SALE SALE SALE

From December 1 to January 1, my 2013 anthology The Night is Starry will be $12.00 (plus shipping if you want it shipped).

They make great gifts for grandmothers and bookworms in general, and if you’re interested in supporting a local, self-publishing, university-student author, this is your chance! If you want them signed with a personal message, well, that’s pretty easy for me to do, and your grandma might find it cool she has a signed book.

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SALE SALE SALE

This is the last batch of hard copies of this anthology I plan on having printed, and there are about 20 copies left. I would love to have them sold by the end of 2014 so I can move onto my next hard copy writing project.

Profit from these last copies of The Night is Starry will be going towards my trip to the UK in 2015 and towards the printing of my next publication.

If you’re interested in buying a copy (or more than one!) you can email me at libby.maire@gmail.com and we can arrange either a pick-up location if you live in the area, or have it shipped to you. 🙂

Xoxoxo,

Libby

10 gift ideas for one university student from another

Despite the fact that Christmas is still more than a month away and that I hate the over-commercialized monstrosity that November 1st-January 1st has become, Christmas is beginning to be unavoidable. I bought eggnog on the weekend, I’ve caught myself humming Christmas carols, and I started mentally saluting those who have decked the sidewalks of the city with the first tricklings of twinkle lights.

Christmas is coming, and along with it, a slew of online pieces declaring the best thing to get the X in your life. Most of the items on these lists are cute but costly, and the lists of adorable DIY gifts are oriented to talented people who have time.

University students have neither an abundance of pocket money or the time to make something thoughtful for the important people in their lives at Christmas. While I don’t completely buy into the idea that everyone IS COMPELLED BY THE BLAZING PITS OF CONSUMERISM HELL to give presents to absolutely everyone they know ON PAIN OF DEATH, I understand the desire to give your friends and family something for the trouble they go through in simply knowing you.

So here we are, you on that side of the screen and me on this side. Hi. Thanks for still sitting there. You must be pretty cool.

Finding gifts for your family will be a little easier–you’re likely more willing to spend what little money you have on the people who created you and are responsible for your survival up to this point. But what about tes amis? I mean, you love the people in your tutorial for That One Interesting Class You Have, and you still feel like the members of your high school gang are your beloved homies, but you can’t buy cute things on Etsy FOR EVERYONE.

And with finals taking place just before Christmas, you’re going to be too busy sleeping studying to make a hundred decorative clay owls.

Here are a couple gift ideas for your fellow university student. 😉

1. FREE BACK RUBS.

Seriously. University is stressful, and everyone is tense and tired by the time the end of the semester rolls around. Maybe they’ll return the favour. This could be a bonding experience. Or maybe it could be creepy. Mostly it’ll be awesome for them. Maybe they’re cute and this could be your chance. LOLOL.

2. FUZZY SOCKS.

Dumbledore and Dobby got it right. Socks are awesome. And cheap (thanks, Dollarama). And come in a variety of colours and patterns. Not to mention super practical because winter is coming and chances are, like you, your friends have yet to invest in a pair of decent winter boots. This makes socks all the more welcome.

Master has given Dobby a sock!

3. COFFEE/TEA DATE.

Take your pal to a cute cafe (or Tim’s–never undervalue Tim’s. Tim’s can still be cute) and buy them a hot beverage. It’s like three bucks, two if you don’t get a latte. Your company is the real gift here. If you really wanna treat someone extra special (high school homies, what up? Long time no talk except on Facebook!) bring them back to your apartment/dorm and MAKE them tea. Cost goes way down. Also you can cuddle and talk about things that ought to not be discussed in public.

4. TOILETRIES.

If you go to Costco and buy a ton of soap, set aside a chunk for a bro. Us new adults, we’re not used to remembering to buy that stuff, so if you distribute some no-name toiletries to your friends a few less people will have to wash their hair with Sunlight Oxi Action dish detergent until next grocery day. Just put a bow on it.

(Bonus points: toilet paper. It’ll seem like a joke gift, but it will be put to use.)

5. CONDOMS?

Could also be perceived as a joke gift. Also very much free at your university’s student union. This is the cheapest and lamest of the cheap and lame. But hey. You never know. VOILA.

6. PAJAMA DANCE PARTY.

Recommended location: public place.

Recommended music: soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy.

Recommended attire: Santa pajamas or Star Lord costume,

Fun guaranteed. Film it. Post it. Become an internet sensation.

7. BUILD AN OLAF TOGETHER.

Everyone loves building snowmen, and for many of us it might have been awhile since we birthed one of those snowy creations. Snowball fights may or may not ensue. Weather dependent.

8. MASON JARS WITH STUFF IN THEM.

Or other kinds of jars. Like Kraft peanut butter jars. Throw in a bunch of stuff and decorate the lid with a bow and their name.

Ideas for “stuff:” tea bags, chocolate kisses, hot chocolate mix, candy canes, (or even condoms or socks).

9. ANY VARIETY OF CHEAP FOOD, BASICALLY.

Crackers, Mr. Noodle, Tim bits, Dollarama chocolate. A mini jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread. I’m sure they’ll eat it, because you know you will.

10. DO THEIR DISHES.

Lol I’m kidding. It’s Christmas. No one wants to do dishes. Take a nap together.

Creatively Lost: Watch the Snowflakes

It’s not that my mind is empty.

Far from it.

My mind is a blizzard, and every idea a snowflake.

Banks of ideas are depositing themselves into shelves of my brain, accumulating, growing, heaping into what I’m sure will become mountains, the kind you jumped off of as kids and scraped your jaw to pieces at the bottom of. Those kinds of mountains.

But catching a snowflake? You can hold out your hand as they fall around you, and take a glimpse as they settle on your mitten, but you can never make them last long enough to memorize their every detail.

You can take a shovel and dig at the mountain, but then all the snowflakes jumble together so you can’t tell one from the other.

You can take tweezers and pluck one up and put it on a glass slide stolen from the biology lab and keep it in your freezer. But then it’s not the same, not fresh, not pulsing from a recent exit of the heavens or electric from nestling with its brothers and sisters in the bank of snow.

So, you can see, my mind isn’t empty.

No, no, not at all.

I just can’t catch the damn snowflakes.

Sure, I have a WIP novel that has grown from a single snowflake to a tiny snowball. I have a small snowball for a themed anthology. I have a pinch of packed snow for another anthology.

But to build on them?

I can’t get the snow to stick, to wrap layers and build.

And there are so many options.

What to do, what to do?

The snow of ideas is overwhelming and underwhelming, like the fiftieth time a person from Hawaii sees real snow (though I’m not from Hawaii and grew up with snow) — weird and out-of-world, but by this point rather mundane.

Until I figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do with this snow before it gives my mind an eternal snow day, I’m going to curl up with a Christmas mug* of tea, a handmade quilt, and The Book Thief and let the snowflakes fall.

Advice from anyone with experience in snow-removal/nurturing?

This is what my mind looks like. It's pretty, btut Click for source. http://hdwallpapersdirectory.com/real-snowflake-falling.html
This is what my mind looks like. It’s pretty, but chaotic and confusing when you start to watch individual snowflakes. Click for source.

*Christmas mugs = the best part of Christmas, after family dinners and candy cane hot chocolate.