As a writer and a former English major, my focus may be a bit different from most. But I too have a little Christmas list to give you.
I wished for lots of different things as a kid—silly toys and things abandoned and some forgotten long ago. Most do shine in my memory though, so don’t think me ungrateful. But now, my sensibilities and my needs have changed. I’ve gotten smarter and more aware of my surroundings as well as of who I am as a person. The things I am seeking are things that will help me achieve goals in my life and will bring me lasting joy.
See, my parents taught me well. I’ve learned my lessons. I no longer long for plastic toys and baby dolls. Perhaps the only wishes that remain the same are my desire for books (books make great gifts, people!) and my wishes for the well-being of others.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written to you. Life gets busy you know. And sometimes I’m not the best of pen pals. I’m not a parent, so I don’t have any kids hitting you up for free loot. But, even though a lot of time has passed, I hope that I can still wiggle a space in that magic Christmas pack of yours just for me.
10. A new desk chair.
I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt, staring at a computer screen. My bum would appreciate a more comfortable place to be sat upon. If you are in the mood, I desperately would love to have a fancy, comfortable office chair. Also, if you want to read a novel or other piece of writing of mine, this would be a great way to facilitate its creation.
9. A new bookcase.
Even though I own a Kindle, I still frequently buy books and they have nowhere to go. I have a huge stack of books sliding around in the trunk of my car. Alas, my poor papery friends have no place to call home except a trunk. They need a nice place to go so they can show off their fancy covers and my reading prowess!
8. A box of Uniball Blue Ballpoint Pens.
And yes, I’m really that specific. They must be blue. If they are green, black or red, they simply will not do (though I appreciate the thought.) I only write in this blue pen. It writes smoothly and it’s blue! My cousins all know when I send them something in the mail because they recognize the blue of this very specific pen. All my poetry books and notebooks are written in this blue pen. It is my signature and always will be.
7. A million dollars.
If I had a million dollars, I could take time off of work and really get down to writing that book at a much faster pace than what I am currently doing…
6. One of those talk-to-text word-processing programs.
Sometimes I talk things through before I write them down or I just have too many ideas rushing through my brain and my fingers on the keyboard can’t keep up! If I had one of those talk-to-text word-processing programs, I would be golden!
5. A voice recorder.
In the event that the above program is too expensive, a voice recorder would do! I could record my own ideas for future playback and, best of all, I could record what others are saying and “steal” it for my personal writing purposes. (Always remember, when you are friends with or involved with a writer, anything you say can and will be used in a story at some point in time.) Also, when I come up with ideas in the middle of the night but don’t want to turn on the light, I wont’ have to try to decipher writing that has been written on top of writing. Instead, I could just listen to what I said in my half-asleep state.
4. An audience with one of my favorite writers.
A lot of the literature I enjoy was written by people who are now dead. I know that you aren’t able to resurrect them, so I will settle for an audience with one of following writers who are currently living: Erin Morgenstern, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Kostava, Philippa Gregory. All I want to do is sit and talk about writing with them. This would probably be one of the greatest gifts ever. I might even kiss your feet, provided that they are clean and not stinky.
3. A trip to Greece.
One of the stories that parades through my mind, scalding my brain cells and begs to be written takes place in Ancient Greece. Alas, to do justice to the story I want to tell, I must visit Greece and travel to the particular island where my ancient subject lived. If you want to be my travel buddy, you are welcome to join me. It would be a great change of scenery for you. Not so much white everywhere..except the sand of the beach, of course!
2. A trip to New York City.
There is an amazing exhibit all about Edgar Allan Poe at the Morgan Library. I have not been able to get there. But if I were to receive a tiny plane ticket to NYC for January 16th, I still will be able to see poetry written in Poe’s own hand. This exhibit, titled Terror of the Soul, would be a marvelous opportunity for me to connect with Poe scholars, Poe’s work and with Gothic literature in general. It would be the gift of a lifetime.
1. A donation to my favorite local charity, Literacy Kansas City.
This is the best local charity in Kansas City. They offer literacy tutors for adults who want to learn to read. I’ve been volunteering with them when opportunities arise for the past couple of months. The people are amazing. The staff is so appreciative and the students are inspiring. They are so committed and you can see their desire to succeed. This charity is also wonderful because it provides a rare opportunity for volunteers to work directly with the people they are helping. When I volunteer, this is exactly what I want to do. I already spend all day at an office. My preference would be to spend my volunteer time with people. Opportunities to work directly with those who benefit from the organization can be tough to find in the volunteer world. This is a rare little gem in the host of philanthropic organizations in the metro area.
And in case you have time, Santa…: