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Clandestine Claus 2015: sign up!

tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush RangerSocial Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
edited October 2015 in The Writer's Block
Oh, hey, Writer's Block compatriots, companions, colleagues and cohorts--

In the interest of camaraderie and seasonally-appropriate cheer, let's do this!

SIGN UP as follows:
:bzz: PM @tapeslinger !

In your PM you need to include:

- Your real name and address at which you receive box-type mail. If you will be away on holiday during any of the weeks between Christmas and New Year's, include that as well if you know what days you won't be home so your Clandestine Claus doesn't go nuts refreshing the thread eagerly awaiting your post.

- whether you are willing / able to ship international gifts! We will do what we can to make it work. Don't let being an international deter you from signing up... We will find a way!

- I can't imagine why anyone in this particular subforum would send an NSFW gift, but if you're opening your stuff at work or with your family or whatever, it's worth mentioning so your Clandestine Claus doesn't buy you a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover or whatever.

- Kringle forbid, should something terrible happen and a TWBer goes ungifted, would you be on the Reserve List to save the day?

:bzz: Post to the thread so others know you're in, and include a short stuff you like/stuff you don't type list. Include steam, amazon, gog, etc wishlists if needed (helpful for international in the event your Clandestine Claus wants to bypass horrible shipping fees). Maybe mention books you're interested in, stuff you might want to research, topics unrelated to writing that you like. The origin point of our friendships in twb is storytelling, but beyond that, there's a lot to explore!

Every Writer's Block comrade who has been a member of the PA Forums since December 2014 is eligible to play, provided you have a posting history in TWB or the Well. You don't have to have a huge posting history in twb; the time limit just applies to your overall forum membership.

Exceptions may be made at my discretion, or by ElJeffe and the rest of the PA mod squad. There are a few people who are regulars in #thewritersblock IRC chat, for example, and for this case that's good enough for me, provided their PA profile meets the December 2014 cutoff. If you are newer to the PA forums than that, you'll need someone to vouch for you who has been here for that time.

Sign-ups run through November 20th; I will get your Claus to you on November 23rd at the latest, so you can utilize Cyber Mega Shop Holiday sales as needed to kick off your gifting. This gives you over a month to get your shit together in terms of budget and timing for signing up, AND over a month to make, or order, and ship your thing.

Your gift is expected to arrive by Christmas unless disaster strikes. In the event disaster strikes, your odds of not getting kneecapped considerably improve if you communicate with me!

If you haven't taken care of your Clandestine Claus by the 15th of January, though (guys don't make me finish this sentence.)

Should a problem with your Claus assignment arise, notify me as quickly as you possibly can, via forum PM so I have some follow-through type thing.

If you're new to PA Secret Someone type projects, here's a very brief primer:

* post a short thing about you, stuff you like and dislike, and whatever else might be useful to your new Clandestine Claus.

* buy (or make!!) rad gift for the person on your list that they. And ship it to them so it arrives by Christmas.

* receive rad gift from someone else. Post photos if you can. Appreciate how cool it is that we live in the future where we have friends all over the map!

These are pretty much the steps to follow. PM me if you need to know more or if you are ready to sign up!

tapeslinger on


  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited November 2015
    tapeslinger on
  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    edited November 2015
    Ok, so I should be writing for NaNo, but this thread is lonely and mid-list and I just can't have that. Yay for procrastination! Yay for bumping!!

    Last year, I followed the group and said something along the lines of, "send me something that says something about you and what you love. Share a piece of yourself." I still like that standard.

    My Claus last year sent me a lovely card, cookies and a beautiful handmade 8-pointed wheel that sits on my desk with my other writing talismans. I look at it often as I go through my writing cycles. My boys also admire it often and I've gotten a lot of joy and pleasure using it as a teaching tool for them about other cultures and religions. I am a person who greatly appreciates the magnitude of the small gesture, the symbolism of the small item that holds in it personal power.

    If that's really not your gig, please consider the following:

    I lost my WonderBook and I don't know where it is. :( I would really like a new one...

    I'd love to be a person who reads and loves poetry. If you love poetry, please share your passion with me. Send me a poetry book, maybe with some notes on some of your favorites? That would make me so, so happy.

    I'm also not the most prolific reader of science fiction and fantasy. I've read some stuff: Dune, Ender's Games, Hyperion, and some of the other super-classics. But I've tried Margaret Atwood and didn't love it. I'm trying the Culture series and don't love it... Send me something that sparks your imagination... and write me a little note about how I'll love it too.

    If those ideas don't work for you, or if you'd like to help me become a better writer, consider that my goals for 2016 are to:

    Write and edit a fantastical novel, project name SilverWood: I'd love the gift of a coach/mentor/reader who would give me feedback.

    Self-pub on Wattpad (or something) my Meadowlark Series: This requires a pretty cover. If you are, or if you know a graphic artist, I'd really love the gift of some cover art for my story. Meadowlark, especially, which is done and edited.

    Submit at least 2 short stories next year: 1 literary to go to a super-hard market like VQR or Kenyon Review and 1 fantastical to a super-hard market like Clarksworld. Would you consider keeping me accountable and reading my work? Giving me honest feedback about a story and helping me polish it would be such a superior gift.

    Apply to one writer's conference, likely Breadloaf. Again, being a reader/cheerleader/mentor through the process would be such a big deal for me.

    All of these are pretty big "asks" I know, and I know that they don't all represent a tangible gift. But I appreciate the gift of time more than most people, as it's the number one thing I don't really have during my day. For you to extend a little bit of your time, knowledge and patience to me and my craft is, in my view, the greatest of gifts.

    KCWise on
  • TraikanTraikan Registered User regular
    Aw yiss, Clandestine Claus!

    Last time I signed up I got some kick-ass Cthulhu dice that are still the envy of everyone I play D&D with. And that's not even mentioning the LEGO and comics that came with them!

    This year, I've moved away from home for the first time ever. My apartment is pretty minimalist right now, and while I'm not looking for massive wall tapestries or carpets worthy of King Solomon, I would love to get some cool stuff to decorate my pad with! I have tall walls and lots of empty space there, so I can fit just about anything you might want to send me somewhere in here!

    I also have some desk space, so if it's something that should go on a desk, I can make that work too! Just nothing too gigantic.

    If you get me something that goes on the wall and you include some paint-safe adhesive stuff to hang it with, I will consider you my personal hero for at least 3 months.

    I love hand-made gifts of any kind, and I'll list a few types of things I enjoy:
    - Cool sci-fi/fantasy art
    - Dungeons & Dragons
    - Lovecraft
    - Cats
    - Books
    - Comic books

  • bigrickcookbigrickcook Dord of Lance? OklahomaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Yeah, I'm in for this year. I'll edit this with a thing later today. Last year I went all sentimental and got some amazing things, but this year I think I'll go a little different in my request.


    So, my gift-giver, you want to know what I'd like for a gift? I want to experience the work of art/fiction/video game/whatever that is most responsible for who you are today, with the context of what about it so affected you that it changed your perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

    If it's a video game on a console I no longer own or that cannot be obtained via a digital store, I will obtain the means to play the game.

    If you have just a book or movie or something relatively cheap and feel like it's not enough, I also am a big fan of X-Files but have no memorabilia relating to the show. I am a Whedon fan but similarly I have no merch for the various Whedonverse things.

    If you're a creator and want to show me something you create, I would be delighted to receive handmade/homemade gifts.

    Second Edit: I will be out of state for about five days right around Christmas, so if my Clandestine Claus is sending something time-sensitive, be aware of that. The official dates are the 23rd through the 30th.

    bigrickcook on
    Panning For Clouds, a writing blog dedicated to my fiction and writing columns! Updates at least twice a week.
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited November 2015
    also me


    Your Claus-es have been issued, and you have a month to make it happen!

    Go forth and give good cheer!

    tapeslinger on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Oh whoops it is me, I forgot to post a list

    Hi! I'm a sci-fi writer and editor, propmaker, sculptor, art person.

    General interests:

    *Science Fiction: I love space opera, rockets and rayguns, eldritch horror, pulp, hard sf, science fantasy... My physical book collection is weird and spotty. I buy a lot secondhand.

    *I am a sculptor, toy-collector, figure-modder.
    I love handmade sculpting tools, unusual figures, etc. I'm getting into custom head forms for 1/6 scale action figures and things like that.

    *Stuff you made by hand is awesome! ElJeffe once made me a pixel portrait of a space unicorn out of miniature rubik's cubes and I gaze upon its majesty every day.  If you think of something equally insane, run with it!

    *Board games. This is a "check with nexus" category, we have a bunch. Between us we own most of the Cards Against Humanity add-ons but there's still a bunch we are missing, especially rare and hard to get stuff. We have like, 2/3ds of *one* of the PAX sets, for example.
    I'm also going to have to start puttying up and painting the twelve pounds of plastic figures that came with my copy of Kingdom Death: Monster eventually, so maybe not something requiring a ton of assembly.

    Pop culture stuff I like:

    *Venture Brothers
    love. this. show. There is a long spoiler about this somewhere else but basically it's a thing.

    *I like Penny-Arcade and Camp Weedonwantcha as well-- davidsdurions sent me the CTS figure last year which I have pledged to myself to finish and display by uh... Christmas 2015!

    *Star Wars is a thing; I'm not super into the kitsch stuff OR the Imperial stuff so like maybe not the novelty Darth Vader toothbrush holder or whatever. Han and Leia 5ever.

    *I <3: good beer, whiskey, bourbon, scotch, rum, hot sauce
    *Local treats from your part of the world are great!
    *If you bake or make foods that can be shipped, cool!

    If you're international and trying to bypass shipping stuff, that's fine!
    *I recently discovered and have zero shame about wanting tiny sculpts of my novel characters in fine detail plastic.

    *I have a Steam account (links in sig) and I use my steam wishlist to actually wish for games I want, whoa.

    *my Amazon wish list is like gazing into the abyss but if you need it, pm one of my cohort and I will add it, but *reluctant Tina Belcher throat noise here.*

    --Not so into:

    *no consoles! Sorry. Fake geek girl.

    *If you make a music mix or something like that in the "craft a thing" way, like a dj set or something, cool? I wouldn't make it a priority item. God Is An Astronaut and Florence + the Machine would be the most representative of my music preferences.

    *I'm really not into Star Trek or Doctor Who. I know. I'm sorry. It's a moral failing of mine.

    When in doubt:

    ask nexuscrawler. he is my boyfriend dude guy person and he's the one who will have to live with your choices.
    Other people for asking things: Quoth, zenpotato (mattosaur), and BEAST! might be able to help you if you get stuck, they know stuff about me that I probably don't even know.

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I haven't put up things because I am terrible, so here we go. If you've already bought stuff, don't freak out, because I am pretty easygoing about things.

    Amazon wishlist in progress: (not meant to be exhaustive or restrictive)

    I'm trying to eliminate clutter from my life, so getting me objects is not necessarily a good plan. Better options would include:
    • e-books: I mostly like fantasy stuff but have read a lot, so the wishlist will likely assist here, or you can be sneaky and have someone else check whether I own/have read a thing you think I will like. I should also probably read more sci-fi, of the recent variety rather than old school.
    • iTunes songs/albums: my tastes are weird but tend towards alt rock, sample artists I am enjoying lately include Arctic Monkeys, The Delta Saints, The Black Keys, Hall & Oates, Erin McKeown, Kris Delmhorst, Purity Ring, Regina Spektor
    • iPhone apps: if there's something really useful or cool you think I'd like? I don't even know about this one but maybe you do.
    • downloadable games for WiiU, PS3 or PS4: I don't have a list but if you get someone in IRC to ask me about a thing, I will give my opinions. There are definitely a lot of games I kind of want but haven't been able to get for whatever reason.

    I also love consumables, so if you have a way to get some for me, that is rad. I like chocolate, marshmallows and gummy worms, not necessarily at the same time. My favorite candies are Payday, Reese's Pieces, Peppermint Patties and Starburst Jelly Beans. I LOVE Crunchies but getting them shipped from the UK is likely out of budget.

    Homemade stuff is cool, but probably don't knit me clothes because I will only be able to use them once a year when I visit my in-laws. You can knit me other things? Like, uh, mug cozies or something. Clearly, my knitting knowledge is vast.

    Don't buy me:
    Stuff where kids or animals are killed/tortured: TERRIBLE
    Anything by a Sad/Rabid Puppy*, Simon Green or Terry Goodkind: HORRIBLE
    Cats: ALLERGIC
    Licorice: VILE
    NSFW objects: PRUDE
    Jewelry: I'm not opposed to it, but I don't wear it much and/or my kid tends to break it

    *if you don't know what this means, that's awesome, but ask someone or google it

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    So either I bought a bunch of books at random times without remembering, or someone bought some for me? I seriously am not sure.

  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    Dear Santa,

    Please don't send no robbers to my house or nuffin', but I won't be at my residence next week. So if you've already sent your little somethin' somethin', you're probably ok. If you are planning on doing it and it's perishable, please consider waiting until after Christmas. If it's not perishable, fire away!



  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    So either I bought a bunch of books at random times without remembering, or someone bought some for me? I seriously am not sure.

    According to your Santa, it is not they!

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
  • DoctorJestDoctorJest Grand Eedjit The Loony BinRegistered User regular
    Did I miss something awful about Simon Green?

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    DoctorJest wrote: »
    Did I miss something awful about Simon Green?

    Quoth is just Not a Fan, iirc
    I don't think he's thrown in with the Puppie Slate or anything like that

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Okay so I was waiting to post my omg gift!post when I actually got the frame for mine and then whoops our thread was stranded over here in Area X of the Southern Reach for Christmas week.


    I think this is the most exciting bread I have ever received in my life. I am not exaggerating. @KCWise, I would no joke be interested in subscribing to your bread newsletter. In the parlance. I bought extra special mine-all-mine, no-touchy butter for this.


    And this owl! It is so awesome to me that the artist is a friend of yours - - this is such a lovely illustration. I was That Person in the craft shop last week looking for just the right style of frame with the photo on my phone so I could hang it up this week!


    KC, your letter made me all dewy - - it was so huge to me to have you go out of your way for me this past October; you gave me a morning drive with a sunrise like this:

    When it could very easily have been anxious busride after anxious busride nowhere near anything beautiful or awesome. Having someone to meet me along the way kept the anxiety waaaaaay down. (and yes you saw how anxious I was; that constitutes waaaaaay down.) I appreciate your friendship so much, lady! Thank you so much for being a wonderful part of my holiday (and my everyday)!

  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    OH!! That is the PERFECT frame!!

  • Ronin356Ronin356 Nowhere MORegistered User regular
    I guess it's too late to get on this. :(

    Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.
    Georgia O'Keeffe
    Be sure to like my Comic Book "Last Words" on facebook:!/pages/Last-Words-The-Comic-Book/458405034287767
    and Magenta the Witchgirl!:

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Ronin356 wrote: »
    I guess it's too late to get on this. :(
    Yes, entirely so.

  • bigrickcookbigrickcook Dord of Lance? OklahomaRegistered User regular
    So here's the skinny on my gifts. I left Oklahoma City in a whirlwind of worry and left the gifts to be mailed out sitting in my room. I have been in Houston ever since and will be returning to OKC tomorrow. But I won't be back in time to mail anything before the long weekend, so it's gonna be Monday before I can send it all out.

    I'm so tired of making excuses for this. I'm getting my CC gifts sent out on Monday. I'm sorry I've been such a butt about it, last year and this year.
    Panning For Clouds, a writing blog dedicated to my fiction and writing columns! Updates at least twice a week.
  • bigrickcookbigrickcook Dord of Lance? OklahomaRegistered User regular
    I have received a package from Washington and a package from Bulgaria. Aaaaaart. Doctor Who, Serenity, and X-Files! I assume it is CC but not certain. Either way, they are excellente.
    Panning For Clouds, a writing blog dedicated to my fiction and writing columns! Updates at least twice a week.
  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    edited January 2016
    I really must have been good this year, because I got everything I put on my list! Such a spoiled little girl I am. I'm not sure if I'm worthy.

    Matter of fact, I'm especially not worthy today, as I'm most effectively in my wintertime writer's block and I've pretty much wasted the day. I was covered up in blankets, sinking into a nap, when Alex announced the UPS man. "We got a package! What did we get?" Honestly, I thought it was the diaper delivery. Imagine my surprise to find something so much better!

    [Note: Spoilers on the pictures because they are huge and I don't know how to fix it and I don't wanna be responsible for nobody's data overage]

    I'm so grateful for a replacement for my WonderBook and I promise to guard it with my life! It'll never leave this house, it will always be in a useful spot, and I'll treat it with great care! I've never read any Asimov (oh yes, I know, I'm gonna earn a lot of ire for that), so I'm looking forward to reading Foundation after I'm done with The Colour of Magic. I've also spent very little time with Dickinson, so I'm looking forward to reading your suggested poems and then exploring beyond. Your reasoning behind loving her, Rick, is really kind of wonderful.

    The most precious item in the box that just arrived is a penny. A 1909 VDB penny, "the history of which is not as important as the context of why it is important [to Rick]." It's a beautiful and simple little coin surrounded by tape and cardboard, a bit of handwriting labeling it without further flair. Yet it is a talisman and a luck charm, and it has traveled many miles to come to my desk.

    I'm honored and grateful Rick, and it shall always have a consecrated place resting with my two other most powerful writing totems.

    Not pictured, though, and impossible to picture anyway, is the gift of time that Rick has so graciously offered. By offering to be an Alpha or Beta reader for me at some point during my Silverwood writing, going so far as to even offering to set up weekly times to talk about the my writing process and progress, Rick is really vying for the position as my writing Alpha and Omega. It's a huge offer, one that I don't take lightly. One that I'm really floored by. Time is precious, and to make such a generous offer means the world to me.

    So... this is ultimately a huge kick in the pants. I have to beat the block and get back to writing. How better can I show my gratitude for these many precious gifts than to live up to them through hard work and steadfast dedication to the craft?

    I don't know what to say beyond a simple thank you, Rick. You're wonderful and this is wonderful. Thank you for making my whole day! I'd hop into IRC to say more, but I am prepping an early dinner and heading off to my first official kindergarten meeting. I'll make time tomorrow, though. I promise.

    KCWise on
  • bigrickcookbigrickcook Dord of Lance? OklahomaRegistered User regular
    Yay, KC! I'm glad you like it all.

    Jeffe's gift should arrive tomorrow and then I'm officially out the butts club. Then I can look into getting into the Butts Club, which is a totally different and much better thing.
    Panning For Clouds, a writing blog dedicated to my fiction and writing columns! Updates at least twice a week.
  • TraikanTraikan Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    I received a very excellent woodburned D&D ampersand but realized I hadn't posted about it!

    It's glorious:

    I have currently hung it on my closet door where it guards my clothing.

    Also, Rick, you should have another package on the way. Not that I'd know anything about that! I seem to have terrible luck with shipping Christmas presents across the country, so it's taking forever, but I have faith it will eventually reach you.

    Traikan on
  • bigrickcookbigrickcook Dord of Lance? OklahomaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Traikan wrote: »
    I seem to have terrible luck with shipping Christmas presents across the country, so it's taking forever, but I have faith it will eventually reach you.

    My gift to Jeffe last year mysteriously disappeared for about three weeks in Nevada or Utah or something and then when it was recovered it found its way back to me instead of going to its intended destination. So I know those shipping woes.

    That is the best ampersand known to mand.

    bigrickcook on
    Panning For Clouds, a writing blog dedicated to my fiction and writing columns! Updates at least twice a week.
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I am so glad you got it, Traikan. It's been there for weeks and I was worried someone stole it! More presents are to come...

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