A (really) early guide to gifts for writers, from Terrible Minds

An entertaining post.

The original purpose of doing Gifts For Writers was that year after year so many of those gift lists comprised only entries like, “omg they like notebooks and pens and more notebooks and probably a candle.”

I’m immediately wondering: do many writers actually still use notebooks? Because, I mean, really? I don’t. But maybe I’m unusual and most writers do? I do have a (minor, generally) tendon issue with my right thumb that sometimes makes it uncomfortable to write, which may have made me reduce my use of notebooks. I mean, I remember using notebooks a lot, once. But maybe that’s why I’m slightly boggled at the thought of using a notebook for anything.

However, that’s not the part of the post that caught my eye. This is:

If you want fancy, weird, wonderful chocolates — and trust me when I say truly they are some of the best morsels of delight I have ever put into my slavering maw — then you should look no further than Bon Bon Bon. They give you these little single-box peculiarities

I haven’t mentioned this, but I’m re-reading all of Laura Florand’s chocolate romances right now. This is causing me to go through more chocolate than usual. My preference for basic everyday chocolate is 78% Lindt. I’d be more than willing to branch out if I happened across fancy, weird, wonderful chocolates.

And this:

Not sure how long it’ll be open, but currently you can get *blows trumpet made of apples* HEIRLOOM APPLE GIFT BOXES from Scott Farm in Vermont. You can also buy something called a “medlar,” which is tempting.

I actually did get a box of interesting apple from Scott Farms years and years ago, before deciding what apple trees to plant myself. One of my beautiful fancy apple trees (Mutsu) did not do well — wow, was it ever susceptible to apple-cedar rust — so I replaced it with a much more resistant apple variety, Liberty. The apples aren’t as good, but the tree is problem free, as advertised. We do spray, incidentally. But in a bad year, your susceptible trees will suffer no matter what you do, which perhaps advertising copy from tree nurseries may not make clear.

I remember reading advice once to cut down all cedar trees within some distance of the apple trees … a quarter of a mile, maybe? That made me laugh, in a grim sort of way. Even if you own all the land for a quarter mile in all directions — we do — there are literally thousands of cedar trees in that circle. Not very practical advice.

Anyway, current apple trees at my home: Liberty, Fuji (much better right off the tree, too sweet a week later), Pink Lady (a tremendous storage apple — the apples will still be good in March), Honeycrisp (eat them fast, but they do last for a few weeks), Goldrush (another storage apple, better after a month or so), and Hokuto. That’s one you won’t see anywhere. It’s a Fuji x Mutsu cross. It doesn’t bear every year, and the apples are better some years than others, but it’s a nice tree to have.

Of these trees, Pink Lady is the one I would recommend. It bears every year. Way too heavily; you have to thin the fruit hard in June, but this is still a plus. The apples are relatively pest-free with reasonable care, birds don’t hit them nearly as hard as the sweeter, earlier Fuji and Honeycrisp, and, as I say, Pink Lady apples store for months. If I were only going to have two trees of this set, it would be Pink Lady and Goldrush. Goldrush generally doesn’t bear as heavily and has a quite different flavor, but is otherwise similar to Pink Lady. That is, birds don’t hit it hard, and the apples store well and are even better for baking.

We did, by the way, eventually escalate to THREE strands of electric wire to keep the squirrels out of the orchard. That worked. This year we’re rolling in apples. I picked almost the last of them yesterday — about fifty or so. I’ve got about a hundred stored at my house and the rest are at my mother’s house. Apple dumplings for Thanksgiving!

Moving on:

I wanted nicer, cushier socks for running, and someone recommended Thorlos, and now I am recommending them to you, as well. I don’t just use them for running. I wear them for walking. For standing. For sitting. They are like HUGS for your FEET from a SOCK ANGEL. Seriously, there’s something very nice about giving yourself comfortable footwear. That’s a decidedly old person thing to say, I do recognize

If you’re getting older, might as well embrace Old Person comforts. I should get my mother socks like this. I bet she’d really like them.

I’m sure there will be many, many posts on “gifts for writers,” most perhaps emphasizing notebooks and pens. Like Chuck Wendig, I personally vote for kitchen items and chocolate. And books. Just because I’m barely reading anything doesn’t mean I don’t want more books!

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2 thoughts on “A (really) early guide to gifts for writers, from Terrible Minds”

  1. I do use notebooks . . . the ones from our local Dollar Tree. I cover the rather hideous plastic binding with scrapbook paper. That’s where I keep all my notes not made while actually writing, as I am a Luddite and do not have a smartphone to take notes on. I keep a notebook or pad of paper of some kind in every jacket pocket, along with a pen.
    Oh, I always give my family a list of books I want. On that list, I have everything from how-to books to the latest from my favorite authors. And now that my local library is closing (temporarily) for construction, it does look like I will need to get a few more for my own collection.
    Mmm, apples. We have a Winesap tree that, if I could convince my parents to spray it, would do well by us for long-storage apples. Most of our trees are summer or early autumn apples like Transparents, Macintoshes, Jonathans, etc., but we’re getting ready to plant some new trees since our Bartlett pear has a hand-sized hole through the trunk and some of the other trees are just . . . dying a slow death. They *are* well over 75 years old, though. Perhaps I’ll look into getting a Pink Lady.

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