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Pen IN Hand
January, 2008

Gift Horse For Writers
Buying for your literate pals is a snap
By  Peggy Bechko

ift-giving time. Again.

So I'll do my bit for my fellow writers. Iíll spell it out for ya all. Iíll touch on every budget, too, so come on along for the ride.

Books about writing, for neophytes, are always welcome. Theyíre some good ones, too. Thereís Writerís Market, both hard copy and the online subscription, is for when one is looking to sell work. The Hollywood Creative Directory provides lots of leads on where to market a screenplay. Then thereís Skip Pressís Ultimate Writerís Guide To Hollywood, Jason Surrellís Screenplay By Disney and Stephen Kingís book On Writing. For a laugh, try Fondling Your Muse by John Warner. Or try buying your writer a novel in his or her genre.

If youíve got the budget, a new thin, flat-screen for the computer system is an incredible blessing. No flicker, much less eye strain for those who sit in front of it for hours at a time. A high-speed printer (inkjets frequently have higher speed printing than laser) is a wonderful addition to any office. And donít forget the more basic things a writer needs like cartridges for that printer.

Thinking of software? Look into Movie Magicís Screenwriter for the script writer. For the writer of books thereís a new software package called New Novelist. Itís recommended for the new writer or the professional. Iíve had my copy for only a short time, but have found it helpful already, allowing for the learning curve involved.

Magazine subscriptions are always appropriate for writers. Thereís The Writer magazine, Writerís Digest, and Book to name a handful. Dash down to your local magazine shop, buy a copy of the magazine and send in the subscription card. Wrap the magazine with a note indicating the subscription.

On a tight budget? Donít let the little things pass you by. Make up a small basket or gift bag filled with any combination of things like good pens (black and colored), paperclips, paper and envelopes, post it flags and notes, eraser, note pads small and large, highlighters, fine-line Sharpies, staples and stapler.

Other supplies needed by most writers are things like three-ring notebooks and plastic sheet protectors. Plastic expanding folders are good for storing bits and pieces of a developing or ongoing project. Plastic file boxes hold archived projects and old files.

For the journal-keepers on your list think about a really nice journal. They come in everything from clothbound to leather to metal. 

And speaking of storage, most writers would welcome CDs, floppies or thumb drives (or jump drives or whatever the local office supply store calls the new, small USB drives). Most would also welcome a small rolodex for desk top. I have mine divided into two sections: professional contacts and web information.

The first section is obvious. The second contains an alphabetized area where I store information regarding websites, passwords, virus protection, software registration and tech support numbers.

So, thereís your list if youíre buying for a writer. Now get out there and get shopping! If youíre a writer and want to give hints to get something you really need, print this and post it on your family or friendsí refrigerator, email it or just give Ďem a call.

Happy gift giving -- and receiving -- now and throughout the year!IN Icon

Author of Doubleday western novels, Harlequin romances, Fictionworks' fantasies (Ebook format), Peggy Bechko has also optioned screenplays domestically and abroad, written for an animated series and for variety of other venues. She's working on a new novel and collaborating on a animated series.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Pen IN Hand
IN This Issue
Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes!
Writer As Juggler
Sell That Book
Writers Write
Refined Author's Guide
Writers As Complainers
Get A Clue
How Not To Query
Blown To Hell (Excerpt)
Six Editing Hints For Writers

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Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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