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The Writer Mama’s 2009 Holiday Gifts for Writers List

Christmas presents under the treeWell, the weather outside is starting to get frightful. So here are my top holiday buys for writers from lowest price to highest.

1. Books Galore! As usual, books are still coming in as great inexpensive gifts that keep on giving. And yes, I still like the old-fashioned kind of books with bindings and paper. In fact, I hate to tell all the e-fanatics, but all the time that I spend reading online only makes me treasure my good old fashioned bound books even more. And I’m pretty sure I bought more books in 2009 than I have bought in years. (So, put that in your “The End is Nigh” pipe and smoke it.)

Here’s my short list of books that I recommend for writers and friends, including my books (because naturally, I recommend my own books):

For Writers

The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-Thomas (order)

Writing the Life Poetic, An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry by Sage Cohen (order)

2010 Guide to Literary Agents Edited by Chuck Sambuchino * (order)

Novel Shortcuts, Ten Techniques That Ensure a Great First Draft by Laura Whitcomb (order)

Trust Agents, Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Julien Smith and Chris Brogan * (order)

Permission Marketing, Turning Stranger Into Friends and Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin (order)

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (order)

Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform by Christina Katz (order)

Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (order)

For Friends

Book By Book, The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs by Cindy Hudson * (order)

Thirsty, a debut novel by Kristin Bair O’Keeffe * (order)

Gringa, A Contradictory Girlhood, a memoir by Melissa Hart * (order)

The Last Will of Moira Leahy a debut novel by Therese Walsh * (order)

The Possibility of Everything, a memoir by Hope Edelman (order)

Fix, Freeze, Feast by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik * (order)

2. Boing-Boing-Boing Put a little bounce in your compositions by sitting on a Yoga Ball instead of a chair. I’ve been doing this for several months now and not only does it help me to not hunch over my keyboard (which will land you in physical therapy in case you didn’t know) and also helps me sit up straight use my abs for balance. Pump it up about once a week or it gets too squishy. (order)

3. Old Faithful I wouldn’t last a day as a writer on one of these old-fashioned thingamajigs…but I sure love looking at the old Royal Typewriter that sits on top of my desk. I picked up mine in a local antique store but I’ve also seen them on Ebay and on Craig’s List. Get yours quickly! Before they have all been stripped of their keys to make jewelry. (search eBay or check Craig’s List in your area or happy antiquing!)

4. A Membership to Willamette Writers (or another writer’s association near you)

For a mere $36 a year, I receive a world of connections, assistance and discounts just by becoming a member of my local writer’s association. Join Willamette Writers (student and family memberships are also available) or another writers association near you and make the most of what they have to offer. You will be so glad you did.

5. Writer’s Digest VIP Membership

And speaking of great deals, Writer’s Digest has finally bundled the best of what they have to offer into one low price. Hip-hip-hooray! I’ve been asking for this for years. (Truly. See Jane Friedman’s post “Achieving a Dream of Mine” in her blog, There Are No Rules.)

A one-year membership to the VIP program includes:

  • One-year U.S. subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine
  • One-year subscription to WritersMarket.com
  • The Essentials of Online Marketing & Promotion Webinar
  • 10% off all Writers Online Workshop courses
  • 10% off all Writers Digest Shop purchases

You’ll have access to the best writing advice, markets, competitions, tips, prompts, and more. Learn more and register here.

6. Caffeine Lover’s Gift Basket (AKA: How Christina gets so much done in a given day.)

  • One lb. bag each of Starbucks coffee beans (regular & decaf)
  • Two packages of Via (Columbia & Italian Roast)
  • One carton of Oregon Chai
  • One box of Stash Organic Earl Grey Black & Green Tea
  • One box of Stash Organic Lemon Ginger Green Tea
  • One box of Stash Organic Breakfast Blend Black Tea
  • One adorable honey bear
  • Toss in a couple of Starbucks Gift Cards

Who wouldn’t be happy to get a gift basket like this? Definitely beats the Starbucks rip-offs they are selling in other stores (don’t buy those). Take inspiration from this one combination and make your own. But don’t drink everything all at once! Pace yourself out, like I do. In other words the contents of this basket would last you…oh about…a month???

Happy Holidays, Writers!

[I’ll add links to other folks holidays lists to the blog as I come across them…]

* I received a review copy of this book.

Photo: alancleaver_2000

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  • Dawn Herring November 16, 2009, 1:41 pm

    I’m with you, Christina, on loving the old fashioned print book after reading so much on line. There’s something about carrying a book, using a bookmark, and having my cat Sophie sit on my lap while I read that makes the paper edition worthwhile. She like so sniff each book I get to see who else has handled it before I did. πŸ˜‰
    Great gift ideas on your list. Maybe I should print it out as my Christmas list! (Except for the coffee; I’m more of a hot chocolate drinker.)

  • Sage Cohen November 16, 2009, 9:56 pm

    Honored to be on your list! : )

  • Holly Bowne November 17, 2009, 4:29 am

    I’ve read about using the Yoga Ball to sit on, but I haven’t attempted to take the plunge yet. (Although when I was reading your description of its benefits, I immediately found myself sitting up straighter in my chair and sucking in my abs! Ha, ha!) That’s exciting news about the Writer’s Digest VIP Membership!

  • VR Leavitt November 18, 2009, 6:02 am

    Excellent list!!! Might have to try that yoga ball idea… Love the new site, too. Great stuff!!

  • The Writer Mama November 18, 2009, 2:01 pm

    I could use some hot chocolate ideas, Dawn. πŸ™‚

    And I forgot to put something important on the list. Argh!

    Might have to update it…

    πŸ™‚ C

  • The Writer Mama December 11, 2009, 12:31 pm

    Yes, I did a roundup of gifts for writers on my December 12, 2009 post.

    Merry everything!