Sunday, November 24, 2013

12 Reasons to Put Books at the Top of Your Holiday Gift List

Friends and family tell me I’m easy to shop for - just buy me a book or a gift card to a bookstore and you’re sure to make a hit.  I make it even easier for them by posting the titles I’d like on my Amazon wish list well before the holiday shopping season starts.  Books are the perfect gift.  Here are twelve reasons to put them at the top of your holiday gift list.

1.      You can find something for everyone.  There’s a book for every reader, whether a cook book for your new mother-in-law, a comic book for your niece, or a coffee table book for the boss who has everything.
2.      You have a great excuse to spend an entire day at your favorite bookstore.  Whether you’re shopping at the big box store in the mall, your local bookseller on Main Street, or your favorite online store, you can happily consume an entire day selecting books for everyone on your list.  Remember to stop long enough to enjoy a latte and some biscotti at the cafĂ©, or at your desk if you’re at home, in your jammies, well beyond store hours.
3.      Your gift can educate and entertain at the same time.
4.      You can transport your reader to another time and place, allowing them to see a different world without having to buy airline tickets.

5.      They’re easy to wrap.

6.      Books are an affordable way to “wow” someone.  Even the latest blockbuster bestseller costs much less than, say, the latest electronic gadget, and will most likely outlive its obsolescence.

7.      They’re easy to regift.  And regift.  And regift…. 

8.      They come in many varieties, so you’ll be sure to find just the right one to please, whether it’s a hardcover, paperback, e-book, or audiobook.

9.      The small ones, like mass media paperbacks, make excellent stocking stuffers.  So do gift cards.

10.   You can borrow it after the reader’s read it without appearing tacky.

11.   You can support your favorite books and authors by sharing them with others.

12.   You can also support your favorite bookseller, ensuring that books of all kinds are always available.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo Update

It started out simple enough: Write a novel in 30 days.  Break it down to 1,667 words a day.  Follow an outline.  Use dictation software.  See how far you get.

Well, I didn't get too far.  In fact, less than a week, 10,618 words, and three chapters later I abandoned my NaNoWriMo challenge.  Repetitive strain injuries flared up, and said, "Are you crazy?  Writing like this is not for one with chronic TOS, bursitis, tendonitis, neuralgia, and all the other aches and complaints working on a computer gives you, even with your little tricks like dictation software, and a pad and pencil.  Remember what the doctor said: Respect your limitations."

It's kind of what I expected.  I'm not too upset.  It was a good week.  I loved the adrenaline rush, the flow of words, the excitement when a character comes alive and a story line takes shape, the secondary character who demands to be much more, and the twist I didn't see coming.  It was great exercise, and reminded me of why I love to write in the first place.  The plan is to continue, although at a much slower rate, and perhaps in a few months I’ll finish my first draft of “Swim Season.” 

Here's to all the writing warriors out there, banging away on their keyboards, dragging the words out from deep inside themselves, bringing their stories to life.  See you next year.