It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and during my 15 minute break for breakfast with Regis and Kelly, I was subjected to six Christmas commercials.
Yes, it is that time of year, folks.
With the impending ‘Black Friday’ sales looming on the horizon, idiots – errr, I mean, serious bargain shoppers, are lining up in front of stores even now. Their Thanksgiving meals will be catered to them by worried relatives who fear for said shoppers’ sanity.
And people have the audacity to call me crazy.
Back on topic. What does a writer want for Christmas?
For me, all I want for Christmas is my six front teeth. Literally.
However, most writers I know still have a healthy set of choppers, so friends and family are left to ponder what else they can get their beloved, struggling author for Christmas.
Luckily for those friends and family, I have compiled this nifty little list. It’s not the end-all or be-all of every writer’s dream present, but I feel it’s a healthy start.
Besides, this is good reading material to print out while one is standing in line at 3 AM waiting for Kohls to open. After all, Best Buy and Office Depot are the next stop, opening at 5 AM… (open, open, open…)
What to get a writer for Christmas (besides four hours added to the 24 hour day):
1. A blank journal. Preferably one without NASCAR or sparkling vampires on it.
2. A massage session to relieve all the tension in the neck and shoulders. Beaucoup points if the masseuse is really cute.
3. A one time (or more) hiring of Merry Maids or said equivalent. Nothing like a clean house to start the New Year off right.
4. Gift cards to an office supply store, a book store, an online music store or a restaurant. Believe me, your author friend will love you.
5. The current year’s copy of the Writer's Market.
6. A lap top (yeah, make that writer smile!).
7. Computer accessories.
8. Event tickets. To anything. Get that writer away from the computer and back into civilization, if even for only one evening.
9. For those single authors, consider a couple weeks worth of freezer meals. This is easy to do. Every time you make something for yourself, double the recipe and place some in a freezable container. Mark the contents and date it. All the author has to do is nuke the thing and he has a good, home cooked meal.
10. Books on writing. An author can never have too many books.
11. Subscriptions to writing journals or magazines.
12. A digital voice recorder.
13. Heck, ditch the recorder and get a cell phone that has not only a voice recorder, but a camera, a video recorder, Internet – and oh, yeah, a phone too!
14. A SUPER nice pen. You know, one that doesn’t say Bic, Papermate, or Pilot on it. Perhaps they won’t lose this one.
15. A gift certificate to a host web site for their future web site.
16. If you are good at building websites, offer your own talents to your writer friend. Give your gift on a decorated certificate, redeemable at the authors leisure.
17. A good coffee machine.
18. A variety of flavored coffees, creamers and imported sugars.
19. A great mug with something witty on the front.
20. Your writer isn’t a coffee drinker? Think about a corkscrew, wine glass and a great bottle of vino. Boone’s Farm still makes Strawberry Hill.
21. For those authors whose best ideas take place in bed (get your minds out of the gutter, folks), a bed desk is practical and multi-functional. (Hey! I said to get your minds out of the gutter!)
22. Are you the creative type? Make a pair of whimsical book ends out of children’s rain boots and cement. Or use your imagination to make any kind of bookends – out of coffee cups, old teapots, etc. Salvation Army is great for this.
23. Purchase the services of a professional editor/proofreader and have the author send in his manuscript when he is done.
24. A new lap top bag. Again, preferably one without the NASCAR logo or any reference to sparkling vampires. (D@mn it! Vampires don’t sparkle!)
25. Computer programs are especially nice if they are geared toward writers.
26. A paid registration for a writers retreat or upcoming writers convention is a great way for your writer to recharge from stressful times.
27. Coffee shop gift certificates. This gets said author out of the house and into the general public, possibly eating and drinking while typing away at a table… (or people watching for inspiration for new characters).
28. Wi-Fi cards (or pre-paid Hot Spot or similar type card) – so your author’s out-of-the-house excursions don’t limit him to the library or McDonalds.
29. Your author has a sense of humor? Try making a survival kit. Include novelty pieces, such as a giant pencil or giant eraser. Order customized notepads, with messages at the top like: "From the demented mind of Dawn” or “Tom’s Brainstorming Pad." Make a silly ‘do not disturb’ sign for a door knob and decorate it with writing paraphernalia. Add a bottle of energy pills to cover any late nights or tight deadlines the person might have. A can of an energy drink or a few single serving snacks round out the package.
30. Make a coupon book. Include such valuable items as: ‘a free beta read’, XX hours of proofreading, a free neck and shoulder rub, a one time deal to clean their bathroom (if you dare…). You know your writer. What can you offer?
31. If all else fails, get a wastebasket and fill it up with all sorts of office/writing gadgets found in the office/stationary supply aisle of your local, all purpose department store. Don’t forget the ever popular ‘pocket notebook’ the author can carry around to jot down his observations.
Hope this list helps give you the jump start needed to make your author’s Christmas a merry one indeed.
In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Take time to think about the people and the things you are most thankful for.