by TEC Editors
Published at 2019-12-10
The holidays are fast approaching, and recently we started talking about what would be on our “pie in the sky, dreaming big” editorial wish list — what we would ask for if money was no object! Check out what TEC editors are dreaming of this holiday season!
If I could ask for anything as an editor, it would be an all-expenses-paid office renovation. I’d have bookcases built into the walls with a sliding ladder to reach the top. I’d have big windows that let in natural light without reflecting sunlight off my computer screen and that have wide windowsills for my potted plants and for my cat to lounge on. I’d have an ergonomic chair that perfectly supports my back and encourages good posture, and a desk with space for my notes and my books and that converts from a sitting desk to a standing desk when I want to change position. I’d have multiple computer monitors so that I can have a manuscript and style sheet and Google all up at once, and a side table for my dictionary and other guidebooks. I’d have a mug-warmer and a kettle within arm’s reach and a whole cabinet of tea. I’d have gentle background music and art on the walls and a balcony to step out onto when I need a break. If I could have anything as an editor, it would be an office that is both a motivation and an escape, and that encourages me to engage in my work fully and emotionally.
I like to think I’m not terribly materialistic – at least not as much these days – so presents can be difficult both to give and to receive. What would make a good gift while still actually being sustainable? Well, last year I was really happy to be given a membership to the Royal Ontario Museum, but honestly wasn’t able to take advantage of it. I told myself it came down to insufficient interest in the programming for 2019, but more likely it was because of my own laziness: I just didn’t check out the museum’s exhibits enough. This year, though, the Art Gallery of Ontario has launched a new model for admissions, the AGO Annual Pass, which provides unlimited admission to both the gallery and special exhibitions for a lot less than a full membership. I think that would make a fantastic gift, especially with the Diane Arbus exhibition beginning in February and the Pablo Picasso exhibition coming next summer. The program was only introduced this past May, but was tremendously popular, especially among people between the ages of 14 and 25 who were eligible for the Annual Pass at no cost, so it has been extended indefinitely. I’m not that young (unfortunately), but it is still only $35 for older visitors, which seems like an amazing value even if I only went to those two exhibitions. Adult admission for a single visit is already $25, after all, and this is the gift that keeps on giving all year.
Perhaps a touch on the dry side, but my Holiday Gift for Editors is a library card to University of Toronto Libraries (or the major research library closest to your beloved editor). While the public library is wonderful, and free, academic libraries don’t have the same dedication to public access, and if you don’t study or work at a university they can be quite pricey. A “research reader” card at U of T Libraries, which lets you check out and renew books, runs a cool $310 annually (for U of T alumni, the cost goes down to $145). But that card is a gateway to a wealth of materials — the latest scholarly titles, fiction and poetry in countless languages, audio recordings and music scores, recent paper issues of some journals, rare and out-of-print books that would cost hundreds of dollars to buy, or even just a quiet place to hide for a few hours without having to buy a coffee. Editors are always busy reading, researching, and keeping up with their field, so for an academic editor this gift gives on both sides of the (often elusive) vocation/avocation line. If your loved one is hoping to access online journal articles, though, you’ll have to look elsewhere — or, if you have journal access yourself, gifting your login information is always a touching (if legally questionable) gesture.
For a large chunk of 2019, I have been *meaning to* sign up to join Editors Canada, a not-for-profit organization that supports professional development through seminars, online training, and conferences; promotes and maintains high standards of editing through certification and reference publications; and allows editors of all kinds to network and collaborate through online forums and in-person meetings. Non-members can make use of the great seminars and other development options EC offers, but for a higher price than non-members, and it certainly adds up over time. This year, my ideal editorial gift would be the gift of paid membership fees to join Editors Canada: $366.00 for a one-year membership plus a listing in the Editors Canada directory. With the discount members get, I could watch seminars and programming to my heart’s content, learning and developing more skills as an editor. Hopefully this holiday season, I find that paid membership in my stocking!
As an amazing holiday gift, I would love an all-expenses paid weekend at the Westin Harbour Castle on Toronto’s waterfront. This wonderfully indulgent weekend includes being picked up from home and taken by limousine to the hotel on a Friday afternoon. I will spend two nights in an east-facing suite that overlooks the waters of Lake Ontario. The mornings will begin with room service for breakfast, followed by hours-long workouts in the gym, swims in the heated pool, and long walks on the boardwalk. Warm teas, scones, and naps in the afternoons, dinners at the Toula Restaurant and Bar that features Italian cuisine and 360-degree views of the harbour, and tickets to a Saturday evening play at the nearby theatre, with late-evening sips of wine in The Chartroom Bar and Lounge. Only after sunset on Sunday do I check out and pop back into the limo for my ride home. This amazing gift would be perfect in the deep of winter when long sleeps, delicious meals, waterfront wintry walks, and delicious wines beckon.
As the days get shorter and the year comes to an end, I often think of how rotten it is to live in Canada in the winter. There are some benefits: freshly fallen snow is beautiful, winter sports are fun. But the realities of winter where I live are grim, indeed. Temperatures plummet, snow and ice make driving and even walking dangerous, and freshly fallen snow quickly turns into a foul gravel-mush at the side of the road. Because asking for more sunlight, or better still more time in the day, would probably be asking too much, if I could get any gift this holiday season then I’d want someone to provide me with a workable plan to avoid these four remaining slush-filled months and then all future Canadian winters. It’s tough to develop a strategy for becoming a snowbird at this time in my life, but if I could get any gift this holiday season then that would be what I would want.
Well, there you have it, our list of dream holiday gifts. They say to dream big, so we did!
From all of us here at TEC, have a great holiday season!