Saturday, December 14th, 2013
Hey Friends and Family!!
I finally got my Christmas Cards out this morning.
Mom taught me that my Xmas cards should be perfect and beautiful, that I should use a Christmas stamp, that I should take my time so that you know I did my very best for you…
Sorry, Mom. Here’s the deal:
This year, some of you will receive cards that I’ve used in the past. I got rid of all those leftover ones and twos that have been hanging out for years. Apologies in advance if you received the same card you got last year – I did my best to remember.
Also: With this Christmas mailing, I was able to get rid of my entire stash of 32 cent stamps, 37 cent stamps, 42 cent stamps, and a variety of “make up” stamps such as the “H” class, as well as nearly all my 1 cent, 2 cent, 3 cent, 4 cent and 5 cent denominations.
Some of your cards will have an excess of seven stamps on them to make up the difference. (The stamp collectors among you should be salivating.)
I actually had to buy 4 cent stamps at the post office this morning! Please note that it is a sign of how much I care about you, that I actually stepped foot into the Hell which is the post office during Christmas season.
The good news is: I get to buy all new holiday cards next year for you to receive. And since I own only “forever” stamps now, they’ll all have a single, pristine Christmas stamp on them.
See how much I care about you? Love to you all…and Merry Christmas!
Image ‘borrowed’ from: www.storkie.com.
Saturday, December 31st, 2011
The presents unwrapped, the (delicious!) Rock and Rye all consumed, we loaded the car and came home from my Mom and Dad’s… the first Christmas we’d spent there in a lot of years.
My little home town sported this big “Welcome Home, Troops” sign and flag at the traffic circle a few miles from my home.
Welcome Home, Troops!
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Here’s my highly-opinionated view of gift-giving for writers. In case you’re wondering…and even if you’re not.
What Not to Give
Unless your writer friend mentions or asks for any of these things, stay away from:
Think About Giving:
- Books. Really. You can’t give a writer too many books…but not just any books. Buy the latest books available in the genre your writer friend specializes in. Writers need to be widely read in their field in order to keep up with trends. It’s impossible to buy all the books published in a given year in a particular category. You can help.
- A Magazine or Journal Subscription. Ditto above. Get something in the writer’s field. I frankly don’t want a subscription to The New Yorker even though it’s highly respected. Give me Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog…
Does your writer friend write poetry or literary fiction? Then a sampling of several different literary magazines might be on target. (It gets expensive ordering copies of litmags just to see if you want to submit.)
Note: If your writer friend is anywhere beyond the beginning stages of writing, stay away from “how to” magazines such as Writer’s Digest, The Writer and Poets & Writers Magazine. (Unless they ask, of course.) Ditto how-to books.
- A gift certificate to a book store.
- An E-reader, like the Kindle, the Kindle Fire or Nook. (There are others… and as with all these suggestions, do your research before purchasing!)
- A portable hard drive to back up all their manuscripts.
- A small digital recorder he or she can carry to record story ideas and thoughts.
- The new Asus Transformer Prime (quad core) tablet with keyboard accessory, available December 19. (To be sure, a gift to be given by a really close friend or perhaps a Husband of Awesome™.)
Gifts that “Go Away”
I’m a big fan of gifts that get consumed (so the house remains uncluttered):
- Good coffee. (And don’t just go to Starbucks, not everyone — ahem — enjoys their over-roasted, burned up beans.)
- A nice bottle of wine or spirits.
- Chocolate. And do make certain it’s fine chocolate. You don’t have to buy a lot when you buy the good stuff: a little goes a long way.
- A gift certificate for a massage (to help relieve that deadline stress and endless hours sitting at a desk) or for a manicure (because typing is hard on the hands).
Inexpensive Gifts, or Gifts from the Self
Every writer I know can use a little more time in their day to get their writing stuff done. Since the time machine hasn’t been invented yet, you really can’t lengthen their day…but you can give gifts that will save your favorite writer some time.
Of everything mentioned on this list, these are my favorites:
Bake a casserole, make a lasagna or some other kind of “toss it in the oven, crockpot or microwave” meal that can be put together in minutes. If you can’t cook, there are lots of ready to serve items in the grocery store!
- Coupons or gift certificates (that you can easily make yourself) for:
- running to the store to pick up a few things
- baby sitting or child care (especially useful on deadline days)
- researching their next project
- updating their web site (or building a new one)
- taking digital pictures they can use on their blog or Web site, (or)
- taking their portrait (every writer needs a good photo for their Web site and book jackets!)
- Read what they’ve written, and write a thoughtful, honest review at:
- library thing
- your own blog, or any other review sites you’re familiar with.
- Help with their marketing by:
- “friending” them on Facebook, Google and other similar sites
- following them on Twitter – and re-tweeting their clever and witty tweets
- “liking”, digging, stumbling upon, +1-ing and “whatever else-ing” their blog posts on all the appropriate social media channels (super mondo bonus points if you go through your writer friend’s entire blog and do this for every appropriate post)
- “tagging” all their books at amazon.com
- adding their blog to your ‘blogroll’
- linking to their Web site from your own
Better yet: come over and make dinner (and stay. Writers are notorious for spending too much time alone.)
A Final Note
It’s nice that you think of your writer friends, and want to give a gift to highlight that fact, but, writers are people, too. Writing might suck up their entire life, but they’re not all about writing. They have interests outside the written word. (Would you buy your construction-worker friend a new pair of steel-toed boots for Christmas?)
In short: you don’t have to give a writer a gift related to writing.
And if you have no clue: ask! If you’re close enough to give a gift to someone, they’ll appreciate that you want to give them something they’ll like.
Which also means: if you don’t know them well enough to ask, maybe you shouldn’t be buying a gift. That would be like stalking. Ick.
Friday, December 25th, 2009
I hope Santa brought everyone everything they wanted!
My Christmas wishes have been granted: my family is here, we’re all safe and healthy, and there is snow all over the place–left over from last week’s storm. (So, while we’re having a white Christmas, we’re not dealing with any new stuff on the roads.)
The only thing that could have made it better, were if I were not still wrapping this morning!
Merry, merry, everyone!