Christmas Presents for the Writer in Your Life

Writers technically have everything that they need, so they can be extremely hard to shop for when it comes to Christmas presents. So I’ve compiled a list of items that would make any writer happy come Christmas morning.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Clothing– precisely comfortable clothing, jumpers, tracksuit bottoms, slippers or fingerless gloves are all perfect presents.
  • Books – ask for their Book Depository wish-list[it’s the cheapest and quickest]. They send you over their wish-list and you can do it all in a matter of minutes, no trudging through the freezing cold looking for the illusive gift and you just couldn’t get anything more exciting than a brand new book to curl up with on Stephen’s Day
  • Craft Books: These books your writer will love and reuse time-and-time again and will make their New Year of writing so much easier and fun!
    642 Things to Write About
    The Writer’s Toolbox

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  • Time Off – this can be in printed tokens or a gift receipt for a weekend away. Time to be by ourselves and not having to do day-to-day chores is exactly what we dream off. Either a weekend in a hotel, retreat, or a weekend with a free house is amazing!

    Planners Planners on the other hand are a good bet. They get the writer’s New Year on a good footing, but make sure that they don’t have one already.

  • Travels – Bruges, Belgium

    Mulled Wine, Mulled Wine, Mulled Wine & Chocolate

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Christmas Markets, technically the ones in Germany, but when the opportunity came for the ones in Belgium. I jumped at the chance.

    I didn’t research Belgium or its markets before going. I was only going to be there for a day, so it would be speed around, look, and get back home.

    Bruges is very picturesque [as seen in the photo above], the layout is the exact town you used to read about in your history books about medieval living. Quant little houses all narrowed together in tiny skinny laneways and abundance of huge churches in a three minute walk from one another. [ones that ring their bell first thing in the morning to wake everybody up!!]

    Being Christmas and being extremely cold that made my nose purple, mulled wine was sold everywhere really cheaply. You can also add in a little extra rum malibu or barcdai if you’re heart so desires [I got whiskey- it’s so worth it!]. It’s takes the place of coffee or tea to keep you warm as it’s cheap €2.50 for a styrophome cup of it. Sip it to beat off the chill! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

    If you love chocolate, you’re spoiled for choice, but you’re going to be easily ripped off for coughing up more money for the same bar if you don’t look around. In one street alone there was three- three chocolatiers side-by-side, selling nearly the same chocolate and that’s not counting the others on the other side of the street.

    So, for Christmas travels and for a weekend away- Bruges is a nice escape to a little taste of winter wonderland. With it’s small and quant streets and houses, but Germany would keep you more occupied with it’s much bigger markets.

    I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2017 – Maybe This Year I’ll Win!

    NaNoWrimo 2017 Participant Banner

    Like every-single-bloody-year, I’m trying my hand at NaNoWriMo. The last week before it starts is always the hardest trying to hold back from writing all these ideas floating around. But I have been kept semi-occupied this year that made it a teeny bit easier.

    I got WAY over 50,000 words of material ready, it’s the last book in a trilogy so I got all the characters, places, motivations down to a T at this stage. Now, I just need to get my butt in chair and write once November 1st comes along.

    As always, I have a Love/Hate relationship with NaNoWriMo. I love it because for one month of the year I have an excuse to put my writing before everything else in my life.

    Then why do I hate it?? Because it means that people who aren’t writers the rest of the year…Honestly don’t know why people do it when they aren’t….write 50,000 words and thinks it’s a novel and done and then swarm publishers and agents with whatever they’ve thrown together. So, I hate the whole main idea of throwing 50k words and hoping they stick, no matter whether they make a novel or not, but I like it for giving me a reason to actually put everything else a side and be involved with people who are doing the same thing as me.

    PREP
    – I got my food prep thought out for the first week – chick-pea curry that I’m batch cooking on Monday.
    – Iv’e bought new comfortable clothes to sit around in and write. Sooo looking forward to putting them on.
    – Got all due assignments done beforehand so I can free up as much time as I possibly can.
    – I got my chapters, plot points and scenes all ready that I have 100k to work with. I’m just aiming for 50k, to finally say that I bet NaNoWriMo.

    Searching for an Alpha Reader

    I’m halfway through this line edit of- I think we’re onto the 5th draft now- and I’m aware that this may be the one that needs an Alpha Reader. Yep, somebody is finally going to get all the words to read!!

    But who to send it to?

    Because the person I would send it to is absolutely terrible at getting back in touch and bad at time management, so she’s out of the question.

    Then, there’s the family of course. Now, I do love my family but a critical opinion I’m just not going to get from them and just wanting the manuscript to read isn’t what I need right now.

    That leaves me in a right little pickle. Who do I give this to for ANY sort of critical feedback?

    I’m tempted to post on Facebook Pages such as:
    Beta Readers & Critiques
    Writer’s Tips and Feedback

    There’s also the Goodread Groups:
    Beta Reader Group
    Beta / Proof Readers Group

    But it is just too daunting for strangers to read the synopsis of the novel that I’m having doubts.

    I may have to finally get involved in a writing group if I want what I need.

    I hope my fellow writers have better success than I am. Let me know how you went about it.

    Sorry!

    Hi everyone!

    Yea, it’s me. I’m not dead! I haven’t posted in a while as life got in the way and I momentarily completely forgot about my little blog….oops.

    I’m going to start back up reviewing indie authors in the next week and then I have a few posts on the back-burner that are waiting to see the light of day.

    I hope everyone is having a wonderful year and see you later!

    Sarah Louise

    Ditching Filofax for Happy Planner

    I found that the Filofax do not have enough room for what I need. I was going to use all planners for different parts of my life, then my sister showed me her LornaJane and I loved the layout of it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here they are:2017 Diary

    Because of my instant-love for my sister’s diary, that was my first go-to site. Even thought the diary are only $15, based in Australia the shipping would cost more.

    And I decided a new planner with a vertical-layout planner would be perfect.

    Two brands kept popping up in my research; Te Happy Planner and Erin Condren. I liked the sturdiness of the Erin Condren but there was no way on this pretty little planet that I was willing to splash that much money followed by the bad reviews of wrong formatting, wrong date, bad printing; that it was instantly a no-go.

    And I bought:

    If you don’t know, it’s The Happy Planner, this will hopefully keep me focused and organised for the rest of 2017 and 2018.

    Hopefully it keeps my life on track. It’s working so far!!

    Chester Bennington – You’ll Never Be Replaced.

    Linkin Park Band

    Linkin Park

    I usually don’t get upset over celeb deaths. They usually don’t mean anything to me or they were has-beens.

    Chester Bennington was neither.

    My first taste of Linkin Park was when I was 13 in 2003 with Breaking the Habit, it was being played on my friends tv. I was glued to the video and I didn’t know it, but by the end of the that single song…I was in love.

    My friend, as a random present, gave me Collision Course. Again I loved it as much as all their other songs.

    There has never been an album of theirs that I didn’t fail to love and would listen to on repeat for days at-a-time. I still do.

    There has never been another band in my life that I’ve loved and connected with so much.

    Today the world has lost a legend.

    And I feel like I’ve been left with a hole that will never be filled.

    RIP Chester.

    Camp NaNoWriMo Vs NaNoWriMo

    Camp NaNoWriMo 2017

    I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the concept of NaNoWriMo and I’m officially jumping off the NaNoWriMo train as of right now. I’m not doing going to be doing it this year.

    I love it for it gives me a reason to put everything else aside and focus on my writing.

    I hate it because it’s used by people who aren’t writers and then publishers and literary agencies get bombarded with terribly rough first drafts straight after November from people who had no intentions of being a writer beforehand.

    CampNaNoWriMo on the other hand I just love!

    CampNaNoWriMo gives everyone, whether they are writers, scriptwriters, poets or artists a chance to put what they love into focus for the month. They can all go at their own pace. You don’t have to throw shit at the wall in the hope that it sticks. You can make you’re own goal!

    It gives you the urge to put your passion before everything else for a whole month and get’s the clogs in the brain working again without having to strain yourself and ruin your work trying to up your word count.

    So, for me personally: CampNaNoWriMo trumps NaNoWriMo.

    My First Cold Script Reading

    I don’t get anxious. I’ve finally reached that inner-peace where I just don’t worry, because worrying doesn’t help anyone and it makes you suffer WAY more than is needed. Interviews I can do, talking in front of people I can do without even thinking about it.

    So I found something that scares me slightly and went for it…

    I went in for my first cold script reading. And for the first time in a long time, I got really anxious beforehand. I hate being anxious, because I know it’s only me who’s suffering and nobody else bloody cares what’s going inside your head.

    If it wasn’t for a friend being there with me most likely, I would’ve gone home. But because she’s stubborn, she made me go in and do the cold reading.

    It was in a Costa cafe, downstairs in a brick-walled dark dungeon-like seating are. It was so dark I could barely make out the lines.

    I got paired up with a girl who did the whole acting-school and degree and here I waltz into the place barely having any classes. The closes I came to acting is an extra in a movie video and school drama lessons. So, we run through our lines beforehand and then we go down.

    Now, the anxiety has slightly subsided. The people who run are super nice, this other girl is super nice and not saying anything about my bad line-reading and we go down into this dungeon.

    All I see is a little red blinking light of a camera.

    “Stand over there and go ahead.”

    That was all that is said and we read the lines.

    I did a script reading, in front of a camera!!

    It’s something ticked off my to-do list. Cold Script Reading is now not going to be so daunting to me. It also made me realise how much I LOVE the whole anxious nervousness of auditions. It’s a high without the bloody drugs! I just want to keep doing them now!

    The lesson this has thought me? Get the bloody hell out of your comfort-zone!! Even if you need someone [a friend] to keep you outside, then get them! Because the come-down of the anxiety and panic afterwards is so worth it. You feel like you can take on the world!

    CampNaNoWriMo – Day 6

    Camp Nanowrimo Banner, Camp Nanowrimo 2017

    Yep, trying my hand at Camp NaNoWriMo for the second time this year. Won it in April with 22,000 words written of a 20k goal.

    I passed 10k yesterday morning, while missing the second and third day due to being sick. I’m only reaching for 25k this time around and so I took yesterday off from writing.

    The one reason why I gotten so far so quick? My head is in my book twenty-four hours a day.

    I go to bed wanting to stay up and keep writing. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so in love with my bed and I could stay up and write.

    Trying my hardest to get two manuscripts ready for my beta reader. Was hoping to have them done this weekend, but that’s a long shot. Could be manageable if I don’t leave the laptop for the next 48-hours.

    Maybe I can get them ready for next week.