Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Gifts for an Aspiring Author

So, it's that most wonderful time of the year. There's still more than a few shopping days left in the season and it's a safe bet that most of us slackers have yet to finish checking off everyone from our list. For those of you who have an aspiring author in your family or social circle, I thought I'd help you and throw out a few items they may need (even if they think they don't):

The Amazon Kindle ($139). This thing is the Borg of e-readers. It's everywhere. It's not friendly with all e-formats (You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile). And I'll be frank, most writers hate these things, or think they hate these things. We love the smell and feel of paper; we love touching it and turning the pages. Writers are stubborn that way. But most importantly, writers are B-R-O-K-E, or at least close to it. A humble writer can save anywhere between $5 to $15 per book. Plus, it's green (green is the new black); they're not killing trees. Bonus- guys writing Romance under a female-esque pen names don't have to expose the cheesy covers of whatever they're using as research material.

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition ($49). Yeah, I know, it's a hardback, pricey, it's a lot of pulp (kills trees), and it runs contrary to the whole e-reader thing. But, it's not legally available in any e-reader format, and it's the King James of style (writing and grammar, not fashion; might be important to point out the difference). This is one of those things a new writer might not think to buy for themselves. Of course, it's huge and bland, and they may look at you like you have a dick growing from you forehead ('You think my grammar is poor?' i.e. 'Does my butt look big in these jeans?').

Grado iGrado Headphones ($49). Your lovable aspiring author may spend hours in a writing coma using music to isolate themselves from manic households and hone their focus. If they use Apple products, I'm going to bet that more than a few are still using those trendy little white ear buds. From that I can guarantee their ears get sore as hell after several hours of Boom Boom Pow. I'm not going to get into the geekery of audiophilia, but these behind-the-neck cans (slang for headphones) can be worn for days and sound better than anything you own. Even your Bo$e and Beat$. Sadly, I have a $200 set of Grados and these are damn near as good. I almost cry thinking about it.

Last gift: Time (free, or expensive depending on how you look at it). Laugh as much as you want, but I don't think there's anything nicer than giving your lovable aspiring author a gift certificate for time; there's simply not enough of it lying around. Pack up the kids, arm the security system, throw out the dog, lock the doors, and leave. Make sure you leave your writer behind. Do they have a conference coming up? Head to the relatives. Trying to get out a round of queries? Give them a weekend. Seriously, they'll be blown away by your kindness.

That's it. I could go on and on, but that should be enough to get you thinking. Or shopping. Go now, you lousy bunch of procrastinators. Go!


Anonymous said...

The best on your list: time to write! Don't we all need it?

Great post!

Danielle La Paglia said...

Great list, BW!

Wingin' It said...

Cool list.

Falcata Times said...

Hows about some cheap things for kids to get their writer parents?

IE, Plug in Aroma scents are available and lets face it, when your'e cramped in a small room after a christmas meal with Brussel Sprouts it may well be appreciated. LOL

Diane Girard said...

All your ideas are good ones. Notebooks, cheap, or expensive and small enough to fit in a purse, are also good. A spiffy pen could make a nice present too.

Uninterrupted time is the greatest gift of all.

If I was rich, I'd give my writer friends a week or a month (!) at a writers retreat.

Jessica Peter said...

Yeah, despite my deep and abiding love for paper books, I'm asking for a Sony e-reader. (Can't handle Kindle's assimilation tactics ;) )

J.A. Campbell said...

oh, good list... especially the Time one :)


Pat Hollett said...

All excellents gifts... *rubs hands together devilishly* now to leave your blog open so family members will read it!! Definitely want the headphones and an e-reader, but thinking of the Sony one or even an iPad might be nice. LOL :)