The Least Merry Elf


Jolper used to like working at Santa’s Workshop with the other elves, but over time he became frustrated with the lack of efficiency and the tedium of making the same toys over and over and over.

He’s tired of his job, annoyed at being forced to wear red and green all year long, and frustrated at having to continually fend off the co-worker who’s decided Jolper is perfect marriage material.

One night he goes for a walk wearing a pair of boots that he, in a moment of anger, cut the jingle bells off of. He runs into a young woman who’s reading a book about the history of Christmas – a history Jolper has never heard of before.


I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. We moved around a lot when I was little, so I can easily pin down my age based on where we lived, which means I was maybe six when I first made this proclamation. My writing has changed quite a bit over the years, although I am still proud of the short story I wrote in 8th grade about an orangutan named Inconspicuous (I was quite taken with that word).

My writing focuses on characters. I’ve created stories about ghosts, clones, monsters, escape artists, mermaids, circus performers…I’m all over the map. But in every single story I do my utmost to get into the minds and hearts of my characters. I love to put them in awful situations to see how they feel, and how they think. I want them to agonize over their choices, and I want what they choose – or don’t choose – to matter. I want the reader to feel joy when a character succeeds, and to cry when they don’t – just like I do when I’m writing the story.

Writing is far more fun and rewarding than any other job I’ve ever had, and I’ve been fortunate to have some good day jobs. None of them have ever had the appeal for me that writing does.

My ‘free’ time is spent in a futile quest to wear out my two herding dogs since I haven’t given in and gotten them their own herd of sheep.