Head's Up: Pixie Packages

Let's Make This a World Worth Writing For

For now this is only a tease. Indulge me here.

For the second year I’m offering hand-made gifts to the first hundred people who donate a hundred bucks or more to the Pixie Project. Pixie rescues dogs and cats, finds them homes, provides medical care, provides food and other supplies and is generally an all-round decent force in the world. In our remarkably divided culture I’ve met people from every extreme who agree on one issue: Animal welfare. And they all help support Pixie founder Amy Sacks in funding the haven she created in 2006.

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As for me, here’s my shtick. In my earliest memories I’m hunting for agates with my father. To keep him alive in my head I still collect rocks as I travel. Thus, after every book tour I drag home a suitcase of semiprecious stones. These I combine with bits of jewelry that once belonged to my mother. For the most part I make bookmarks. Often for people I meet on tours, but lately as gifts to reward Pixie Project donors. In the past lockdown year I’ve made and wrapped a hundred such bookmarks which range in length from two feet to a whopping four feet.

A short list of the gemstones I’ve used includes: amazonite, lace agate, dumortierite, hematite, pearls, chromium diopside, jasper, abalone, coral, rose quartz, peridot, tigers eye, amethyst, howlite, pyrite, obsidian, petrified wood, calcite, carnelian agate, jade, rhodonite, tiger iron, aventurine, fluorite, moss agate, rock crystal, sodalite, turquoise, Dalmatian dacite, goldstone, lapis lazuli, chrysoprase, variscite, rhyolite, serpentine, unakite, chalcedony, onyx, malachite, apatite, opal, aquamarine, bloodstone, moonstone, emerald, citrine, Labradorite, garnet, kunzite, and amber. All strung on fine steel cable. It is my stupid, impossible hobby on long winter afternoons. But as I write in so many book inscriptions: Only the impossible is ever worth doing.

Only the impossible is ever worth doing.

I regret to say I cannot mail any of the gifts outside the United States. That’s a hard No. I’m not an asshole1, it’s simply that making each bookmark takes me about one day. And it takes a second day and copious hot glue to wrap each. That’s two days out of my life for each gift. Plus I pay the postage. But because they’re wrapped, customs officials either seize or destroy them. Trust me on this. I’ve learned from some miserable experiences.

To those of you who met me at the Crossing Border Festival in The Hague, I hope you enjoyed the blow-up sex dolls. I’d actually shipped three times as many. All autographed. Some six hundred of them never made it through Customs. Those are the many, many sex dolls that you did NOT get.

These gifts are not something I do simply to get them done. Each I make and wrap as if it’s the only one I’ll ever do — because chances are it’s the only one that someone else will ever receive. That said, the only key I’ve found to consistently enjoying my life to to overdo things. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Now the tease. The gift-giving window isn’t ready yet, but it will be soon. If you want to be notified the moment the gifts are available, please subscribe to the Pixie newsletter. Once they announce the gift window, the first one hundred donations of one hundred dollars or more will qualify for a gift. Last year they sold out in less than twenty-four hours.

If you make the cut, please provide Pixie with a safe, secure mailing address. I pack and mail the boxes myself, each with a personal letter that describes the enclosed bookmark. Because of the limited quantity of gifts I can’t be responsible for lost or stolen packages.

For now, thank you for your patience. I’ll post here when I hear the gift-giving window is open. But for faster notice, please contact the Pixie Project. Register to be notified.

Know a writer having a birthday? Need a holiday gift for the writer in your life? Consider getting her a subscription. Let me know, and I’ll give them a shout out!


Okay, I am an asshole. But it’s still a hard No.