Authors / Books / The Writing Life

A Writer’s Christmas List

With Christmas right around the corner I’ve had a lot of people asking me, “so what do you want for Christmas?” I have a hard time answering the question because I don’t really want much and the things that come to mind aren’t the usual answers that people would expect. As an author/writer there’s a lot of things that could come in handy the closer I get to publication. Publishing a book can get expensive, so monetary gifts will always be appreciated. But if you have people in your life like my best friend, who hates giving money and gift cards as presents, here’s a list of alternatives that might appeal to you.

Some Great Reads

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Whether you’re a writer or not, a great book is always a welcome Christmas present! There were a lot of new releases in December, and with so many out right now you may have missed something you’d love to read.  If a cross between Bridget Jones Diary and The Vagina Monologues sounds good to you, you should check out Close Call:  A Doris & Jemma  Vadgeventure by Eloise March. Looking for some contemporary romance? Being Kalli by Rebecca Berto is steamy and emotional. Do you like mystery, especially books like Sherlock Holmes? How about Steampunk or Egyptian mythology? If you have a YA reader in the house, or enjoy reading YA yourself, look no further than The Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker & Holmes Novel by Colleen Gleason.

I can never pass up a good paranormal read, and I’m looking forward to Penelope King‘s upcoming third installment in the Demonblood Series, Demonblood 3: Curse of Shadows and Light (12/24). The first book, A Demon Made Me Do It is currently free on Amazon and the second book has been reduced to .99cents. Lastly, if you love poetry or have always wanted to try it go get Kellie Elmore‘s newly released Candy From Strangers. Her poetry is always down to earth, full of heart and creates great imagery.

Add Close Call, Being Kalli,  The Clockwork Scarab, The Demonblood Series and Candy From Strangers to your stocking!

Writing Reference Books

writer booksWhen I don’t know something my first instinct is to look it up. Sometimes the key to getting past writer’s block is to research. The more I know about something the richer the details in the story can be. Also, when you’re learning about how to publish a book you start to  realize just how many questions you have. I still don’t have all the answers yet. Here’s a list of a couple books that are on my wish list and a few that I’ve read and really enjoyed. You’ll find  way more recommendations and helpful information on my For Writers page.

Let’s start off with the two books in this list I’ve already read. Can you tell how much I enjoyed The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing? If you look around you’ll find that I mention the book several times. It has tons of helpful information in it and the writing is often and easy to follow. No dry, lecture-like, dragging for this book. Then there’s Writing The Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper. I should tell you that I own a vast collection of Writer’s Digest’s writing how-to books. If they’ve printed it I probably own it. Have I read all of them yet? No, because some are easier to read than others. This book is an easy one.  It’s an essential book for when I’m writing, and as a bonus: downloadable pdf worksheets.

As for my gotta-have guides: Emotion, Tension and Conflict by Cheryl St. John, The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman and The Book of Poisons by Serita Stevensand Anne Bannon. There’s quite a few like the last one on my list because writing accurate forensics and scientifically minded scenarios can be tricky. Plus, I find it fascinating. Let’s all collectively cross our fingers that I’m never in a situation where the police will have to search my belongings…

Tools and Trinkets

I have items that I can’t get enough of as an author/writer. Journals and notebooks are things I never turn down, no matter how many of them I have already. I love the feeling and look of clean sheet of paper just waiting for thoughts and ideas. I crave a good pen, and can be very particular when it comes to the type of pen I use. I like fine points when I’m writing in cursive, but medium points will do if I write in manuscript. I like Sharpies for margin notes or for differentiating one part of the text from the other. Any pen that flows well is a must-have. My current favorite is Papermate InkJoy (100 RT, 1.0 M) in purple.

I follow Kami Garcia’s blog posts and my favorite features there are On My Desk and The Week in Writing. There’s always something cool or useful to be found in them. That’s how I discovered M by Staples™ Arc Customizable Durable Poly Notebook System. It is just what the title says: a notebook that you can completely customize. You can easily add and take out accessories like dividers, different types of paper, folders, pockets and more. They come in two sizes with a leather or plastic cover option. I use the project paper to write down story ideas.

I already have a lot of books. So many that my organizational system is: no more shelf space, stack in piles, stack in boxes, stack on dresser. When I lend them out, I easily forget  what has been borrowed and by who. My friend’s have already talked about making their own library cards, and the Personal Library Kit by Knock Knock would come in handy. If you have kids with the same problem, try out Little Librarian.

Little Librarian will provide book lovers with everything they need to transform their book collection into a library. Kids can practice the important skills of organizing, sharing, borrowing, and returning. Book pockets, check out cards, library cards and bookmarks are just like the ones from a real library. Little Librarians will issue overdue notices and awards. Favorite book memories can be stored in your reading journal and shared with friends. To get started, just add books!

Little Librarian was selected as a finalist for the Disney Family Fun Magazine Toy of the Year Award for 2010. Creative Child Magazine selected it as a Seal of Excellence Winner for 2011.  Education.com selected it as one of 15 best toys for first grade children. As seen Disney Family Fun Magazine, Creative Child Magazine, Mom Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, Education.com gift guide, and Daily Candy gift guide. Kit contains: 7 mini file folders, 15 book pockets, 15 book cards, 4 library cards, 4 reading awards, 2 bookmarks, 6 overdue slips, and 1 reading journal.

There you have it, just a few things that would be on my Christmas list this year. If you’re still wishing for things like money for editing, proofreading, formatting and everything that goes into publishing a book, you’re not alone. I raise my Morganville Common Grounds coffee cup in solidarity. The good news?

Najla Qamber Designs is having a sale! All swag designs like bookmarks, postcards, teasers, promos, door hangers, etc are only $12 a piece. The sale is only running from December 15 thru December 25. Grab it while you can.

What is on your Christmas list this year? What do you like to read during the holidays?

2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Christmas List

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