The Writers Circle: Gifts for Writers 2016

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

With the holiday season upon us, thoughts turn to gifts for us or for our loved ones. What do you, as a writer, wish someone would give you as a gift this holiday season? What are you planning to give to the writers on your gifting list? If you’ve been shopping this past weekend or today for Cyber Monday, did you come across any great writer-oriented gifts?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

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The Writers Circle: Gifts of Writing

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

When a friend or family member has a birthday or special event, have you considered giving or actually given them a gift of a story, poem, song or other creative work?  What special considerations are there when considering writing a gift for someone? If you have given a written gift, how well was it recieved?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

The Writers Circle: Gifts for Writers 2015

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

With the holiday season upon us, thoughts turn to gifts for us or for our loved ones. What do you, as a writer, wish someone would give you as a gift this holiday season? What are you planning to give to the writers on your gifting list?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

The Writers Circle: Gifts for Writers 2014

What’s with all the red?

Today is December 1st–World AIDS Day. The fight against AIDS is very personal to me, and my co-owner/editor has agreed to let me make this change to show support for World AIDS Day.

I lost my father 25 years ago when the disease was a death sentence. Today because of the hard work of hundreds of thousands of people, that’s no longer the case. In a few more years we might even have a cure.

Here are some quick links:
Learn more: http://www.worldaidsday.org/
Learn more: http://www.red.org/en/learn
Do Something: http://www.worldaidsday.org/act-aware.php
Do Something: http://www.red.org/en/act
Donate: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/natnationalaidstrust
Donate: http://www.red.org/en/act/donate
Buy something (charity gets a cut): http://www.red.org/en/shop/

Thank you for your taking the time to read this. And if you used any of those links to support, or learn more about, a cause that’s important to me, I thank you for that, too.

And now, I’ll turn your attention back to writing and today’s topic of Holiday gifts for writers.

–Dale

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

With the holiday season upon us, thoughts turn to gifts for us or for our loved ones. What do you, as a writer, wish someone would give you as a gift this holiday season? What are you planning to give to the writers on your gifting list?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

Ordinary Grace in a Wild World

Between the strike of the match and the flare of the candle, I’ve written a masterful book in my head and forgotten half of it before my pen could move. Waiting for the computer to rev up, I revised my protagonist’s dilemma but couldn’t recall my brilliant narrative when the blank page begged for words.  Driving to work I resolved the plot glitch that had given me fits for the past four months. Finally home, I couldn’t order the words into sensible phrases. Dinner, if made at all, congeals in the microwave, the bills are lost in the “urgent” pile on my desk, I must ready a lesson for tomorrow’s class, and my book waits like the ugly stepsister for her dance with the prince. One more night late to bed, too tired in the morning to rise, my muse yawns away inspiration with every open mouth. The life of this writer: to think at lightning speed and write at a snail’s pace. To be so busy with everyday chores that the business of writing doesn’t get done on a regular basis.

For all the ordinary problems I confront every day, there are many I needn’t worry about: That a radical vigilante will set our home aflame, forcing my family to become refugees from our own country. That the drug cartels that have made kidnapping a national pastime in some states in Mexico will practice their skill on my family. That the AIDS virus rampant in Africa will leave my young grandchildren hungry orphans at the side of road. The unpredictable violence in other countries is a galaxy away from the insulated world of my American household.

Sadly, friends await lab reports, anxiously interpreting numbers of diseased cells on the wane or rise. Others mourn the loss of loved ones deceased decades earlier than the full measure of years once expected. Limbs born agile for some now move with spastic jerks, frustrating the intelligent minds of those afflicted. Severe accidents or illnesses have left several close friends with cataclysmic changes that threaten their longevity and the quality of life left to them. But none of these are my problems. I am merely sympathetic.

I do face genuine issues of pressing weight. My mother suffers from a loss of memory so grievous that should I leave the room for a short time, she will greet me as though I’ve been long lost when I return. The expectations of my new job require my attention in ways I didn’t expect when I was hired a few months ago. Still, I’m grateful for this job and thankful for the fact that my mom is still alive.

It isn’t just that I sometimes waste time, later to regret that I didn’t write when I had the time. It’s that I rarely appreciate the boring normality of my life that provides margins thick with nothing so urgent to do as to turn on my computer and write. I am going to eat tomorrow, more than I should or need, and go to work at a job I love. The buses will run on time, even though I don’t have to take them because I own a car. My husband and I have grown up together and now we are growing old together. Our sons remain close to us, their families providing the emotional rock on which I anchor. Predictability is practically a family member and I have little that is critical I must face every day. The barriers to writing success that I face are mostly internal, a lack of organization I need to address. Only I can overcome them and one day I will.

I’ve learned finally, am still learning, something really important. I cannot wallow in the anger I felt over a childhood wrecked with violence and uncertainty. The only way I can live, not merely survive but live, is to forgive and be gracious. It’s better for me to reach beyond myself and be a better person. This season, celebrated in many ways by so many of different faiths, reminds me that I have more learning to achieve, more giving to grant. What I write reflects what I’ve learned, I hope.

At these holidays of glitz and glory, fashion and faith, I will celebrate with my family, four generations that have learned to tolerate others and value our unique “I-ness.” I’ll travel from house to house, sharing feasts, regaling the joy of the youngest among us and the presence of the most aged. I’ll visit friends and stay late to hear all the jokes and stories. The gifts we’ll exchange are small compared to the luxury of our lives. I am lucky to have enough that we can and do give to those who are needy. I am loved and I love. I wish the same for you.

I’ve lit Hanukkah candles. You will light candles of your own. May the flames cast enough brightness that we can all see more clearly exactly what needs to get done, what needs to be written. And then may we do it.

Be well, friends.

Gifts for the young reader (and writer!)

Do you have a young person on your Christmas list, but don’t really have a clue what to get them? Or perhaps you know someone who is an avid reader of any age, but you’re not sure what they’d like?

I happen to have just the thing. As the community moderator for the Young Writer’s Program, I know what’s got the kids excited about reading these days. The roleplays they create, the fandoms they write, the things they’re going gaga for. These are the stories they’re talking about non-stop amongst themselves.  You may have even noticed some have been made into movies!

Here’s your perfect list, just in time for the holiday.

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Warriors Series by by Erin Hunter

The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Maximum Ride by James Patterson  (Yes, that James Patterson.)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherine M. Valente

Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie

If there’s a budding writer, then a great choice are totable notebooks. Moleskines are my drug of choice, but I’ve also found Picadilly journals to be an adequate and much less expensive alternative. Great pens are never a bad thing for any writer. Even if they’re digital writers, at some point you’ve gotta break out the red ink. My personal favorites are of course the ever trustworthy Pilot Precise V5s, and they come in colors!

So tell me, fine readers, what are your go-to gifts for the readers and writers during the holidays? What do YOU hope Santa brings for Christmas?

The Writers Circle: Gifts for Writers

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

With the holiday season upon us, thoughts turn to gifts for us or for our loved ones. What do you, as a writer, wish someone would give you as a gift this holiday season? What are you planning to give to the writers on your gifting list?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.