Winter's coming. There's already snow on the ground where I am, and I'm sure more is on the way. That's OK by me. There's something magical about winter.
Maybe it's because the world becomes a little quieter this time of year, or maybe it's because the barren landscape has a clarity it lacks in other seasons. Or maybe the magic comes from those dark powers that spring to life as the days get shorter and the nights get longer.
I also feel there's a specific queer erotic energy that manifests at this time of year. Eros is on full obvious display in spring and summer, when beautiful men cast off their heavy winter clothes and parade through the streets and on the beaches. And there's gay witchcraft in the air during the fall, as the leaves change color and our kind gather together for Halloween celebrations.
In the winter, though, the erotic energy is more subtle. Winter energy is about what's hidden inside, ready to be discovered by the intrepid explorer, or to burst out like a wild beast...
I have a short story in the new anthology The Bears of Winter, which was published recently by Bear Bones Books. My story is called "Little Suzie," and it's about what happens when Santa gets kidnapped by his biggest fan. Let's just say there are some wacky hijinks. Don't mess with Santa.
When I was originally writing my submission for this anthology I tried to create something heartfelt and romantic. I worked on it for weeks but it never really came together. Then I decided to write something fun and sexy about Santa, and it came together in a couple of days. I guess it was holiday magic!
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Ancient European folklore is full of strange magical beings that are active in the winter. In Germany werewolves and witches roam the dark nights around the solstice, while in Scandinavian countries trolls are particularly active in winter.
Here in the US, though, it's Santa Claus who presides over the darkest winter nights. He's a powerful daddy figure who dispenses rewards and punishment. Although most Americans publicly say Santa is just for little kids, a quick search around the web will reveal that privately we believe otherwise. The jolly old elf who delivers toys is just one of his aspects. He's also a manifestation of the erotic winter energy queer men feel this time of year. Who is this strange older man who appears mysteriously in your house at night promising to give you just what you need? What's hidden under that red velvet suit or waiting for you in his magical bag of presents?
The Bears of Winter is edited by Jerry Wheeler, and also has stories by authors like Jeff Mann, Daniel Jaffe and Hank Edwards. There's plenty of good stuff in it to get you through winter.