Monday, December 22, 2008


Santa Baby for Writers

by Cathy Hall

(Baboom, baboom, baboom, baboom)

Santa Baby,

Just slip a contract under the tree

For me

Been an awful good girl,

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa Baby, with five or maybe six figures, too,

Will do.

I’ll wait up for you, dear.

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the stuff I’ve missed.

Think of the rejection I’ve already risked.

I may have to get a job,

If you don’t check my Christmas list.

Santa baby, I want a book of my very own


No anthologies will do.

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa Cutie, and fill my stocking with an agent


An angel editor, too.

Santa Cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree

With sparkly web promotion, just for me.

I really believe I’m good enough.

Let’s see if you are good enough, too.

Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing,

A ring.

Oprah on the phone for me.

Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Hurry down the chimney



To find out what she's doing, other than begging Santa for a book contract, visit her blog, Cathy C.'s Hall of Fame . Her web site is

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Thursday, November 27, 2008


Unexpected Thanksgiving

I had an unexpected visit from a friend tonight (actually today, if you're in a different time zone). He came down from San Francisco to visit his relatives and stopped by our pad to say hello. It was after midnight and I was in the midst of cranking out WOW!'s holiday gift guide, and still am. With so much on my plate (and unfortunately, I'm talking work, not food!), it's hard to stop for a moment and just be. I have so many commitments and people to please online that sometimes I forget about myself.

At first, I was a little irritated by the unexpected visit. My mind was wrapped up in deadlines and I knew that any socializing would be a setback. But as I switched gears, I suddenly felt relieved, and recognized what was truly important. This was my hubby's best friend in the world, and a good friend of mine too. And I missed him. I can't remember how long it's been. We slipped into conversation like it was yesterday. He showed me the latest window displays he'd created for Saks Fifth Avenue in SF. We chatted about friends, family, love, work, and everything under the sun. And it was good. As he left, I asked him, "So, considering Thanksgiving, what do you have to be thankful for?" The first thing he said was, "Health..." Then he said, "Friends and family..." And we gave him a big hug goodbye.

After he left, I thought about what I was thankful for. So many things came to mind. The first two that he mentioned were also my first choices. My health. My friends and family. I'm also thankful for the many wonderful women I've met through WOW!--interns, columnists, readers, and those I've come to know through the site as personal friends. All of you are special in every way.

I'm also thankful for simple things: having a roof over my head, my relationship with my cat, my long straight hair that never has a bad hair-day (it can't do anything else but be straight!), and the beautiful days and nights here in Southern California.

I'm thankful for being able to write something and have it heard by others. Writing is definitely a gift for all that choose to use it. Many times, we focus on the negative things in our lives and what we need to improve, but today, I'd like to hear what you appreciate--writing or otherwise.

So, what are you thankful for?

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Friday, November 14, 2008


Sending Holiday Cards

Earlier this week, I crossed off one holiday task from my to-do list: ordering the holiday cards. Since we do an annual photo card of our daughters, I first had to figure out their outfits, take pictures of them on a cold morning, then choose and order a card design. I'm tired already and in a few weeks when the cards arrive, I'll have to handwrite a short personal greeting on each, address all the envelopes and send them! You probably know the drill.

Why keep doing it then? Friends and family seem to enjoy receiving pictures of the girls, for one. My bigger motivation is that I plan to put together a small album for the girls with copies of each year's card—a "sisters through the years" kind of thing. They are best friends, and it will make a nice gift someday.

As writers, we can also use our skills to keep in touch with people during this time of year. Some do an annual letter with family news, and of course a personal letter is always welcome. In Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays, Elaine St. James provides another suggestion: Have your family come up with a name or two or half a dozen of the people who have positively influenced your life, then send them a card or a note letting them know how much you appreciate their contribution.

St. James offers a few more ideas on the subject of Christmas cards. She can be tough, advising readers to just stop sending cards, or to cut down the list of who you send cards to. But if you don't want to quit entirely, here are some other possibilities from her book:

* Collect interesting and colorful postcards from your travels throughout the year, then send them off during the holidays with a personal message and an interesting anecdote from your trip.

* Respond to incoming holidays cards as they come in, so that you’re completing a little bit at a time. Each day, send a reply card to one person with a brief personal message.

* Respond to the cards you receive—but not at Christmas. Starting in the new year, each week at your leisure send a couple of hand-written personal notes in response to the holiday greetings you've received.

Do you send holiday cards every year? Feel free to share any tips you may have.


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