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Xmas gifts for the would-be novelist

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

By now everyone has seen Margaret Atwood’s woefully incomplete list of gifts for the aspiring novelist. I thought a better list was in order, from someone closer to those aspiring-novelist trenches.

In light of the demise of Editor & Publisher and the terrifying prospect of a world without Kirkus Reviews, not to mention the relentless pressure from Jeff Bezos to reduce author royalties, you should immediately try to shake some sense into your aspiring novelist. Giving that sorry fucker a couple of good shots with a Taser may help.

If he still thinks writing is a good idea, some of the following gifts may prove useful to him:

  1. A sturdy pair of boots: never discount the importance of good boots, especially when you’re without a home, a vehicle, food, hope, and so on.
  2. A large, orange garbage bag: this makes an expedient waterproof shelter, or even a sleeping bag in a pinch.
  3. A knife: you never know when you’ll need to cut something: food, string, branches, firewood, your wrists, whatever.
  4. A shopping cart: you read The Road, didn’t you? You can pick up these things for free — don’t worry, as long as you get it into your writer friend’s hands quickly, he’s gonna be the one nailed for possession of stolen goods.
  5. Camouflage clothing: when Bezos and his gang of accountants come down the road hungering for human flesh, your writer friend will thank you for your foresight.
  6. A ferrocerium fire starter: these guys last much longer than matches or lighters, and they’re waterproof. Remember, following any given apocalypse, being able to light a fire will save your life.
  7. Don’t worry about tinder. The poor bastard has his precious manuscripts. Might as well use them for something.
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