Monday, 1 December 2014


Grunts, groans, and sits down with a sigh. Yes, I’m just back from the “Christmas Market” in my town. How much boozy chocolate, mulled wine variants and worryingly early mince pies does a nation need? As I walked back, I thought about things that might be useful for you in the run up to the festivities.

So, here’s wishing you:


1. A cunning clock that shifts time about so you can do the writing you need to do.


2. A Light to help you see a clear path through the wintry fogs, mists and gloom of  Plots Gone Bad.

3. A pair of swift Writing Skis, and the skill to use them, so you can speed onwards whenever there’s a clear patch ahead.


4. Exceptionally Magic Ears so you can still hear the words of your Work In Progress way above all the nagging seasonal music and unwanted requests.

5. An Optional Food Fairy or three. Plus a happy flock of Clearaway Elves. For more than one day. 'Nuff said.

6. A Santa Claus who will stop faffing about on cakes, cards and comfy chairs in grottos and  actually bring all those presents on Christmas Eve. Like he’s supposed to, you know!


7. A Cheery Facemask so you can smile at Party Questions like. “When are you going to write a book for adults?” or “We’ve just bought Russell Brand’s Pied Piper. Do you ever have ideas like that?”

8. A Book (or more) so admirable that it will thrill you, please you, bring you knowledge and understanding - without making you weep in desperation at your own feeble talent. Plus bookshelves to fill to your hearts’ content.

9. A Very Large Spoonful of Good Health for you and for yours.  (This one is so important that I’m not even joking.)

10. A Deck of True Patience Cards so you don’t waste too much of your your writing time waiting for your editor/agent/publisher/whatever to call.

11. And a Collection of Good Writing Friends, who will let you grumble and witter on like this . . . and know it’s only half the story. (Thanks! You know who you are!)

12.  Plus whatever else YOU need to wish for, of course.

Have a happy and peaceful December, everyone!


Joan Lennon said...

Thank you - thank you! I need every last one of those!

Lari Don said...

What lovely thoughts. Thank you. This is such a difficult time to keep our eyes and and ears and energy on the writing as well as on the world around us, that if we manage even a few of these December dreams we'll be doing fine!

Linda Strachan said...

Great post, Penny. Such a parcel of wonders for us all! Thank you.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Thank you Penny... lots there I could do with! So good to keep some balance 'while all about you, are losing theirs!'

Loved them all ... but esp the Magic Ears of the Lynx. very cleverly though out. Thank you!

Katherine Roberts said...

Lovely post, Penny! I hope you get all those things and more.

I have the candle... and have just bought my brother a tide clock, which is quite clever, although actually has slightly fewer hours in the day than a normal clock. However, it does tell you when it's safe to write on the beach, and when you can expect delays on the trains in stormy weather.

Anonymous said...

I love this! I hope Santa brings me all of these.

Ann Turnbull said...

Thank you, Penny - what lovely ideas. I need all of these.

Ann Turnbull said...

Oh, and please can I have a washing machine repair man too?

Julie Sykes said...

I LOVE this. I especially want the ears and the clock. I would actually wear the ears. I would!!

Penny Dolan said...

Glad you all liked the ideas. It's usually a lovely time of year but it does nibble at your time so.

Love the idea of a tide clock, Katherine. Sounds fantastical, but it obviously isn't. I'm off to investigate, even if one would be of limited use in the middle of Yorkshire.

Hope that man's arrived, Ann. A washing machine is essential! (A history oddment: Ruth Goodman - the tv re-enactor - thinks that the washing machine did more to improve women's lives than any other modern invention.)

Susan Price said...

Great post, Penny! - And, having heard all about what my Grandmothers had to do to get the washing done, I think Ruth Goodmanis very likely right.

Ann Turnbull said...

He came. He solved the problem. And he only charged a tenner. Brilliant!