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8 Handmade Gifts for Writers and other Book Lovers

Wondering what to gift the book-loving person in your life this holiday season? Tired of giving all your money to Amazon? Search no more! Here is a carefully curated list of handmade goods hat would delight any novelist / reporter / memoirist / poet / professor / librarian / teacher / essayist / reader. And since I spent a boatload of time ensuring that each gift comes from a small business, you can feel good about forking over your hard-earned dollars! 

1. Wearable books from Litographs.

This small Boston company creates whimsical graphic designs using the actual words of a written work and hand-prints those designs onto t-shirts, tote bags, and posters. They also make infinity scarves that are just a continuous (infinite?) stream of words. From Austen to Vonnegut and poetry to source code, you’re likely to find something that appeals to the writer (and reader) in your life.

For something truly special, you can upload your own work (or that of someone you love, one hopes) and have your story wrapped around your neck in scarf form. (I think there’s an albatross joke in there somewhere).

They offer unisex shirts as well as two more feminine styles and child sizes. Feast your eyes upon one of their two Outlander shirt designs ($34):

Women’s V-Neck Shirt featuring Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (image courtesy of Litographs)

2. Highly specific scented candles and melting waxes. 

Does the writer in your life wish her writing cave could smell like an old French bookstore instead of stale coffee and despair?

What’s next for the Golden Heart?

In November, RWA released the new schedule for the 2017 RWA Nationals Conference in Orlando. The biggest and most-talked-about change is the separation of the Awards ceremony into two events. The Golden Heart Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday (July 26) during the luncheon, with the RITA Awards ceremony being held that evening. There […]

Keep Calm and… Oh, Hell, Go Ahead and Panic !

The British are well known for their stoicism in the face of adversity. That’s what they called German bombs dropping all hours of the night whilst they huddled in bomb shelters or in their cellars and hoped for the best – adversity. When we were stationed there in the late sixties (I was a child. […]

Last Minute Tips for Finishing NaNo, a.k.a., YOU CAN STILL DO IT!!

If you hit a few speed bumps on your NaNo road this year, and you’re down more words than you reasonably think you can make up before Wednesday at midnight, I’m here to tell you: YES YOU CAN write 10,000 or 12,000 or 15,000 words or maybe even 20,000 words over the course of the […]

Free Advice Small Business: Writing Through The Holidays.

Small Business: Writing Through The Holidays If you Google writing through the holidays, you’re going to find dozens of articles written on the subject, including a great one dated last December by our own Ruby Sister Addison Fox. Many authors offer the same advice, and I’m going to bring up the same points too later, […]

A Writer’s Thanksgiving Prayer

‘A Writer’s Thanksgiving Prayer’ Thank you to the Power that has blessed me with the talent of creativity and for the fortitude to make my imagination take life. This talent gives me confidence in who I am. It has led me to a host of like souls that I now consider loved friends. It has also […]

Nostalgic Romance

Nostalgic Romance is my own personal term for any blast-from-the-past romance novel set between 1950 and present day. (Romance Writers of America® now considers 1950 as the cutoff date for differentiating between historical and contemporary novels). Sorry, RWA®, there isn’t much contemporary about a book set in the 60s or 70s when personal computers, the, […]

The Day It All Began…

Do you remember the first day you sat down to write a story? The moment when you went from being an aspiring writer or someone who sometimes thought about writing to actually becoming a writer? How old were you? Ten? Thirty? Sixty-five? I think whenever and however we sit down to do it, there is […]

Putting on Your Big Girl Pants

So this isn’t going to be one of those how-to posts some of the Rubies are so good at (I’m looking at you, Hope Ramsay :)) But this, rather, will be more confessional. See, I’m going to totally get naked here. Don’t worry. You won’t have to look at this 44 year old pudgy body, but […]

Writing From The Heart

  Why do readers read? They want to escape their world. But you knew that, because you are also a reader. The greatest writers through time have said that the best fiction takes a reader through a fact finding journey and also on an emotional journey. The emotional journey is what connects you and the […]

Organizing from the Inside Out

Happy Monday! Okay, so we don’t always celebrate Mondays (unless it’s a holiday). But often Mondays are beginnings. The beginning of a new job, or a new project or even a new healthy way of life. There are many avenues to a healthy life. Today I’m going to touch on the mental health that comes […]

Veteran’s Day

This is a Ruby post from five years ago. Nothing has changed except we’re all a bit older. Please take the time today to give your special veteran a hug.  

Prompts To Get Your Writing Motor Running.

Some fun today to pump your writing hormones. Give me a story with no more than 50 words from one, or each, of these writing prompts. FIRST. One of the last shipments to a U.S. research base in Antarctica before the onset of winter darkness was 16,500 condoms for a crew of 125 people. BTW […]

A Writer’s Struggles

It could happen to any of us. In fact, I’m certain it’s happened to a number of us. This year, it happened to me. I won’t say “writer’s block,” because that’s not quite right. It was a sense of disillusionment, I guess. A crisis of faith (that the stories wouldn’t come to me anymore). A frustration […]

Writing Romantic Suspense

In Romantic Suspense there are two distinct stories. The suspense and the romance. RWA defines romantic suspense as a romance novel in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. You need a strong suspense story and a strong romance. Then you weave the two together perfectly. Today I’m only […]

The WINNER of the Grand Prize Swag Basket from the Halloween Blog Hop Is…..

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for the Halloween Blog Hop!! We had a fabulous response, and had a great time getting to know more readers! You folks are an energetic group of Trick or Treaters! We had many, many correct entries from participants who tracked down all the hidden candy treats. With […]

NaNoWriMo 2016 Has Begun!!!

WOOOT!!!! It’s that wonderful time of year again, when over 300,000 writers around the world make a crazy pledge to each write 50,000 words of a novel during the 30 days of November! “Winning” NaNo (nanowrimo.org) means averaging 1667 new words every day, which isn’t easy if you have pesky things like a day job […]

Ruby Halloween Hop!

Bwahahaha! It’s almost Halloween, and the Rubies are feeling a little witchy! To celebrate, we’re starting the trick-or-treating early! Don’t worry, no costumes are required. This trick-or-treating can be done right from your computer with zero calorie input. It’s easy and fun! Here’s what to do: 1. “Knock” on the Ruby doors by clicking each link below […]

Extended Metaphor

I have to start with a funny story:  My first paranormal romance, TASTE ME (2011), is about an incubus security specialist, Lukas Sebastiani, who finally learns to trust his love for Scarlett Fontaine, a siren rock star who can manipulate his emotions with her song. While discussing final tweaks to the manuscript at 2010 RWA […]

Announcing the Ruby Spooky-Fun Halloween Blog Hop (with Prizes!!!!)

You know the Rubies like parties….and prizes!!! And we’re doing something new this Halloween! Jump on your broomstick and call your Flying Monkeys, ’cause we’re inviting you to fly around our author sites and Facebook pages, where we’re offering all sorts of special treats–books, gift cards, exclusive excerpts, and prizes like these fun Brighton earrings […]

Two book debuts this month!

Debut Number One: Why murder a dying man? Young widow Olivia Denis finds herself forced to investigate another murder, this one involving her noble relatives, in DEADLY WEDDING, by Kate Parker, out now. The sequel to DEADLY SCANDAL takes place in London in the spring of 1938, where Olivia’s cousin is marrying a rich commoner. […]

Cast Away with The Intern

I’ve seen a few movies lately that have stuck with me. I think that’s the hallmark of a good story – those words and images and feelings you can’t quite shake, long after the lights have gone back up or, in the case of a good book, when the last page has turned. In my […]

October Chills & Thrills

The tang of wood smoke hangs in the Autumn-crisp air. Geese honk overhead, and pumpkins are showing up on everyone’s door steps. Halloween is just around the corner, and it brings out my love for chills and thrills. I’m talking about suspense – ghost stories, campy horror flicks, full-moon walks, and romantic suspense books. When […]

5 Tips for a Successful Multi-Author Collaboration

A few months ago, fellow Ruby Liz Bemis and I went out for a night of country music and mechanical bull riding (as you do).  Midway through our margaritas, Liz told me a story about the awesome author goddess Erin McCarthy getting mixed up with another Erin McCarthy and a similar event in Liz’s own […]

Planning to NaNo? Get Ready NOW!!!

It’s October, and that means it’s time for NaNoWriMo!!! Silly Elisa, some of you may be saying right now. National Novel Writing Month is in NOVEMBER, honey. You’re jumping the gun. But nooooooo, my friends. I’ve learned through trial and error (lots and lots of error) that waiting until November 1 to get started is […]

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