Welcome to Writerzblox.net’s July 2012 Newsletter! This month we have some advice on what to get the writer or student in your life, as well as book recommendations, a monthly writing prompt, free wallpaper, tips, tricks and plenty of inspiration.
Great Gift Ideas for Writers
Having just had a birthday myself and having quite a few writer friends with birthdays coming up, I am always stuck on what would be the perfect gift. I also have a friend putting a care package together for her oldest child who will be going away to university with hopes of getting their MFA and she is stumped about what to include. Do you have a writer to buy for but are not sure what to get? Here are some great gift ideas for all budgets:
The Gift of Time:
For many writers, the best gifts are ones that come from the heart – the gift of time. Many writers have to steal any free time to write. Why not create gift certificates offering your time to babysit, dog walk, clean, cook or run errands for the writer in your life. This will free up time for them to write and they will be thankful.
If the writer you love still writes in long hand occasionally, Moleskine and PaperBlanks make amazing journals.
Moleskine Notebooks, perhaps the most “cult-like” writing books are the black bound notebooks with an elastic closure – touted to have been used in the 19th and 20th centuries by such writers as Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway. Moleskine’s are well made, good quality and fairly durable and can be purchased online at http://www.moleskine.com/,http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/gifts/Paper-Shop/52-552800-cat.html (available in stores at various locations) or http://www.laywines.com/Laywines_manufacturer_detail.php?category=12&manufacturer=16
Price range $7.95-$26 CDN
Paperblanks Journals are definitely a treat for journal writers. Highly decorative with various closures, these are perfect for the writer who wants to make a creative statement. However, these are not the best for throwing in a backpack and going as the finishes are ornate. Paperblanks are good quality with snap or magnetic clasps. Paperblanks can be purchased online at http://www.paperblanks.com/us/en/product
Price range dependent on style, binding and closure.
Books for Writers:
Other than a great dictionary or thesaurus, there are a few books that will come in handy for any writer:
2013 Writer’s Market Deluxe (Writer’s Market Online) [Deluxe Edition] [Paperback]
Robert Lee Brewer, Editor
Publisher: Writers Digest Books
This annual book is for those who wish to break into publishing. The Writer’s Market has resources to thousands of agents, publishers and markets that can help to get you on your way. This book also offers great advice concerning how to write a book proposal as well as successful query letters, how to establish a freelance business and how to become a marketable writer. Available online at
Price $52.50CDN (discount available through online purchase at Chapters Indigo)
The Elements of Style – 4th Edition
William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
This is a must-have on every writer’s bookshelf. The Elements of Style is a classic that was first published in 1959 and is still widely used today. This book leads you through rules of grammar, principles of composition and includes a section outlining the words most commonly misspelled. This is a book that you will use as a regular resource for years to come and is ideal for a beginning writer to a seasoned writing veteran.
Price $10.40 CDN (discount available through online purchase at Chapters Indigo)
Other than laptops, tablets and eBook readers, here are some suggestions for the student and/or writer who likes gadgets:
USB Drives: Nothing is more frustrating to a writer than losing work due to a computer crash. Why not give them a USB Drive to back up their work? There are many available options at all different price ranges.
· USB Pen Drives: Small portable drives that fit on a key chain and are usually available from 2G to 32G. Prices range from $6.99 CDN and up
· USB Portable Drives: Larger drives can vary in size from a deck of cards to a paperback novel and can range from 250G to @ 1TB.
The Smartpen: Is a pen, but it is no ordinary pen. It records everything you do. Using a special notepad, the Smartpen stores every stroke, note, drawing in its memory and then uploads them to your computer so you have an electronic copy of your notes. As well as being able to record all your handwritten notes, some models have a built-in microphone that lets you store audio. This makes it perfect for lectures, meetings or for capturing your ideas. Available at http://www.smartpencentral.com
Prices vary according to model and memory
Gift cards are always handy. Some that might be perfect for a writer and/or student are:
Amazon.com/Barnes & Noble/Indigo Book Store: We all need a little inspiration.
Starbucks/Coffee Shop: For a well deserved caffeine fix
ITunes/eMusic/Napster/Rhapsody: Music to keep a writer going
Staples/Office Depot: For miscellaneous supplies
Futureshop/BestBuy: For gadgets to make life a little easier
For the serious writer who needs to work away from home, see if your city has a writing centre. The Writer’s Centre in Toronto is a perfect place. The Writer’s Centre offers a distraction-free workspace at reasonable prices with a lounge, lunchroom and outdoor patio. The Writer’s Centre also offers a great writers community with workshops and events. For more information: http://www.writerscentre.ca/
I hope that you will find something to inspire the writer in your life. Perhaps the most important gift you can offer the writer in your life is your cheerleading skills. Writing is a solitary and often unappreciated occupation. Tell the writer in your life how brilliant they truly are!
Affirmation For Writers
This Month’s Affirmation:”I am constantly developing as a writer.”
by Belinda Witzenhausen
Do you love writing but have a bad case of writer’s block?
For many, it often boils down to not knowing how to get started. “Writing Sparks: Inspiration to ignite your creativity!” by Belinda Witzenhausen offers valuable advice, prompts and tips to help you break through any creative block and start writing. These prompts offer a variety of fiction and nonfiction ideas designed to get you thinking and writing. Some prompts may ask you to reflect on personal opinions or memories , while others ask you to flex your creative muscles with fun and often, quirky suggestions. These “sparks” are designed to get you motivated and challenge you to grow as a writer.
July’s Book of the Month
Write From the Heart: Unleashing the Power Of Your Creativity [Paperback]
by Hal Zina Bennett (Author)
Publisher: NEW WORLD LIBRARY; 2nd Revised edition edition (Jan 17 2001)
This is one of those books that helps us to realize that creating can be a spiritual experience. Write from The Heart is a mix of personal memoirs drawn from Hal Zina Bennett’s prolific writing career with over 30 published books to his credit. This is a wonderful and practical guide with thought provoking writing exercises designed to get us to see things from a different viewpoint. The author shares his personal experience guiding us on how we can remove creative blocks and learn to speak from our heart to the heart of our reader. This is a book that holds a special space on my bookshelf and is ideal for a beginning writer as well as for a seasoned writing veteran.
List Price:CDN$ 20.95
July’s Book Recommendations
Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation [Paperback] by Tom Bissell (Author)
List Price:CDN$ 16.50
Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence [Paperback] by Lisa Cron (Author)
List Price:CDN$ 17.99
The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover] by Eric Kandel (Author)
List Price:CDN$ 46.00
July’s Writing Prompt
Be your own hero! What major obstacle stops you from being the person you want to be? Create your own superhero who will overcome this obstacle. How do they do it? How can you do it? Reflect and write 🙂
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