Listening to someone else

I recently joined a Halloween themed internet gift giving swap. I usually don’t go for these kinds of things, but I figured what the heck – I’ll give it a try. At the very least I get to go out and get a holiday gift for someone else.

For the first part of the exchange, you have to tell your “match” about yourself.

Tell us about yourself:

Greetings! When my kids were little I decorated the entire house for Halloween and made sure they had “scary” foods for dinner before going trick or treating. Now that they are older, I’m just as happy to curl up with a good, scary (but not gory) book. Recently read Stephen King’s Misery and The Long Walk and they scared the living wits out of me. I’d love to read a copy (used is fine) of a book that you found to be particularly scary or psychologically memorable.

Do you prefer tricks or treats?

Both are fine. (although trying to cut back on sugar.)

Who or what are you dressing up as this Halloween?

A grown woman wearing flannel pajamas.

That’s it, just 3 little questions.


This is what my internet friend (I’ve never met this person, I don’t even know where in the U.S. they live) sent me. The mug is for coffee to keep me up so I can read late into the night.

Couldn’t have been more perfect (and yes, my goal is to finish It by Halloween.) It doesn’t take much, it just takes thought and the ability to listen to someone else.

Which brings me to the point of this post. The holidays are quickly approaching We are all writers. We all love books and chances are many of us don’t have a lot of extra cash.

That doesn’t mean we still can’t do something special for each other.

Instead of buying gifts for each friend why not pull a name out of a hat and then get the person you picked a copy (used is fine) of a book they would love or one of your favorite books with a letter explaining why you loved it so. (Great plot, couldn’t put it down, funny as all get out, etc.)

I held a party once where I did just that. I was going in for surgery and I didn’t want any gifts – “But if you want to really give me something,” I told my invitees, “then give me a copy of a book you loved.”

I got a basket full of books that kept me busy during my entire recovery period. Not only did I get to enjoy the books, but I also got to think about my friends while I read them.

Win, win, win.

It doesn’t take much, it just takes thought and the ability to listen to someone else.


Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). ( She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.

9 thoughts on “Listening to someone else

  1. Isn’t it amazing when people stop, if only for a moment, to really listen? Someone once said that people listen not with the intent to hear, but with the intent to reply. I really think your words here reflect that. And then your basket full of books gave you something to read and think about during a recovery. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great read. Fell across your post while looking for information from WP. I really enjoyed the idea of giving books. I can’t get enough books and those that I love, I read over and over and over. You get the idea.
    Happy Blogging!

  3. The books as gifts is a great idea. It is great. I also very much recommend, “Gerald’s Game” By Stephen King. That gets into your head. I have been writing a great deal with not much time for reading. I love this idea.

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