrote was usable, and often times it was the stuff I had the least faith in that now appears to have the most potential. The next lessons will be how to re-write, and re-re-write, and fill plot holes, and then edit.

Sounds pretty painful. But so was this, and I think it turned out pretty well.

If you’re sensitive about religion, go read Family Circus. The following post is not for you.

Question for my Christian brothers: What’s the deal with Santa?


It’s really been bothering me. It’s not because you’re lying to your kids. There are plenty of acceptable reasons to do that (Mommy and I are just wrestling, sweetie, go back to bed). It’s because I don’t understand why you’re lying to your kids.

Why the subterfuge? You’re giving your kid presents for crying out loud! Gifts! Loot! Why give the credit to some jolly fat guy in a robe? Santa doesn’t have to give them a time-out, or tell them not to run with scissors, or work overtime and sell his sperm just to afford that new video game system for them. Why should he get all the love?

The question puzzled me. But, with a bit of research* I’ve managed to deduce how all this “Santa Claus” business got started.

About 1500 years ago, in ancient Sumeria, there was a tradition that families would celebrate surviving the winter solstice by giving gifts to one another. It’s my belief that shortly after the tradition was started (like five minutes after), a child asked for an absurd present from their parents. Their own camel, for example. At this point, the parents knew they were screwed.

On the morning of the gift exchange, the child woke up, received their stuffed camel, and promptly threatened their parents with lawsuits, death, and tell-all-books. It was at this moment the wisdom of the ancients became apparent. “It wasn’t us” said the parents, “all winter-solstice gifts are given by the great Sana Claus. We asked him to give you a camel- a REAL one-but he must have gotten it wrong. The jerk.”


Over the years, of course, the mythical figure became more and more hateful. “He wears a red suit, the color of Satan”. “He’s fat, and everyone knows fat people suck”. “He laughs all the time, and he never feels bad for giving you socks wrapped inside a PS3 box”. Simply put, I think Santa was created as a scapegoat.

Sure, sometimes Santa got credit for the good presents. But that was an acceptable loss, considering he was always there to take the heat when there were clothes under the tree. And so, one more religious mystery solved.

Except, my theory still doesn’t explain Easter. You give chocolate, for crap’s sake! How could you possibly go wrong with that? And what’s with the Eggs? Just stick some Godiva under their pillow and wait for the store-bought love!

*Absolute horseshit. I can assure you that no research of any kind went into this theory. I was a religion/anthropology minor in college. Which lets me assure you with great authority that any similarity to actual history or tradition in this post is purely accidental.

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