Tag Archives: presents

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas. I know I did. My daughter had an incredible Christmas, as she got a lot of things she wanted. And this was one of them:

She’s always wanted a toy kitchen set, and this one looks really good. Quite realistic looking, and she’s really enjoying it. She also got a lot of things for PAW Patrol, My Little Pony, and Barbie.

I got some books, a movie, a new wallet, and my sister and I are sharing an XBox One S! We have Final Fantasy XV, NHL 17, and Minecraft, which I’m sure we’ll enjoy. Also, something we ordered several weeks ago finally arrived this week: Cards Against Humanity! We played a game tonight, and this was one of our rounds:

The one on the right was our “4th player” Rando Cardrissian, a player who was just random cards. I had the middle group of cards. The game is hilarious. I love it! Have you ever played it?

Something I wanted to talk about was you. That’s right, my readers. I want to thank all of you for reading, following, and commenting. You are what makes doing this blog fun and worthwhile. I appreciate every one of you.

I made a video on YouTube that has a message that I think applies to this blog, as well. Please watch.

I hope you all had a great Christmas! Let me know what you got and how you spent your day.

Authors Answer 112 – Characters Celebrating Christmas

It’s almost Christmas now, which means it’s time for the annual Christmas question. The authors love presents, but what about the characters? They should be able to receive presents, right? But what if they’re in fantasy or science fiction, where they may not have Christmas? Let’s find out!

2002_Blue_Room_Christmas_treeQuestion 112: It’s almost Christmas. What would a main character of one your works like for Christmas?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Nancy – from “Nowhere to Hide” – would probably like a few new weapons, maybe some new clothes, a hot shower…oh, and definitely as large a supply of non-perishable food items as Santa can fit in his sack.

Gregory S. Close

Osrith Turlun, former Captal of House Vae, soldier, duelist, sometime criminal, mercenary and generally grumpy man-at-arms, would like a new knitting needle.  He just broke one off in someone’s skull where last I left him in the writing of End of Dreams.  Knitting is his happy place.  Or, at least, his more-centered grumpy place.

Cyrus Keith

A new SIG Model P220 with custom grips and an extended magazine.

Paul B. Spence

I don’t think they celebrate Christmas in their society. Some of the secondary characters, maybe… I’m not sure. Peace on Earth seems a strange thing to ask for since they are at war with Earth at the moment…

Elizabeth Rhodes

Let’s talk Dex from Jasper. He’d probably bypass his own gift and wish for something to give to his daughter Natalie. She’s terminally ill and still a child, and he’d like to get her some makeup or a big book to read. The idea here is to make her feel like an adult for a little while.

Jean Davis

Vayen of The Narvan series would like a whole day where no one is trying to kill him. If Santa could arrange that, he would be most appreciative, because he’s sure not getting that from me.

Eric Wood

Basing it on the short stories I’ve written, I’d have to go with little Timothy from Barnaby’s Toothbrush. He’s a curious, creative five year old. He would love something that would allow him to fully employ his imagination. Books. Art sets. Play-Doh. His mom would like a leash so he won’t wander off.

D. T. Nova

I tried to think of what would be both something the character wants for reasons beyond just “they would like to have it” and something that would actually be given as a gift, and can’t think of a perfect answer.

However, I think Alice would have somewhat personal reasons for wanting a Weissritter model to go with the Alteisen she got for her birthday.

Beth Aman

The main character of my High-Fantasy would love a new knife.  Or five.  The main character of my Contemporary would kill for leather-bound editions of Lord of the Rings.  I personally would love with either of those gifts.

C E Aylett

A great big rave up! Huge warehouse party, glow sticks, tinsel, house music and tekno. Fairy wings. The lot.

H. Anthe Davis

Shaidaxi Enkhaelen would like some specimens of our local variety of ‘human’, in either living or cadaver form — whatever would cause less complaint — because he finds it both curious and bizarre that we’re all descended from one specific form of mammal life, instead of having multiple lines of descent from multiple creatures that crossbreed with spirit assistance.  He thinks we sound terribly boring but that we might be more interesting on the inside.  Any volunteers?

Jay Dee Archer

The colony of Ariadne doesn’t have the same calendar as Earth does, so figuring out when Christmas happens would be difficult. However, there are still people who celebrate Christmas, or something similar. Solona Knight, the main character of my first Ariadne novel, is a teenager, but she has a strong interest in magic. She may appreciate a copy of the classic fantasy series Harry Potter. It’s a couple centuries old, but she may enjoy old Earth fantasy literature.

How about you?

For those of you who are authors, what would your main character like for Christmas? If you don’t write, what would your favourite character want for Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.

The Final Two Weeks of 2016

It’s already half way through the second last week of the year. I just finished three days of work with a Christmas concert at my daughter’s school. She sang a couple of songs with her Kindergarten class, but spent half the time looking behind her at the screen. But it was fun.

My next five days, I have no work. The next four days I’ll have a lot of down time to be able to work on many things, including my blog, videos, and reviews. After that, it’s Christmas! And that is a day I’m really looking forward to. The best part is watching my daughter open her presents. We still have to wrap all the presents, though.

After that, I go back to work, and I’ll be busier than usual. Longer hours and an extremely busy workplace. December 26th may be one of the busiest days I’ve ever experienced. There are some things I might not be able to do very much of, and that’s make videos. Blog posts should continue as usual, though.

But I’m really looking forward to getting a blog post and video up on Christmas Day. They’ll actually be done before then, but will be scheduled to go up. I hope you’ll be looking forward to them.

What’s the rest of the year like for you?

Best Christmas Ever?

When I was a kid, I loved Christmas. It meant toys. It meant turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. It meant two weeks off from school.

This Christmas is totally different. This time, my daughter gets to have her first Christmas in Canada with a Christmas tree and plenty of presents. There are some things that she’s been wanting a lot. On Christmas morning, she’s going to be excited. She’s going to be so incredibly happy. I don’t care so much about what I’m getting. I want to see her reaction. I want to watch her open her presents. I think seeing her happy is the best present I could ever get.

And on a side note, I’m going to have a special video up on Christmas Day. It’s not related to this blog, but I think the message can apply to this blog, as well. I’ll be leaving a post with a similar message. Look forward to it!

Gifts for Authors – Authors Answer #7 on Video

A little bit late, but we had a busy weekend, plus a headache put this off a bit. But here it is! The original post is right here. My answer has changed a bit, considering that my circumstances have changed quite a lot. The original question was this:

Question 7: Christmas is coming! In your opinion, what would be the perfect gift for a writer?

Obviously, it’s not Christmas now. I just answered in general. Watch the video below. It’s fairly short.

What do you think would be a good gift for an author? Let me know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 60 – Merry Christmas from All of Us

For the first time, Authors Answer falls on Christmas Day. So, we have a very special and simple message for all of you from all of us. We’re sharing a bit of what we’re doing for Christmas with you.

I’d also like to mention that this will be Caren Rich’s final Authors Answer. I want to thank her for her participation. It’s greatly appreciated, and I enjoyed her answers very much. Thank you, Caren, and good luck!

2002_Blue_Room_Christmas_treeQuestion 60 – What are your plans for Christmas Day?

D. T. Nova

To spend time with my family, and probably stay off the internet almost entirely.

Gregory S. Close

In a word: pie.

Paul B. Spence

I plan to spend the winter holiday with my family and friends, as one should.

Caren Rich

We are very traditional when it comes to Christmas. The kids pull us out of bed before the sun comes up and open gifts. While they are knee deep in wrapping paper, I make breakfast and my in-laws come over. Afterwards, we try out our new toys and get ready to go to my in-laws for lunch. We spend most of the day there with aunts, uncles, and cousins. When we can barely stand the site of anymore food we go home. My parents usually drop by during the afternoon or early evening. We spent Christmas Eve with them. We make it a point of not going out to stores on Christmas Day. I would prefer if everything was closed on Christmas Day.

Allen Tiffany

Family and food.

H. Anthe Davis

Lounging around the house, doing family things, I suppose?  Sometimes I get called in to the Day Job to work an hour or two, if we’re expecting a big rush of returns — I work at a library, so even though it’s closed, two of us will go in for a couple hours and empty the bins so our drive-up bookdrops don’t overflow.  Otherwise just chillin’.  I’d like to say I’ll get some writing in, but I know myself well to not promise anything.

Eric Wood

Our morning will likely start around 6 am to open presents. We’ll have some Grand’s cinnamon buns while we open as a quick breakfast. Once everything is opened we’ll have a big breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. Then we’ll be busy playing with our new gifts from Santa. Later, we’ll go to Nanny house for Turkey supper. Other than that, we’ll just be enjoying the day with each other.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Possibly sleeping.  During holidays I tend to work overnight shifts at my job and the actual holiday is a time for me to re-adjust my sleep cycle to work the early morning shift the day after.  I’ll also be spending it with my parents and brothers at their house, and exchanging gifts.

S. R. Carrillo

I wanted to be home this Christmas, but there’s so much going on at work that I’ll be surprised if I can manage it. Hopefully, I will be spending the day with my husband before he deploys, if he hasn’t already.

Jean Davis

For Christmas Day, I will be venturing forth (baring utterly nasty weather) to my uncles house. He has been terribly ill the past couple years and has finally recovered to the point of wanting to have visitors. I’m looking forward to seeing him and connecting with the rest of that side of the family again.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

My plans are the same as they are every year, which is basically food and presents with family. 🙂 The past few years (since my daughter’s been around) my parents have made it their tradition to come visit us on Christmas Eve, so we’ll have a nice dinner and maybe watch some Christmas specials and what-not. On Christmas morning I’ll get up early and make breakfast, which my daughter will likely miss because she stays up half the night and then passes the hell out the other half. If she doesn’t wake up on her own we’ll wake her ourselves and then it’ll be presents, presents, presents while the turkey slow-cooks in the kitchen. Perfect day, if you ask me. ^_^ Merry Christmas everyone!

Jay Dee Archer

This is our last Christmas in Japan, and is therefore not a traditional Christmas. In fact, this is probably one of my more unusual Christmases. In past years, I’d gone back to Canada for the holidays and enjoyed opening presents in the morning and having traditional Christmas dinner. This will likely happen next year. But this year, it’s a bit unusual.

In the morning, we’ll get up, and my daughter will open her present. My wife goes to work, and I will take my daughter to her daycare for their Christmas party. However, I’m not invited. No parents allowed! I’ll spend the one hour and forty minutes going for a walk or reading a book. The weather is supposed to be nice, in the mid-teens. So un-Christmas-like weather. Then I’ll pick her up, go home, and once my wife is home, we’ll have chicken and roast beef for lunch. And that is our Christmas.

How about you?

You may or may not be reading this on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, since I expect most people to be spending time with their families. However, I’d like to know about your Christmas. How did you spend it? Let us know in the comments!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Authors Answer 7 – Christmas Gifts for Authors

Less than a week until Christmas, and I’m sure everyone is getting excited to see what they got.  Or more importantly, they’re excited about spending time with their families.  I’ll be spending my Christmas at home with my wife and daughter, and we’ll be having a Christmas dinner consisting of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a fine modern Japanese tradition.  But what do authors want for Christmas?

2002_Blue_Room_Christmas_treeQuestion 7: Christmas is coming! In your opinion, what would be the perfect gift for a writer?

Michael J. Sullivan

Oh writers are so easy to buy for when it comes to gift giving. Some things off the top of my head:

  • Moleskine notebooks – No, I don’t mean notebooks made out of small, blind rodents. These are bound blank pages with an elastic band to hold them closed. Each time I start a new book I buy one. It keeps all my notes in one place before I start writing. You can expect to pay $8 to $12 for one.
  • Software – I highly recommend Grammarly. A program sold through a subscription model. If the writer in your life is already using it, extend their subscription.  If they aren’t, start them off with a few months, the length of which can be tailored to your budget. My subscription is $11.66 a month, but that’s because I bought a full year. Shorter subscriptions are a bit more per month.  Another “must have” tool is Scrivener. It’s an amazing program for writing books. It runs $40 and is a bargain at three times the price. This program has revolutionized how I write books, and I couldn’t imagine going back to writing in something like Microsoft Word after using it.  There are separate versions for Windows and the Mac.
  • Books on Writing – If the writer in your life hasn’t read Stephen King’s On Writing, it’s definitely something to get for them. The retail price is $16, and Amazon has it for sale at $10 and change.  If they have read it (and many have), then I’ll suggest The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker.  It’s a modern-day version of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, which is starting to show its age. I found this new book both entertaining and educational.

S. R. Carrillo

Honestly, I’m not a high maintenance kinda person. I don’t need much – just time to spend with my family back home and time to catch up on reading and just writing and relaxing. Which I am getting this year! So yay!

H. Anthe Davis

Time, heh.  Barring that, coffee.

Paul B. Spence

A movie deal would be nice.  Otherwise, I’m partial to gingerbread cookies and 28mm models.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are lots of things I could think of…for someone who doesn’t already have it, I’d definitely suggest a copy of the Scrivener writing software because it makes life so much easier and more organized. For myself? Well, I wouldn’t at all mind a new laptop, or even something smaller and more portable like a netbook, so that I can write on the go without having to write by hand, which is so much slower for me!

Amy Morris-Jones

TIME! If I could ask Santa for one gift, it would be more time to write. As a wife, mother, and full-time employee, sitting down to write feels self-indulgent. I would love to have a weekend away somewhere—maybe a boring hotel room or a writer’s retreat in a scenic location—where I could just focus on my writing without having to feel guilty. Think Santa could fit that in his bag?

D. T. Nova

It’s unlikely that this would happen, but a professionally done book cover would be a pretty great thing to receive as a gift.

Most writers also read more than the average person, so a book that’s hard to find for one reason or another would be a good one too.

Jean Davis

Uninterrupted time, or if Walmart is out of that, a clone would be most welcome. If either of those isn’t an option, someone to cook and clean the house. When I do get time to get lost in writing, I forget to eat and nothing else gets done.

Caren Rich

Time and space or a new laptop.  I think we sometimes get bogged down with all the new toys available to us.  They’re great and all, not that I have anything more advanced than Word.  But I think most writer’s would like to have time to write without feeling guilty about ignoring the responsibilities that are trying to crush them.  I know that’s what I want.  Space runs a close second.  I live in a cracker jack box, the only space I have is the kitchen table.  Hey, it works, as long as the kids are not home and my husband’s not trying to read over my shoulder as I write.  So, time and space would be the best Christmas present for a writer.  Unless, you have a week escape to the beach, then I say “I’ll pack”.

Elizabeth Rhodes

There is no “perfect gift” for every writer.  Writing is a personal endeavor and each has their own needs, method, and thought processes.  If you want to get something perfect for the writer in your life, take a good look at how they write (assuming they’ll let you.)  Do they prefer a pen and paper or prefer to type?  Can they write in any setting, or do they need silence?  Or do they have a preference for background music?  Do they like to keep drinks or snacks on hand while they’re working?  Failing that, there’s no harm in asking what they’d like.

Linda G. Hill

Continues to be off this month.

Jay Dee Archer

In a fantasy world, incredible editing abilities, artistic abilities for making cover art, and an isolation chamber that blocks out all bothersome noise and interruptions.  I don’t think we can get those, though.

In reality, this is what I want:

  • A desk and chair.  I want to sit comfortably at my computer so I can write.  My current situation isn’t ideal for that.
  • Good pens.  That’s right, I want some good pens that don’t stop working on me.  I have bad luck with that. Anyone know of some good, but cheap pens?  And what’s better, ball point or gel?
  • Graphics software.  I want something good that I can use to edit my maps and any art I do for both my website and novels.
  • Writing software.  I keep hearing about Scrivener, but I’ve never used it.  I currently use Microsoft Word.  I’m curious about it.

Of course, the biggest thing I’d like to have is time.  I think that’s what everyone wants.

How about you?

What do you want for Christmas?  If you’re a writer, is there anything special you suggest for other writers? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Also, can anyone tell me where the Christmas tree picture was taken? It’s easy.


Merry Christmas!

In a few hours, it’ll be Christmas Day here in Japan, and despite it being a major holiday in my home country of Canada, it’s just another regular day here.  I’ll be working.  However, it is my second last day working this year (my last being this Saturday), and then I’m on holidays.

My Christmas is like this.  I came home from work tonight and got to see my daughter Tomoe open her presents (the ones that have arrived so far).  She got some purple pants and shirt, a book, and a toy rabbit from my aunt.  She loved the rabbit and jumped around holding it.  She also got an Anpanman book from my wife and I.  There’s a pen that will speak when it touches any of the pictures in Japanese and English.  There are a lot of pages, so she can learn a lot of words with it.  And then she went to bed.

Unfortunately, our daughter is sick, and will be unable to go to her regular nursery tomorrow.  So, I’ll be taking her to a clinic with our secondary nursery, and she’ll spend the day there.

But you know, I got a great Christmas present from Tomoe.  This morning, just before I left, I said to her, “Bye bye. Love you.” She waved back at me and said, “Bye bye. Lub you.  Bye bye.”  When I got home, my wife told me that my daughter said today, “Daddy, lub you.”  I got lots of warm fuzzy feelings from that.

For the next couple of weeks, things will be pretty hectic.  On Thursday, we’ll all be home and won’t really be able to go out.  Probably doing some cleaning.  It’ll be raining out, unfortunately.  Friday, my wife is working and I stay home with our daughter.  I may get some writing done that day.  Saturday, I’m off to work for my last day of the year, and when I get home, my wife is off to her company year end party.  Then on Sunday, we’re home, and until we go to her hometown for New Year, we’ll be doing our year end cleaning.  Our holiday in her hometown will be spent with her parents, sister, and grandmother.  It’ll be our daughter’s first time to see everyone since she started talking.  That’ll be fun!

Unfortunately, I may not be able to finish my yearly reading challenge.  There’s less than a week and a lack of time.  But I’ll keep trying!

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!