Book Lovers: Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2011

Posting will be sporadic here through January 1st.

Echoing something a friend said to me recently, it’s been a tough, tough couple of years for the publishing industry and associated book culture, for writers, agents, and everyone else. A lot of good people have had a difficult time and had to work twice as hard to get results. It’s been tough on a lot of people, frankly, across a lot of different types of careers.

I know that writers having the opportunity to write is a gift and privilege not a right, and that writers in the grand scheme of things are fairly unimportant…but this is the little corner of the world I inhabit, and I’d just like to say: peace and love to every one of you who is in some way connected to the written word–writing it, selling it, marketing it, promoting it, publishing it, editing it, etc. And reading it.

People out there appreciate you, even if you don’t always get day-to-day affirmation of that. Thanks to every single one of you, because I know each one of you loves books, because lord knows there are easier fields to make a career in.

Have a great holiday and I hope, rested and de-stressed, we all come out re-energized in 2011.

..and if you want to post here about some uplifting experience you had with books, people in the industry, writers, or book culture generally, feel free to share…


  1. says

    I recently had the impertinence to ask a real-life writer — he writes fiction, criticism, reviews, edits anthologies, you name it — for a bit of career advice for my fledgling reviewing career. Even though the guy is one of the busiest people I know, he took the time to respond to me — and he didn’t even just answer my question, but gave me some good additional advice. One doesn’t expect that sort of generosity in these hard days. Thanks, Jeff — you’re good people.

  2. says

    It is good to remind ourselves of that, indeed, Jeff. And I echo Terry’s sentiment — you are remarkably generous with your help to us fledgling writers.

    As frustrating and crazy and amazing and confusing and unpredictable as this year has been for me as a writer, I did get to experience something rather remarkable. I had a small press editor get a book of mine. I finally broke through that barrier, albeit in a relatively small way, and had someone else get me. Exchanging emails with my editor for the last few months, working on revisions and making the novel better, why, it’s thrilling. And encouraging beyond belief. And kind of like magic. :)

  3. says

    I’m kind of hesitant to type this comment, but I’m being encouraged to do so, and I feel I should.

    Words have helped me in so many ways. I suffer from a rare degenerative bone disease (Osteochondritis dissecans) that affects both my knees and elbows. It is where the bone and cartilage are blood deprived and begin to die, flaking off and causing lock-ups and, in my case, constant extreme pain (even now my knee is throbbing and hot to the touch from swelling). It is topped off by Osteoarthritis, which doesn’t help. Last February my right leg gave out, so that I am unable to walk and must use crutches. My left knee is beginning to degrade as well and so are my elbows, namely my right, accelerated by the pressure of being on crutches. I am unable to get the treatment I need and have been waiting 5 years for S.S.I. so that I can get Medicaid and get the surgeries I need. As time goes by, my condition degrades even more, bringing stronger pain. Now I say all this because one of the major things in my life (other than the love and care of my friends and family, namely my mom who is currently taking care of me) that keeps me going, gives me hope, is reading books and writing. And Jeff, your works are the ones that inspire me most, along with Mieville and Moorcock and Gaiman, among others. I pick up a book from you or the others and I can be transported into these incredible worlds. Your words soothe by their beauty. And not only do I go to these worlds. Since I was fifteen I have been working on my own settings. And these last five years, I find solace in my worlds, feeding them my pain, stress, and depression. And you have inspired me to reach beyond, to try new things. This disease will be with me for the rest of my life, but I am going to try and stay positive (which is very hard most times) and let your words, that of others, and my own give me hope.

    I’m not the first to thank you for your words and your encouragement, and I know I will not be the last. I thank you so very much for your words and for being such a great person. And I thank words. Have a good holiday.

  4. says

    I’ve had a peculiarly challenging year with lots of ups and downs and I’m about to face the New Year in even worse shape. But I have been astonished at the generosity and goodwill of several wonderful people I’ve had the good fortune to meet during and since my attendence at Worldcon in Montreal last year. These include Bruce McAllister, Mike Resnick, Jim Kelly, Eileen Gunn, Lezli Robyn, Barb Galler-Smith, Diane Walton, Claude Lalumiere and several others. The cold bite of recession and the general state of the world may threaten to overwhelm us at times, but I feel part of a real community in this ‘little corner of the world’. Best wishes to everybody.

  5. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Hey, Mike–glad to be of use. Those are some great authors you mention, and I really do think that, done the right way, reading is the most immersive experience–more immersive than video games or movies or anything else.


  6. says

    I completely agree and writing does that to me as well. I do have to add that music, for me, can be just as immersive as reading and writing. I listen to music and I write my own, and when I’ve either got the headphones on, or I’ve got my guitar and am playing a song, I shut everything else off and just focus on the music. I am so glad I have these outlets.

  7. says

    I too appreciate how much help and attention you give to those who approach you. And Mike, that’s a touching story. Words and stories are indeed a solace during hard times, whether that of others or your own. I agree with Jeff that a good book is more immersing than a movie or video game.