FIVE THINGS FRIDAY: Finding the Write Gift

The gift giving season is upon us and there’s always that one person who’s difficult to buy for. Am I right? And usually, it’s the write person. (See what I did there?)

On this week’s upcoming Firsts in Fiction podcast, we’re talking about that very subject. Over the last week, we (and by we, I mean Aaron, Al, and myself, along with our merry media elves) have posed this question:

What’s a great gift to get the author in your life?

Finding the Write Gift

Finding the Write Gift

While I don’t want to give away the store (err, answers) here, I thought I’d at least share some of the FIF Family’s suggestions.

So put on your Santa hat and have a ho-ho-holiday time as we count down the best gifts to get your writer.

1. A private island. (Molly)

A Writer's Paradise - a Private Island

A Writer’s Paradise – a Private Island

Seriously. How often has your writer tried to get away from it all by locking themselves in the back room, sitting in a car, or running away to a coffee shop? See No. 3, below. Seclusion is necessary for the writer. In order to create our own worlds, we have to shut out the real one. A writer’s island holds no distractions like TV, ringing phones, or ~ dare I say it ~ the occasional familius interruptus.

More practical:

  • noise-cancelling headphones
  • a gift card for a spa day or one night at a hotel
  • pocket notebooks to jot notes in when your writer can’t get to their workspace
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: white noise CD, postcard, small plant, candle

2. A private jet. (Al)

A Private Jet for Your Traveling Writer

A Private Jet for Your Traveling Writer

Writing isn’t just writing anymore. Now it means book signings, conferences, marketing meetings, publicity appearances and more. A private jet is the ticket to get your writer out the door and back home faster. And with no other passengers to distract him or her, it also serves as a mobile private island. See No. 1, above.

More practical:

  • gas cards and travel expenses
  • writers conferences and retreats
  • offer to keep them company and drive them to their next writing commitment
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: travel journal, map, luggage tags, small photo album

3. A cafe/bistro/restaurant of their own. (Molly, Aaron, Al)

The Write Cafe

The Write Cafe

We all know writers have ink in their veins. Let’s not ignore the caffeine IV they require. How often have you stopped into a Starbucks and seen someone leaning over their laptop, typing frantically with one hand while holding their coffee in the other? A small cafe allows someone else to be responsible for the food and clean up. All the writer has to do is write. And, bonus, when that book contract is finally signed and the manuscript published, you already have a place to invite everyone to celebrate the success!

More practical:

  • treat them (and their family) to a nice dinner
  • gift card to their favorite coffee shop
  • single-serve coffee maker and a month’s worth of coffee
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: creamer, individual serving tray, souvenir mug, tea spoon

4. An office supply store. (Molly, Aaron, Al)

Endless Office Supplies

Endless Office Supplies

Solve the problem of running out of ink and paper by giving your writer full and permanent access to everything imaginable from a new computer to colored paperclips. No more moments of frustration when they can’t find their favorite brand of pen. And when they start a new project, they can supply their writing space in coordinating themes and colors.

More practical:

  • ink and paper
  • computer maintenance program
  • mailing supplies
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: desk organizers, day planner, journal/pen set, stickee notes

5. A private library. (Aaron)

A private library - just what a writer needs - more books.

Just what a writer needs – more books.

Research is essential to writing a compelling story, but small town libraries (and some bigger ones) don’t always work out. Books are checked out by others. Magazines are ripped and torn. Plus, you can’t keep any of them. A private library assures your writer their much needed references will be available any time they need. When one thought rabbit trails to another, at least you’ll still be able to find your writer in the stacks. Information is King, and you just gave your writer the kingdom.

More practical:

  • new computer and software
  • Kindle or other eReader and a gift card for downloads
  • external hard drive
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: books on writing, collector’s editions of favorite books, magazine/newspaper subscription, gift card to book stores

And since we’re in the season of giving, here’s an extra entry. Give. Most writers supplement their writing income by teaching, editing, and a plethora of other talents. It takes time, energy and resources away from their works-in-progress. You can help them hurdle over the starving artist syndrome by donating:

  • Time. Clean their house, run errands, be a once-a-week personal assistant.
  • Resources. Do you have connections or knowledge that can move their story along?
  • Money. It costs a lot to live the write life. Even without the big-ticket items in this post.

What gift ideas do you have for the writer in your world? Leave a comment here and join us Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30 PST for this year’s Firsts in Fiction Holiday Podcast: Finding the Write Gift.

[If you have a question for the authors visit Aaron’s website for Ask The Author and if he uses your question on air this week, you’ll get a code for a free audio download of his novel, The Bargain. You don’t have to be a writer, and you don’t have to view the podcast to participate.]

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY: Be a Superhero.

Agent Coulson, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agent Coulson, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

My friends and I are huge fans of superheroes. Who isn’t, really? We love talking smack about who’s favorite could take on the others favorites. We drool in wait for new comic books to be released. I’m sure that’s a little more than some of you wanted to know about me, and I may have just lost a few cool points. That’s okay. I’ll get over it.

This week’s Five Things Friday is all about Superheroes: Who they are, how to be one. It’s pretty, well, if you’ll pardon the pun, super.

1. This video clip from Grey’s Anatomy is one of my recent favorites. (This is the best version I could find on YouTube)

It sounded so made-up, I had to research it. Turns out, it’s true. There have been studies of the Superhero Pose. So next time you’re in your morning shower, take a stand and lift your head up. See how much better your day is when you are your own Superhero.

2. SuperNip to the rescue!

SuperNips to the Rescue!

SuperNips to the rescue!

NIPPERS is one of my favorite Superheros. I mean, this little frog can take me from zero to published in a single button click. Well, almost. As the mascot for New Inklings Press, how could I not adore his capabilities? Especially when he looks so darn cute in a cape.

3. Marvel’s Avengers.

Marvel's Avengers

Marvel’s Avengers

Don’t even try to tell me how the DC Comics versions are better heroes. Not true. My favorite is Iron Man, followed by Agent Coulson. Okay, Coulson isn’t quite a superhero, but he’s still pretty awesome. I also enjoy the Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, and well, pretty much all of them. Which leads me to the next point.

4. Comic books. It’s completely okay if you call me a nerd or geek or whatever. Hey, I’ve publicly admitted I play Magic: The Gathering. I think comic books sort of fall into that persona, yes?

Comics on the Kindle

Comics on the Kindle

Did you know that when you purchase certain comic books, they come with codes for free digital downloads? I didn’t, until a friend told me. Now we have an arrangement: When he buys a comic book, he gives me the download code. Of course, I still have to have my own hard copy of anything Iron Man or Avengers. The rest is just pie on the plate!

5. Flawless. Isn’t that what we think superheroes should be? Yet we’re forgiving, and even a bit more drawn to them, if they have flaws. Don’t believe me? Where do you stand on the Batman vs. Superman argument?
This video is MercyMe’s Flawless. I love the visual dynamics.

But what first grabbed my attention was a line from the chorus. And like a hero who takes the stage / When we’re on the edge of our seats saying / “It’s too late!” / Well let me introduce you to Grace.

I visualized all of us sitting in our own darkness, watching scenes unfold, biting our nails. Then from up above and to the side comes our hero shouting “Here I come to save the day!” And in one fell swoop, he conquers or enemies. Blasts them off the playing field and secures our safety.

It’s pretty amazing to have a Hero like that. And I bet at times, we can be that for someone else.

So pay attention to the world around you. There are more ordinary heroes than you might think. You’re one of them.

SuperMoJo to the Rescue

SuperMoJo to the Rescue

And now it’s your turn.

  • Who’s your favorite Superhero?
  • How can you be a hero in your ordinary environment?
  • Has anyone been your ordinary Superhero in a tough situation?
  • Share the Superhero Pose and see what happens.

Go. Be a Superhero today. Someone needs you.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!