My 44th birthday is this Sunday, and I've been waffling about what I really would like for my birthday, and I think I've figured it out. See, when I first started writing and posting stories on the net, I had a little note on my website telling people that if they liked the stories, I'd love it if they sent me a postcard. I collected a few hundred postcards in those early years, and I still have them saved in a box, and every once in a great while, I pull them out and look at them.
They are very heartening, and also quite cool. I have some from soldiers during Desert Storm, and one from a scientist in Antarctica, and a few from closeted queer teens, and one from a man who swears my erotica saved his marriage. :-) When a writer is feeling down, it is lovely to have a concrete reminder that the work is reaching people. And there is something particularly nice about postcards because there is no expectation of a reply; these days (this year), I don't have a lot of energy for responding to letters. Postcards don't ask for anything in return.
So if you would like to give me a birthday present, consider sending me an virtual postcard (to firstname.lastname@example.org). I will read them with delight, and save them in a file, and pull them out and read them again when I am in need of heartening. (If you would prefer to send me an actual postcard, that is lovely too, but you will need to PM or e-mail me and ask for the address. Mostly because I am afraid if I post it here, I will somehow get on even more junk mail lists.)
Here is one cool site that does free virtual postcards (there are lots of such sites):