9 Great Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Writer (and More)

Not to freak you out or anything, but Christmas is only about two months away.

Stop googling “fantabulous Christmas gifts,” and stay with me.

Because I’ve got you covered. Well, for the writers in your life, anyway (and a few more). One of my previous posts got me thinking about gifts for writers (well, myself), and since I always need an excuse to not write, I checked out some stuff on Etsy.

And as usual, Etsy doesn’t disappoint. So, here we go:

9 Great Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Writer

1. {via} Yup.



2. {via} One way to absorb the classics.



3. {via} Bonus: can possibly also be used to open a large vein from which to spill the blood mentioned in the above quote.nib


4. {via} Sleeping has been proved to solve writer’s block…or wait…make it worse?



5. {via} Because whatever you write in this beauty will seem brilliant.



6. {via} Calm and write in the same sentence? Who knew that was even possible?



7. {via} Tip: those clips can also be traded for spy cameras…



8. {via} Because every writer needs something to throw forcefully into the wall.


9. {via} Writers need to be pithy even when we just write a bunch of blah, blah, blah.



And because it’s not nice to discriminate, here are some great gifts for loved ones in a handful of other professions. (and here is where things almost spiral out of control…)


Veterinarian/Doctor – {via} Stay classy!



Time Traveler  {via} It worked for Hermione…



Mechanic – {via} Break those blue collar stereotypes with a cravat!



Psychologist – {via} Do you see an inkblot, or a time keeping device?



Plumber – {via} Really mature…



That’s just a small sample to get you started. I hope you’ve been inspired, and that you find that perfect Christmas gift for the special writer in your life! (or phrenologist, or pirate, or…)

WriteOnCon – a writing conference with a nice price!

I stumbled on this gem of a writing resource (for Children’s/YA writers) just recently and I’m quite excited about it.

WriteOnCon, according to their website, is “an Online Children’s Writers Conference (rated MC-18, for Main Characters under 18 only) created by writers, for writers.”

The best part about this online conference? It’s free. That’s right, FREE (eeeeee)! Anyone who knows anything about writing conferences knows how expensive (as in “ouch” expensive) they can be. The conference is held August 16 – 18, 2011 – even if you’re a “casual” writer, you may want to look into this one!

WriteOnCon.com, aside from hosting the conference, every once in a while conducts live chats on the website with publishers, agents, and authors. Transcripts are even provided after each event. Extremely helpful and informative!

Thanks WriteOnCon! Free is a mighty nice price!

Spilling Ink

spillinginkWriting Handbooks: I generally don’t like reading them that much. Not because they’re not well-written or instructive – they usually are – but because of the way I feel when I read them (or, truthfully, even think about reading them). Despite this non-preference for writing guides, I generally pick up at least one when I’m at the library, often several. Then, after two renewals, I dutifully return them, largely unread or only hastily glanced through.

You see, I get overwhelmed. There is so much (SO much!) to consider when writing a short story or a novel: plot, description, setting, characterization, dialogue, point of view, pacing, outlining, tone, voice, audience, genre, beginnings, middles, ends, revision…and that’s just the beginning! Then there’s the other half of the writing life: query letters, agents, submissions, publishing…And as if that’s not enough, then you have to actually sit down and write, which is often a gargantuan struggle in itself.

See, overwhelming!

Enter “Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook,” by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter. As suggested by the title, this handbook targets younger audiences – my guess is tweens and teenagers, perhaps even younger ages. However, I prefer to think of the term “young writer” in another sense – as a beginning writer (I started writing with a serious writing intention almost three years ago), I feel that this book is spot on! Just what I needed right now: something breezy, humorous, and encouraging that still delves into the basic elements of writing (although not so much the post-revision process, which is fine by me…).

Even if you’re someone with only a recreational interest in writing, Spilling Ink is a great way to learn more about the basic elements of creative writing.

Although I won’t go into the book in detail, I just have to dish out one quote as a teaser. This quote comes from the section on metaphors and similes (“Shape Shifters,” as the authors call them), and is part of a discussion on how to craft effective metaphors:

“You never know when a cat’s paw is a snow flake, when an old man is an unmatched sock, or when loneliness is a coral reef.” (p.149)

Oh, yeah.

Anne and Ellen: I hope to someday meet you in person, maybe at a writing conference or something – you both seem so delightful and funny!   Oh, and thank you so much for keeping my anxiety level at a minimum and for helping me feel less overwhelmed by the writing process!