Michaeline: All I want for Christmas

Santa from The Graphics Fairy

Santa’s got a lot of stories to tell.

Everyone knows that no matter what religion a writer follows, all she wants for Christmas is a goddamn breakthrough in the story, and six to 12 hours of perfect flow in which to write it. Good luck wrapping that and getting it under the Christmas tree.

I took a look at several “Christmas gifts for writers” lists, and found some interesting results. Nobody seems to recommend fancy stuff like writing programs. I don’t know if those are too personal to be given as gifts, or if they are too expensive.

But themes ran through several lists: give books. I think most writers like having books around, even if they hardly have time to read them anymore. It’s a concrete reminder of the goal. Another common refrain was: give them something that gets them out of the house. Restaurant gift cards, manicures, yoga classes, concert tickets. Good ideas, if you can pry your writer from behind his desk.

My favorite lists were by real writers who . . . well, they were writers, and let the fantastic creep into their lists. The list tells a story.

Chuck Wendig seemed to start running out of gift ideas at item 10 . . . and he started mixing in random ideas. I have to say, I love items 13 and 14: Neil Gaiman’s magic gazebo is so cool. Or better yet, just give me Neil Gaiman for Christmas. I’ll thumb-wrestle you for him, Chuck.

Finally, this list from the Atlantic was such a lot of fun. Practical gifts mixed in with the astounding. Where is the writer who wouldn’t like a jet-pack or her own island? Well, in theory, at least? Very few writers look like they have the physical stamina to control a jet-pack. (-: But an island of my own? Move over, Virginia Woolf.

Have a happy holiday season! And may you all get and give good stories this year!

5 thoughts on “Michaeline: All I want for Christmas

  1. This is so funny! I read the Atlantic list, and okay, I’d take the island (although I notice that of the amenities they list, they don’t mention “fresh water,” and without that, they can keep it), and I’m nominally interested in the ukulele, but otherwise, I wouldn’t want any of that stuff. In fact, I got a Christmas gift this year that is a complete mystery to me. It looks like a block of Wisconsin aged cheddar, but the instructions say it has Bluetooth. So I’m guessing it’s not cheese. I think this gift is telling me that I’ve hit my capacity for new acquisitions.

    I don’t want any stuff, but what I would like for Christmas is an extra hour every day somewhere, somehow. And that’s probably as illusive as your story breakthrough and six to 12 hours of steady workflow. But we can dream.

    Whatever your wishes, may they all come true!

    • @ Kay: LOL, mystery gifts with Bluetooth — because as Sheldon Cooper says, everything’s better with Bluetooth.

      Seriously, I think it’s true — and perhaps once of the best gifts an author can get is one of those homemade coupons where the loved one gives you an hour — maybe that means bringing over takeout or a pot of homemade soup when a deadline approaches, and leaving it outside the door. Or a promise to take the kids (or the husband or the cat) out of the house for a couple of hours so you can write. (Not so you can do other things (-:.)

      @ Jilly: Books are tricky, aren’t they? But a book that doesn’t look that great can be fantastic — then again, a book that looks great can be a severe disappointment.

      @Kat: Fingers are crossed. (-: Sometimes the season gives us an excuse to give ourselves the perfect present! (Although, preventing carpal tunnel and hunchback down the line really shouldn’t be considered a present, but a legitimate business expense!)

      @ Justine: Oh, I missed that list! Chuck’s always got interesting things to say, and interesting ways to say it. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/12/10/ten-more-gifts-for-writers-2013-edition/ (LOL, I guess everyone decided they wanted Neil Gaiman for Christmas, if there’s a legal writ disclaimer. I can still build the magic gazebo, though (-:.)

      I’m not sure what I want as a writer for Christmas that someone can give me (besides time). I still haven’t processed all the tools I learned in class, so I think I’d rather have books from my wishlist. (Gotta update that, too.)

  2. I’d love books from the 8LW or friends who share my reading tastes, but often I’ll receive a book as a gift and feel obliged to read it, knowing before I start that it’s not my thing. And I’ll have to be polite about it afterwards. I may love reading, but that doesn’t mean you can give me any book and I’ll love it.

    I’d kill for Kay’s extra hour per day, or Micki’s story breakthrough. Restaurant gift cards/manicures/yoga classes/concert tickets are all excellent ideas. And if all else fails, send chocolate 🙂

  3. Books, books, and more books, and oh yeah, more time, and more ideas, but mostly new words!

    Chocolate is good, but so is less stress. I just finished up an 8 week commitment that has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with stress, so now I’ll have more time to write (hooray!). That wish is coming true for me.

    I also gotta say that while I’m not into stuff for stuff’s sake, I am getting a brand new office chair with all the bells and whistles (this thing does everything but clean my bathroom!), and I’m excited as all hell to get it. Fingers crossed the fat man can get it down the chimney in time.

Let Us Know What You Think

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s