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An auction for writers and readers

The Romancing the Runoff auction starts today!

A group of authors led by Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole, and Kit Rocha have donated some amazing items to support Fair Fight and other voting rights organizations for the Senate runoff race in Georgia.

Romancing the Runoff logo

My donation of a 1-hour Scrivener training session is probably only of interest to you if you’re a writer, but there are so many cool items on offer for everyone. Signed books, author critiques, virtual pajama parties, hand-made gifts, and lots of gift cards for books.

Here are a few highlights:

  • A copy of The Duke and I signed by Julia Quinn and some of the actors in the Bridgerton series.
  • A TV pilot consult with a Netflix show runner.
  • A virtual tea with Tessa Dare (including real tea and pound cake).
  • A gift basket from Farrah Rochon that includes a Kindle Fire, a signed copy of The Boyfriend Project, a gift card, and some treats.
  • A 1-month writing mentorship with Jeannie Lin.

Wow! How’s that for some gift ideas, either for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list or maybe just to treat yourself? Take a minute to check out the full list of items.

Bidding runs through November 24th. Good luck!

Great Gifts for Writers

typewriter pine boughs presents

The holiday season is here, which means you probably have some shopping to do. If you have a writer in your life—or you want a list to print and leave lying around as a hint—see if one of the following cool gifts fits the bill. There’s something for every budget.

  • Amazon Echo Dot, $49.99. I love the Dot! Sure, you can ask Alexa to order more sticky notes and colored pens, but there’s so much more. Stuck on a word? Ask for synonyms. Want some noise? Ask her to play music from your Amazon Music playlist or one of theirs. My personal favorite background noise is Ocean Sounds or Rain Sounds. She can set a timer (writing sprints, anyone?), tell you the news, and even control your lights. amazon echo dot
  • Philips Hue Light Bulb and Hue Bridge, $69.99. My husband bought me a Hue light for my office (we already had the bridge/hub). I can turn it off/on with the Echo Dot or my phone, dim it, and change the color. I like a blue tone for daylight or concentration, and a warmer tone for evening or relaxing. It even comes with color themes, like Tropical Twilight, Arctic Aurora, and Energize.
  • Fingerless Gloves/Mittens, $3+. Anyone who works on a computer a lot can attest to the struggle of cold hands, especially this time of year. Fingerless gloves are perfect and come in colors, styles, and price ranges to suit everyone. If you’re handy with needles, you could even knit them yourself. These are the perfect stocking stuffer. fingerless mittens
  • Body Blanket, $13+. Sitting or standing still for long periods of time can make it tough to stay warm while laying down the words. A soft blanket is great; a body blanket is even better.
  • Neck and Shoulder Heat Wrap, $33. Working on the computer for long periods isn’t great for posture, and writers especially hold a lot of tension in their neck and shoulders. This warmer helps loosen tight muscles and is really relaxing. I have the Sunbeam Renue Heat Therapy Neck and Shoulder Wrap. I love the soft material, the way it drapes, the magnets that keep it in place, and the choice of heat settings.
  • Bookstore Gift Cards, $1+. Writers are readers first. You can never go wrong with a gift card that lets your favorite writer fill up their tablet or bookshelf with their favorite books.
  • Coffee Shop Gift Cards, $1+. Unfortunately, working at your local coffee shop or restaurant isn’t a tax-deductible office expense (though it should be!). Help a writer out with a gift card for their hangout so they can keep the words coming.
  • IPEVO PadPillow Stand, $23.95. Great for anyone who loves to read, this lap stand holds a tablet comfortably in either orientation while sitting in a chair or on the sofa, or lying in bed. No more pillow-propping required. I use mine pretty much every day. padpillow
  • Scuba Slate, $4.50+. Know a writer who gets their best ideas in the shower? This one’s for them. 😉 Alternative: Rite in the Rain spiral notebook, $7.94. riteintherain

These are a few of my favorite gift ideas. What are some of yours?

Finding the “write” gift


Get this gift wrap at Bas Bleu

Need some last minute gift ideas for the writers in your life? (Or maybe your spouse or partner needs ideas for you.) While I’m all for consumable gifts that minimize clutter and the need for returns—like homemade treats and movie/restaurant gift cards—here are a few items I think most writers would be happy to receive.

~ A good thesaurus. Writers are always hunting for the perfect word and trying not to use the same word over and over (like I just did), which makes a thesaurus invaluable. Roget’s is always nice, but I think The Describer's Dictionary is even better.

~ A lap desk. Whether we write longhand or on a laptop, a lap desk makes it easier to do it in our favorite chair, or even on the road.

~ Noise-canceling headphones. For the writer who can’t handle distractions and/or likes to get their creativity flowing with music. If you’re feeling especially generous, pair these with a gift card to Starbucks or Panera.

~ Aqua Notes or a scuba slate. Know a writer who gets his best ideas in the shower? With one of these handy water-proof gems, he’ll never lose another amazing plot twist or opening line.

~ Fingerless gloves/mittens. One of my must-haves! In the winter I can’t write without my fingerless gloves. These are also excellent for those who work in a cold office any time of year. Try Etsy for some great hand-knitted options. Or knit them yourself.

~ Bookstore gift card. Writers are usually readers. Avid readers. So buy them a gift card to their favorite local bookstore or online retailer. You can never have too many books on your shelf or e-reader!

~ Craft books. For the writer who doesn’t have a library of writing books established, consider buying them your favorite book on the subject. Need some ideas? Check out this list of some of my favorites.

~ Mugs. Most writers are fueled by coffee or tea, which means a mug is always in fashion. Try a literary mug, something inspirational, or for the Scrivener fan, this one.

~ Time and space. Maybe all the writer in your life needs is time to write, or a new space in which to do it. Take the kids to the park or the movies and leave her at home in peace. If you have an old closet or bedroom that’s accumulating junk, take a trip to Goodwill, give the space a coat of paint, and add a desk. Your writer will be thrilled. Need some inspiration? Check out this site.

I’ve also had requests for gift cards to my upcoming classes. Want to buy one? Contact me for more info.

Got any other great writerly gift ideas? Please share them. One commenter (U.S. or Canada only, please) will win a signed copy of Scrivener For Dummies to keep or give away.

I'll choose the winner next Tuesday night and announce in my Wednesday post. 🙂

Too much

Guess which house belongs to the writer?

In case you can't read it, it says, “DITTO” with an arrow pointing to the electric wonderland. 🙂

If you haven't seen it yet, check out The Twelve Tips on Queries (instead of the 12 Days of Christmas) on Janet Reid's blog. It perfectly captures the angst of the aspiring writer with humor!

In the spirit of the holidays, I'm adding a few of my favorite gift ideas for writers to the blog mix…

  • Scuba slate or AquaNotes waterproof paper for capturing those ideas in the shower
  • Fingerless mittens to keep hands warm while typing
  • Subscription to Writer's Digest
  • Gift certificate to any bookstore
  • Gift certificate to an office supply store
  • Ear plugs
  • Lap desk

Final note. For those who knew I'd entered, I did not place in the The Harlequin Presents Writing Competition 2009, but congratulations to those who did! My only hope for Counting on You now is if they ask for a partial based on the entry. Otherwise, I think that book is shelved.

Forward into romantic suspense. I just ordered several books about undercover DEA agents and the drug wars in Mexico/US. I'm hoping it will give me some valuable background for Floater and the series.

[No squirrel today. I have to get ready for a holiday party. Yikes!]