Dear Santa: An Author-Illustrator’s Christmas List

Dear Santa Claus,15644243_10101620029132151_2074435402_n

How’s it going? I hope you’ve had a restful summer and that the elves let you get some sleep. I will be leaving you some treats by the stockings, assuming the dogs don’t get to them. I hope your travels are safe and that you don’t run into any issues, like kids who are awake or overprotective cats, or fire marshals claiming that sliding down a chimney is against code.

This year for Christmas, I would love some tools to help me with my writing. More specifically, I would like:

  1. A lot more time. I know I talk about stealing time and finding time and getting up early, but what I wouldn’t give for a few hours during the normal daytime to just get things written down.
  2. A vision of the novel from the tail-end – could I just skip that whole revision stage?

    shirt
    This is my ugly Christmas sweater and my weird smile, at my full time job, where I steal ideas from weird things kids say and do. I call it research.
  3. An agent who gets me and all of my vision, who wishes to represent an author who writes picture books and middle grade novels, and who makes art for his own work and for others.
  4. A steady paycheck while writing and making art, without having to head off to a full time job every single day.
  5. More quiet.
  6. That old detached garage refinished into the finest, shabbiest-chicest studio and writing space ever. At least heated and mouse-free.
  7. A tribe. A real-life, in the flesh, meet up with me and keep up with me, kind of tribe.
  8. A quicker computer. I am so impatient.
  9. More time to sit and watch and play with my family. This is where the inspiration lives. And the magic and the joy.

I suppose you could bring me all of that, but what would I do with it? Sure, a quicker computer would be great, but when would I be reminded to slow down?

A steady paycheck – I have that, though I go off to work, but in that space lies so many ideas and stories that work their way into my writing and art. I’d better keep that job.

door
Where else do you get paid to decorate a door, Home Alone style?

More time? I’ll probably just get roped into bringing MORE ideas to life, and then I will be asking for even MORE time. Greed leads to greed, after all.

Vision from the tail-end? I think I’d miss the magic and the journey. I care more about the process, anyway. It is more fun to be in a project, rather than trying to get it started.

More quiet? I’ve got enough of it. Maybe I need more noise.

An agent who gets all of my vision? I’m working on it. If you brought the agent, I’d be worried that they were only doing you a favour, instead of working with me for me and my vision.

The renovated studio would be awfully nice, but I already have a great space. I can wait for that one.

A tribe would be great, but right now I have all the tribe I need in my online critique friends and creative groups. I’m sure I’ll get there.

 

More time to sit and watch and play with my family – okay, you can bring me that.

Thanks, Santa – bring me that time with the family and I’ll have all I need.

Love,
Patrick

PS: Tell Rudolph I said hi, and I am greatly concerned that his reindeer friends are using him for his nose.