Happy holidays! If you’re looking for gifts for fellow writers, or just ideas to ask your own Santa, here are some cool items from around the web:
1. Cheeky mugs are the standard go-to gift for people you don’t know too well. I especially like this one from Cafe Press.
2. Writing instruments: For some reason, people seem to think a quill pen is a great gift for a writer. News flash: no-one but occultists and Shakespearean actors use quill pens anymore. What writers do obsess over, however, is a good quality pen. Writers (myself included) will often have a favorite pen, which they will guard like Gollum guards the Precious. Everyone’s criteria for what makes a pen great is different, but in general, we like pens that feel comfortable in the hand, lay the ink down smoothly (with little pressure) and leave nice, non-smudgy lines on the paper. The Pen Addict has a good list of his top five in various categories. For me, I prefer retractable (as opposed to having a separate cap) gel pens with big, cushy grips, and I like medium point (0.7mm) rather than fine point. My all-time favorite pens are Foray Super Comfort Gelios. They’re pretty cheap – only $10.99 a dozen – so they’re probably more of a stocking-stuffer than an actual gift, but there you go.
3. Susankeepsakes’ handmade tablet pillows on Etsy. As someone who likes to curl up on the couch to read, this would be a welcome wrist, arm and neck saver! And she makes them in different designs.
4. Edgar Allan Poe wall art from Cafe Press.
5. Magazine subscriptions: the gift that keeps on giving. Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers and The Writer are all really helpful publications (though I have to admit, I’d love a subscription to Funny Times and/or Mental Floss, just because they are funny and interesting).
6. “I’m Silently Correcting Your Grammar” long-sleeved T-shirt. I only wish these were in women’s versions (with a wider collar), because I do walk around thinking this a lot.
7. Wordie Wars game from Mental Floss. I’m a fan of games, and this one promises to “stump even the brainiest of word nerds.” The game challenges players to “flex every rhetorical muscle, build words, brainstorm synonyms, and test their proofreading skills.” Sounds like fun to me!
10. TIME. A hand-made “gift certificate” to babysit or take over some other tasks for a few hours can be priceless to a frustrated writer. Or, if you really want to splurge, instead of spending hundreds of dollars on shiny rocks (i.e., jewelry), give the writer you love a mini-retreat: book several nights at a nice hotel or B&B, add a modest “food stipend,” and you’ve pretty much got the perfect gift. Well, for the Nerdy Words blogger, anyway!