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A Letter To Santa (From a Busy Writing Mum)

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Dear Santa,

This Christmas I'd like an extra hand. Not figuratively, mind you. I'm not being wishy-washy here. I'm talking an actual hand, one with five agile fingers that can tap away at a computer keyboard while my other hands (the now-weary ones) get on with the business of holidaying with my family.

Because, as you well know, there's quite a lot to be handled at this time of year, like slathering sunscreen on the kids' faces as we head to the beach, holding the tent poles while hubby hammers in the pegs, dipping a finger in the gravy while the other hand stirs the spoon...

All of this doesn't leave a single finger free to get on with my next novel, and as a fanatical fiction writer it's like depriving a small child of... well... Santa!

Now I know I asked for this last year but as you didn't come through with the goods, I thought I'd have another crack.

Please, please, please send me another five digits! Pronto!

Like most writers I know, I really need to dedicate some time to my long-suffering children, yet I also want to get some extra writing in. Hell, I'm desperate for it!

The second instalment of The Agatha Christie Book Club isn't going to write itself, you know, and it's now so overdue, my readers might start giving me a finger or two--and not the ones I want.

All I want for Christmas is another four fingers and an opposable thumb.

And in case you're wondering, I don't need an extra brain, so please don't waste your time on that. I mean--and don't quote me on this--it doesn't take a lot of smarts to hang out with a couple of teenage boys, let's face it. I'll just do what they do and grunt occasionally. I've been cooking Christmas roasts for a decade so that's a cinch, and as for the hubby? As long as I smile vaguely and laugh at his jokes, he may not even notice. (Just pretend I never said that.)

But a missing hand will be a disaster! How will I properly wrap the pressies, stuff the turkey or hug my loved ones? How will I put some real oomf into it?

Nope, sorry, only one thing will do, and that's a whole other hand to stay behind in my office and continue with the book. It needn't be new, I'm really not fussy. In fact, now I think about it, it's preferable that it's second-hand. An older woman's would be ideal! One that's worked in secretarial long before 'Personal Assistants' were invented and delete buttons appeared on strange contraptions called 'computers'.

There is no hand more proficient than an elderly secretary who got her chops up on a rusty typewriter sans carbon paper and White Out.

But if you can't manage that, all I ask is that it has a pretty good typing speed; 75 words per minute would be perfect. Hell, it would be like all my Christmases had come at once. Then this extra hand could finish my next novel before I'd polished off the last of the fruitcake.

Really, is that too much to ask?

I hope not, Santa. After all, not all of us have a team of trusty elves happily hanging around to do our handiwork for us.

Thanking you in advance and with much anticipation...


PS: Feel free to throw in a nose for a good story while you're at it.