Peggy Bechko: Writers, Writing and Writer’s Gifts For The Holidays

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 by Peggy Bechko

Okay, it’s that time of year – starting to think about what you can get your friends who write or who just spend a lot of time at a desk? I’m not going to beat around the bush with lots of filler and ‘words’ here, I’m going to use this blog to give you some ideas. I usually do this about once a year as we head into the holidays, and I cover some stuff that’s moderately expensive all the way down to free, so here goes.

Got some cash you can part with? TheVaridesk is fantastic. It’s adjustable so the user can stand or sit easily, and its simple and quick to adjust, a pair of handles on the side and raise or lower.  I got one about a year ago and love it. Spend a lot more time standing and everything I hear points to that being the more healthy approach; a division between sitting and standing.

A new printer maybe? Just got the HPOfficeJet 8600 all in one myself. A Great machine for the money.

Scriptwriting software for that special someone a possibility? I personally useMovie Magic Screenwriter 6

If you’re kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel funds-wise yourself you can consider compiling a list of free apps and great websites that special person may not know about. For Example, there’s Adobe Story an online Scriptwriting App. The Writer can set up an account and away you go.  I’ll mention other freebies along the way here.

There are always the old stand-bys like pens, high-lighters, pencils, staplers, anything for the desk top and blank books of various descriptions. You can find those blank books online or locally, sometimes very reasonably or very expensively, depending. I put out a blank journal for writers called Weighty Words  A Quotable Writers and Artists Notebook. Slim and paperback = economical.

Amazon’s Kindles come in a variety of configurations and price range starting at $99 – link in and poke around

You can get Word and on the freebie side there’s Open Office  It’s a totally free office suite. Mac or PC.

Or YWriter – free software for writers.

Then there are sites you can put on your ‘recommend’ list that are helpful for the Indie writer and self-publisher, a list you can compile with a bit of work and no $ outlay – here are just a few ideas:

  1. A. Konrath – Newbie Guide To Publishing
  2. The Passive Voice – A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing
  3. Indies Unlimited – Site for Writing, Publishing and Marketing Books

Don’t forget the Adobe Screenwriting App mentioned above.

The Book Designer – Practical Advice to Help Self-Publishers Build Better Books

Jane Friedman – Helping Authors Flourish in the Digital Age

There are lots more out there, websites offering first line story-starters, naming sites of all types, resource sites and a whole lot more. Amazing what you can unearth by doing some searches.

Maybe you’d like some links to Ebooks you can gift. Not necessarily on writing – or maybe on writing:

M Pax’s Backworlds – Sci Fi – starts with The Backworlds free beginning of the series.

Also M Pax’s The Rifters – Sci Fi/Steampunk/Adventure – also free & beginning of another great series.

Or Lorna Suzuki’s Imago soon to be a motion picture and reasonably priced.

Romance? You could try a couple of mine:

Cloud Dancer – historic romance

Dark Side of Love – contemporary romance

And one by an old friend:

Television Writing From the Inside Out by Larry Brody – this one’s on writing!

Need books, software and more for that favorite writer – you can visit Writer’s Emporium – an Amazon store

Whatever you do no doubt it’ll be appreciated whether you can afford a high ticket item or expend your own sweat to do some digging. Get in the spirit and give the gift with the personal touch – something you really thought about.


Peggy Bechko is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about her HERE.