Generosity Is Easy When It’s Imaginary

I love giving gifts. I truly believe it’s better to give than to receive because what is more fun than selecting the perfect gift to delight someone special? The only problem is running out of funds (how I’d love to go all Elvis and buy Momma that Cadillac, even though she’s practical and would prefer a Toyota, but you get my point.)

But this month on Smack Dab, I can be generous in spirit and imagine what I’d give fellow writers, readers, and librarians! So here we go…your imaginary gifts!

For Fellow Writers: I’d love to give you a break from even thinking about market trends and what sells and how a publisher would position your book and whether your platform is strong enough and just let you write a beautiful story. And when you’ve written said beautiful story, I’d give you a generous book deal that would allow you to quit your other job(s) and focus on writing yet another beautiful story. Also, I’d give you writer friends who are honest with you about your work and who are your greatest cheerleaders. Friends like Irene Latham, whom I love and who talks me off the ledge when I get bogged down in the business end of writing and forget why I love being an author. And an agent like Abigail Samoun who is kind and actually cares about you. And a really nice Kirkus review. Oh, and a large publicity push from your publisher.

For Readers: A good story you can lose yourself in because it’s wonderful, from an author who gets you so much that you feel like he/she’s been reading your mind somehow. As my old friend Holden Caulfield put it, “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” (Nowadays, you can at least email him/her.)


For librarians: [Picture Dr. Evil with pinky next to mouth] One million dollars! [dramatic music] Seriously, do authors have better champions than librarians? These people do so much every day for the love of books and they get so little in return. They should be on a tropical beach at least once a year, sipping fruity cocktails. Some of them have so much energy that I can’t imagine them actually relaxing (I’m looking at you, Benjamin Marten), but I’d love to think they could. They deserve it.


Sorry I can’t give you these things for real, but all of us here believe in the power of imagination, so Merry Christmas to all!


  1. Oh, that Reader gift! There's just nothing quite as sweet as connecting with a book / author in that way.


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