Today I’m venturing into the belly of the beast to start Christmas shopping. Though I generally enjoy going to the mall, the crowds this year have been a bit much. People honking in the parking lot because someone is waiting for a parking space. Long lines. Poor climate control. It’s been in the seventies here in Atlanta and the stores are either too cold or too hot. No happy medium. Nonetheless, I can put it off no longer. But before I go, I thought I’d share 5 last-minute gift ideas for the writer in your life.

  1. A covered coffee mug. My writing mentor, Rosemary Daniell, recently had the
    misfortune of spilling her coffee on her laptop, sending her into technology hell. She ended up having to buy a new computer and now is dealing with the new computer learning curve. Be a dear to your coffee drinking writer and get them a cup with a lid. Pop by Starbucks and check out their huge selection.
  2. A seat cushion and/or lumbar support cushion. Sitting for long periods of time at the computer can wreak havoc on your back. I often wonder if part of the problem with keeping my butt in the chair is that it makes my back hurt. Though I know
    my chair is heavier on design than comfort or support, there’s no denying that sitting too long does cause problems. The more comfortable the seat, the longer we’ll be willing to sit. They are available through Amazon or at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
  3. A subscription to his or her favorite literary journal or magazine.         As a writer it is helpful to know what types of stories, essays and poems are being published. And if he or she is trying to get published in a particular journal or magazine, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the publication’s aesthetic. There are a ton of wonderful journals to choose from. Of course, I think Minerva Rising Literary Journal is pretty special. But so is Ruminate, So To Speak, Mom Egg Review and so many more.
  4. A writer’s retreat or conference. Nothing boost creativity and productivity like time spent in the company of other writers. It helps the writer see his or her work with fresh eyes. It generates ideas and develops networks. You can choose from exotic locations like Tuscany or Paris. There are also many local conference and retreats. Poets and Writers has a data base that sorts by location, type of conference and price.
  5. A membership to a local museum. In The Artist Way, one of the basic tools for cultivating a creative life is regular artist date. According to Julia Cameron, “ An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, you inner artist.” Having a membership at a museum allows the writer to make frequent trips and really spend time contemplating the exhibits. Some of my best work grows out of time spent in museums. 

I hope that helps. I’m off to the mall.

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