Coyotes Howl in Fallbrook

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt
Tis the day after Christmas and all through the house Hangs the scent of dead rodent — fruit rat or mouse?

So I dump the rhyming verse, zenfully accept the consequences of living in an old house amid citrus trees, and take to incense, breathing deeply the swirls of supposed sandalwood.

Then I survey the remnants of what had been our annual embarrassment of riches under the tree — so decadent a quantity of gifts that every year some unsuspecting visitor feels compelled to utter, “Wow, that’s a lot of presents!” and I feel compelled to prevaricate: “We have a lot of nieces and nephews.”

Caca de toro. We do not have an excess of wee ones toddling through our house for the holidays. Nope, it is we adults who revel with childlike abandon at the thrill of tearing off perfectly looped bows, ripping through expertly cornered wrapping and rejoicing in the receipt of yet another utterly unnecessary but absolutely desirable thing.

Who does not fancy Marvin’s Magic Tumbling Wall Bugz — Including Amazing Leaf Launchers — or the fascinating political treatise, “Loving the Cheney Within,” or a Bichon Frise 2011 Calendar or a plastic polar bear that poos butterscotch flavored jellybeans?

That one among us — or maybe two, three possibly — wants to launch the Bitchin’ Fries against the wall and pelt them with butterscotch poos is an anomaly to our typical ho, ho, ho-ness. We love the whole gift thing — receiving and giving. Well, honestly, receiving is better, but giving’s OK, particularly books; we love to give books. And we love the food, the ham and the turkey and the whatnots and oh, the candies and baked goods! Although at this point, if I see one more piece of shortbread, I’m going to barf. … No, I’ll probably eat it and then barf.

That said, it is just about time to settle in to digest one of the many new books that will have to be stacked on the floor until we replace a bathtub with bookshelves. And this causes me to reflect on the wondrous year we’ve enjoyed word-wise. From the monthly readings at Café des Artistes to the workshops that have drawn out enough closet writers to populate Madame Therese Geoffrin’s salon, words have flown about town lifting us up and tossing us in the arc of a plot with the art of a poem. And, in the spirit of peeking under the tree to see if we missed one last treasure of ribbon and wonder, these writerly folk have decided to keep the gifts flowing just a little longer.

For the next fortnight or so, we’ll publish each day a piece or two from the works of these brave souls who’ve abandoned the solitude of their private barrancas to toss their words to the world. Some new, some seasoned, writers all, they give you Coyotes Howl in Fallbrook.

Visit daily, read a bit, let them know what you think and join the howling if you like.

Perhaps if we howl loud enough, the coyotes will return to dine on my rodents — and wouldn’t that be a lovely gift!

Love, K-B

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