If the Christmas chapbook is back, I would like a Hess truck

Although the holiday season is over, there are still some things we need to talk through. Yes, homemade gifts can be very nice, especially if you are good at doing something (if you're interested, I can knit hideous, hideous scarves, pocket squares, kitty blankets...basically anything ugly and square, I can do). Yet the handwritten holiday chapbook remains one of the things that I don't think needs a comeback, although some would disagree. The reasoning?
It's a hugely egotistical exercise, I admit, but no more so than hoping people you know will shell out hard cash for a properly-published piece of fiction. Chapbooks of this kind are homemade, personal and inexpensive - and have an illustrious literary history.
Listen. Neil Gaiman has a short story in Smoke and Mirrors that he originally sent in Christmas cards, but I'd bet he still gave other presents that year. And I've given my share of crappy gifts (sorry family!), but I think a present should be specific to the recipient, not the spam e-mail of gifts to showcase my dubious knitting and writing talents.

I'd be happy to read a chapbook as an addition to a thoughtful (potentially small and inexpensive) gift, but I'd prefer your re-gifted scented candles from Aunt Myrna or a bottle of Andre from the corner bodega if it's that or a chapbook. Plus, the "my only gift to you is my glorious writing and you damn well better appreciate it" move is one that rhymes with "rasturbatory," and that is an icky thing to gift.

More importantly: for those of you who were worried, yes, I did get a waffle iron during the holiday season (I restrained myself from posting photos only through sheer will. You're welcome!). I now only eat waffle shaped things. Soups are difficult.


  1. Definitely rasturbatory. Does anyone put a chapbook on their xmas list? Right up there at the top of the list with fruitcakes, no doubt.

    Glad you got the waffle iron. Oh go ahead, post photos.

  2. You could load up your soup with cornflour and gelatin, and use the waffle iron as a mold?
    Wafflised soup. Mmmmm.

    And milkshakes!