Monday, October 29, 2007


So I went to Tesco this morning, and was greeted by huge "Merry Christmas" signs and aisle after aisle of Xmas decorations, food, candies, etc. Yes, since there is no Thanksgiving here to "officially" kick of the season, they start whenever they like. (Actually, the Xmas stuff started appearing last month, but today was the first day they had the aisles set up and the wrapping paper etc.)

See, stores over here run out of shit. REALLY early. You cannot shop last-minute in the UK. There will be nothing left. The first year we were here, since we didn't have our own place until 23 November, we were stuck. We looked online. I found a website that had a great selection of Angelina Ballerina stuff (Princess was way into AB at that time).

It was December 14th. The store was closed until mid-January. So their employees could have a Christmas holiday. Admirable, but, um, stupid and irritating. A TOY store that closes for the entire Xmas season? Ooohkay.

Anyway, here's my point. We've started our shopping here. We've picked up several things for the girls already (of course, Faerie's birthday being December 8 forces us to move fast anyway). And I'm hunting around for myself and the hubs, as well as various Stateside folks who, let's be honest, could buy their own gifts because it's all cheaper and better there anyway. But I digress. (Sorry, I am irritated, because I spent several fruitless hours Saturday night trying to locate anyplace in the UK where I could buy Frye boots online, and came up zeros across the board. Grrr. I want those boots!)

I have come across some gems to share, though. I must own this. In fact, that website is filled with awesome.

Also check out these, which are a little bit of cool I've decided is worth the price.

I'm also looking at gifties for the hubs, which this year will include a pair of cufflinks. One thing I do love here is that men are much more likely to wear cufflinks, and I love them. I think they're so sharp (so much so that all but, I believe, TWO of my heroes [by which I mean that I write] wear them regularly. And one of those has the excuse that he rarely wears shirts, because he is a Fae warrior.) Anyway.

Here's the (sort of) point, which I fear is lost in all this gushy girly drivel. Hubs and I were looking at cuff links in Harrod's. There were many, many there with diamonds or cubics or whatever, which the hubs eschewed. I asked why.

He said, "Men shouldn't sparkle."

And that is why I love him.

I've been tempted to write a pinky ring on one character, but something always held me back, and I think that's what it is. Men shouldn't wear watched with floating diamonds or diamond-encrusted bezels. Men shouldn't wear big rocks. (I will accept, and hubs agrees, a tiny diamond as the "12" on a watch face, or on an otherside unadorned tie pin.) But something about it just feels...showy. Men shouldn't need to draw attention to themselves like that.

(This does not include various items in chunky platinum, titanium, or silver. I love unadorned chains around men's necks--especially the lumpy kind that hold dogtags--and rings are generally fine too. I like jewelry on men, even bracelets if they're thick and plain enough, or if they're spiked black leather. But nothing sparkly. Nothing attention-grabbing. A man's presence should command attention without it.)

And tose are my shopping thoughts for the day.


BernardL said...

That is definitely a unique knife holder. :)

Off topic, D, what do you think good E-book sales numbers would be in a month.

December/Stacia said...

Hmm. "Good" is kind of relative when it comes to ebooks, since numbers that are great for one genre (say, inspirational or sweet romance) might suck for another genre (erotic romance.)

Have you checked the figures on the EREC site? Emily lists whatever sales figures she gets and averages them.

On the whole, I'd say if the site can't draw enough traffic to generate a minimum of 250 copies sold in the first month, it's not a top seller. 100-150 copies is the bare minimum type of average I'd want to see before submitting to them. But those are BARE minimum figures. Look for the biggest publisher you can get, of course.

Does that help, or were you looking for something more specific? You can always email me too. :-)

Demon Hunter said...

Oh, how I loooove that knife holder. I have to get me one! :*) Christmas shopping sucks no matter where you :*)

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I never thought about men and sparkly things. My father doesn't wear anything except his wedding ring and sometimes plain gold cufflinks, and my brother has a platinum neck chain and maybe some other stuff he never wears. I know I don't like big stuff on men, it makes them look like they make their money running a few brothels - or maybe that's a German thing.

But my characters do wear sparkly rings, now I come think about it. It's just the historical context; men would wear garnets or sapphires in the Middle Ages and, to a lesser extent, in Rome. My Britain tribal warriors have a lot of silver stuff and some amber, and Arminius likes elaborate brooches and such. It's a sign of wealth and status.

Lyndon said...

Hi December Quinn, I know this is probably not the right place to post this request but I could not find a suitable alternative. We run the erotic ebook website and would love to exchange links with you. If you are interested, please email us at and we can get the ball rolling. Good luck with the blog and best regards.

Erica R said...

That knife holder *killed* me. Er, it. Er... well, you get me.

Hubs cracks me up. =)

Sam said...

Men shouldn't sparkle -

Charles Gramlich said...

I like that, "men shouldn't sparkle." Now I have a philosophy to go along with my natural practices

BernardL said...

That was just what I was looking for. Thanks, D.

Rebecca said...

Hilary and I WANT that knife block. want but do not NEED. Alas. and after a year of spending more than we should we're on a strict budget. 'tis going to be a very dull christmas, pressie-wise, at my place this year.

December/Stacia said...

True, DH, it does suck no matter where...but I think it's worse here, just because places run out of stuff early and don't order more. Last year we couldn't find chestnuts anywhere a week before Xmas, and they informed us they wouldn't be getting more in.

Oh, the rules are totally different for historical men, Gabriele. You expect personages from the past to wear jewels, and it's appealing and attractive on them. But modern men, it feels sort of peacock-y and insecure. Or, yeah, drug dealer/pimp.

I know, Erica, the knife holder is so cool, isn't it? The funny thing is, I emailed the site to my best friend in the States because her husband is a big computer guy, and she responded right away that it's his favorite site.

December/Stacia said...

Yep, Sam. It's just a little too...ladylike, isn't it? :-)

There you go, Charles! I'm totally trying to figure out a way how to work that line into a book.

You're welcome, Bernard!

I know, Rebecca. We've been pretty careful this year but it's still going to be a small Xmas, mainly because last year was a big one. But I do really want that knife set!

Bernita said...

I agree with "men shouldn't sparkle."
Says something about class.

December/Stacia said...

It does, doesn't it, Bernita! Confident people don't need to draw attention to themselves. As Frank Sinatra once said of an ID bracelet, "I don't need it. I know who I am."

Scary Monster said...

Iffin the monster wants to sparkle. All he needs to do is smile and light up he eyes with laughter.


P.S. That goes fer everyone, but women do make jewels look nice.


Angie said...

That knife set is awesome, LOL!

And I agree with you about cufflinks. Jim has a couple of sets to go with his tux (we do enough cruises that it was cheaper for him to buy one than to keep renting) and I love the look. :)