Last year, sometime in mid-December, I posted 10 Great Stocking Stuffers for Writers...designed to help non-writers fill the socks of their insane, writerly loves with awesome, inexpensive, useful and tiny things! The post was very popular...and I figured, one more year writing, one more year of writing ideas. Some of these are repeats...but they're just too good (and necessary) not to list. This list goes to 12! 1. The Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Pencil. I've tweeted about this, I've Facebooked about this, I basically expound about the awesome that is this pencil to any author who will listen. This is PERFECT for copy edits and typeset pages. Why? It's mechanical, *and* it takes colored leads, which means you don't have to spend half your copyediting time resharpening broken, soft Crayola coloreds. And it looks uber-fancy.
2. Pentel Colored Leads. If you buy the Pentel Automatic, you'll need the leads. Amazon sells them in red and blue, but you can find other .5mm colored leads in other places on the web.
3. Stranger Than Fiction. Emma Thompson is a writer with writer's block; Will Ferrel is just a guy...who happens to be the man she's writing about. What ensues is a brilliantly funny, heartbreakingly wonderful movie that everyone can enjoy, and writers can appreciate on an entirely different level.
4. Stephen King's On Writing. King is a writers' writer. His process is undeniably effective and this book is not only a great resource, but also a great read. He's an inspiration. And every writer should have a copy of this book to dogear and mark up.
5. Flags. If they're reading On Writing or editing their own books, they're going to need flags in multiple colors. At least, I do. I have them in purses, on desks, in the junk drawer in my kitchen.
6. Sticky notes. They will need these in spades. I have them in purses, on desks, in the bedroom, in the bathroom, in the junk drawer in my kitchen. Which means that when I'm in the middle of a book, there are stickies all over the house. ALL over. They have ideas, to-dos, and sometimes jibberish that made sense at the time on them. I like fun ones, like the Cavallini's here...but Post-Its work, too, obvs!
7. Moleskine notebook. They were good enough for Hemingway. And that makes them good enough for me. I have one of these in red, and I honestly don't leave home without it. They're durable and the perfect size for jotting down ideas or actually writing while sitting and waiting for your dinner date. The key here is getting a size that's actually functional. If I had a nickel for every teeny-tiny, useless notebook someone put in my stocking, I'd never have to write another book again.
8. Journal Bandolier. I have been coveting these for the last few days...since I discovered them. I love the *idea* of pencil cases...but I can't use them. They're never in the right place, and they're a little too organized. If you saw my office while I'm deadlining, this would make sense to you. I can barely find the dog in there, let alone a perfectly perfect pencil case. BUT...I always know where my Journal is. And therefore...this Bandolier is perfect, because if I know where my journal is, with this thing, I also know where my pens & pencils are!
9. Pens. If you're a non-writer, here's something you should know about the strange beings called writers. We are obsessive about our tools. Some of us are pen users, some pencils, some ballpoint, some gel, some fountain. When it comes to pens...I myself, am a rollerball user. I particularly like the Uni-Ball Vision Elite because it feels great, it glides well and it comes in awesome colors, like the purple one I linked. Yes. It's $7. But I think it's worth it. If you know what kind of pen your writer likes to use, he/she will love you forever if you put one in his/her stocking.
10. Pencils. I've always been pencil-obsessed...I like the feel of lead on paper, the smooth glide of graphite always makes me feel like I'm writing well. I use Pencils to keep notes, to outline and to edit. Prior to this summer, my pencil of choice was the Muji graphite that comes in a pretty grey tube, but now, thanks to my father-in-law's generous gift of a set of Palomino Blackwings, I'm a convert. I. LOVE. THESE. PENCILS. Like, in a way that is probably way too weird. Anyway. I recommend them if your writer is a pencil person.
11. Fingerless gloves. Hey, hands get cold. And writers need their fingers. So I'm pro fingerless gloves for several reasons...not the least of which is that repetitive stress symptoms can be relieved by keeping wrists warm. Also, fingerless gloves are snazzy. And, lucky for you, very very popular.
12. Caffeine. Some of us are tea drinkers, some coffee drinkers, some like our Diet Coke (I'm looking at you, Carrie Ryan) a bit too much...but almost all of us need a jolt of caffeine now and then. So...a fun additional gift? How about a gift certificate to Adagio Teas (my favorite) or Starbucks (or your writer's preferred coffee haunt), or a pound of fresh-roasted beans shipped from Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn, or, if Carrie's on your list, how about an IOU for a case of Diet Coke?