Friday, November 27, 2009

The Writer's Guide To Holiday Shopping with Marlena Fortune

Ho, Ho, Ho!

A few holiday shopping facts darlings,

Time is money.

Gasoline costs money.

People are annoying.

This year let's avoid contact with the outside world and instead shop smart, and in our pajamas. Yes. Marlena Fortune advocates pajamas and a very nice shot of espresso for the discriminating shopper as she settles in with her favorite online venue.

Can we talk?

You're a writer. Learn to streamline your life. Everything that gets you back to that manuscript is a very good thing.

Is there anyone in your life who wouldn't love opening a well decorated box, layered with colored tissue paper, to find a shiny new gift card? Enough said. If you feel you MUST personalize the card, chocolate is the perfect accessory. This year Godiva is offering free shipping on order's over $50 dollars. My favorite chocolate however, is See's.

And darlings, if you haven't had a See's Lollypop, you have not lived!
($14.70 a pound -flavors include butterscotch, chocolate, Cafe Latte, and vanilla)

It goes without saying, but I will of course mention that Seeker books are a great stocking stuffer and you can slip a Seeker book and a box of chocolate into a gift bag and Viola! you are ready to go!

If you want something very, very special for a loved one, may I suggest you get back to the keyboard, finish that manuscript, sell it in auction, get on the Times list. When your loved one opens the pages of your best-seller, they will find an acknowledgment with their name mentioned. Now that's a gift that never gets old. Oh, and if you need some reading on how much a Times bestseller makes (so you can it spend on See's Lollypops) check out this post.

Many of you have asked what to purchase for your wonderful agents and editors. No, a framed photo of yourself is not sufficient. Taking into consideration allergies, taste, moral and religious beliefs, and the trend toward green, your best bet is still a gift card.

May I suggest:


The Republic of Tea

For Life

Bed Bath & Beyond

Harry & David

Cafe Press has a wide range of STET gifts for editors too.

All right, shopping for the world is now completed. I'm exhausted.
Let us pause to reflect upon our shopping list and enjoy a cup of tea.

Next, is obviously the most important part of your Holiday shopping. YOU!

Allow me to provide a selection of gifts to please even the most discerning writer friend and yourself. Gifts you will open (after leaving sufficient hints of course) and be able to proudly exclaim, "Oh, my! You shouldn't have!" sounding quite sincere. After all, 11 months of the year we toil away at our craft. 'Tis the Season to give and receive and graciously say thank you!

The Bubble Calendar. It's true, there is something cathartic about popping bubble wrap and now you may do just that, 365 days a year.

Isn't this just special?

Just what you need. The Hero and Heroine
Corky Board. Great place to keep those WIP sticky notes, right?

Attention: Mood Alert!
For 2010 consider giving those non-writers in your life a fighting chance. Let them know just how you feel. Daily. I'm buying one of these pads for every writer on my list.

For those mystery and suspense authors. Why not just give them a dead body and be done with it? Nothing else will satisfy as well. This is the Dead Fred Pen Holder. It's a killer!

This needs no explanation. From Zazzle, an assortment of Will Write For Chocolate gifts. Everything from shirts and mugs, to bags and mouse pads. The perfect gift.

A mere $13.95 keeps all coffee and tea swilling writers happy. The Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer is a delightful idea.

Every writer needs a bank and these retro tin banks from BlueQ rock, if I, Marlena Fortune do say so.

The simple flip clock for your office from The Writers Edge. You can see it from across the room. Goose neck provides that flexibility to scream deadline at you from any angle.

The Belkin Mini Surge Protector. Perfect for travel and to keep in your laptop bag! It's also got a USB charger.

Check out the entire Jane Austen collection at the Republic of Pemberley. There is enough Austen here to keep you busy for a long time.

Finally, for those vintage writer friends, (you know the type) consider typewriter key jewelry. Go to do a search for typewriter keys. Here's one for $16.00 from Keys and Memories.

Remember to tweet, link-back, text, post and email all about Marlena Fortune's fabulous gift ideas and you too just might get everything on your holiday wish list and still have time left to write.

Happy Holidays from moi!


  1. Hi Tina:

    Some great ideas there.


  2. Ok please dont hate me i have dont my Christmas shopping except ordering flowers for mum.

    But I want on of the calenders and the mouse pad!
    cool ideas.
    I love Christianbook too. Where im off to to order books for my friends daughter.

    Oh Guess whos having a garage sale tomorrow and guess whats happening outside right now. its pooring and I dont mean a little its bucketing down and we could get an inch and a half We sure picked a great day right!

  3. Some great ideas! As my brother-in-law says, gift cards always come in exactly the right color, size and style.

    Most of my shopping is done the easy way, thanks to online stores and the UPS guy. The kids don't want anything this year that warranted a trip into the Black Friday mob so we're staying home in our jammies. :-)

    I'll have to check out some of those links to use as suggestions for things people can give their favorite writer (who hopefully is me!).


  4. Marlena, dahling, excellent gift suggestions!

    Usually I'm done shopping by Thanksgiving--hate the crowds, but this year, I haven't bought a thing yet!! I have no idea what to get my boys, one who is a college freshman. When I asked what they wanted, I got "I don't know."

    Money is tighter this year than in years past, so that's forcing me to be more frugal and craft gifts from the heart. Grandparents are getting scrapbooks of our family and framed family photos. Several friends are getting gift bags of books and selections of tea. Always a pleaser.

  5. Good morning, Seekerville. Marlena, as always a pleasure to have you here.

    Leftover turkey for breakfast unless someone brings some donuts.

  6. What? No scones, no tea? People, lets get moving!!

    Happy Black Friday to all my Seekerville Darlings.

  7. Miss Fortune, lovely post, dahlink with lots of to-die-for gift ideas ... uh, especially the "stet" gifts for my editors.

    And I'm not a mystery writer, but I have to admit that the Dead Fred penholder has certain appeal for me ...

    And sorry, Jenny, but yes ... I'm coming pretty close to "hating" you for having all your Christmas shopping done ... both me and Miss Fortune! The only thing saving you is that you are such a nice and likable person and Christmas is the season of forgiveness and love ... Otherwise you'd be dead in the water. :)


  8. Hurray for pajamas, coffee, and online shopping! Ms. Fortune, I'm loving all the Jane Austen gifts. I watched Lost in Austen this morning and am actually considering cleaning my bathroom on the off-chance that I'll discover a door leading to Longbourn. Wish me luck. :)

  9. A fabulous post...thanks for the ideas.


  10. Hello everybody! I loved the bubble wrap calendar.

    I just love bubble wrap.



  11. I love LOST IN AUSTEN!! Anne you have excellent taste.

  12. Yes, gift cards totally rock.

    When we are on our road trip to see my folks, space is at a premium with the kids' luggage, sleeping bags and teddy bears.

    Gift cards also pack down to nothing and I can carry a whole family Christmas' worth in my purse.

    Chocolate would never survive the trip ;-)

  13. I want to come back in another life (stop gasping, I'm kidding, for pity's sake...)

    As Marlena Fortune.

    What a dish. And can she DISH...

    Oh my stars, the woman's where it's at on everything from fashion to protocol to etiquette, to gifting to great movie heroes...

    I mean she's one seriously smart dudette with to-die-for nails.


    Gift cards.


    I just got myself an amazingly wonderful NY Yankees Official water-repelling 2009 Playoffs sweatshirt with two gift cards good ol' Dave hadn't used in two years.

    You snooze, you lose.

    And the shirt looks great on me, btw, but GUESS who keeps borrowing it?

    Yup. Dave. Hey, they might have been HIS gift cards, but I clicked the mouse! :)

    MmMmmm.... Coffee. Starbucks.

    I have it on good authority that SH editors love Starbucks. A little mouse told me that.

    Who can blame them? They can sip great coffee (although there IS a Dunkin Donuts right around the corner from their office, and I love Dunkin coffee...) and either relax while reading really good stuff (guilty) or be soothed while reading really bad stuff (guilty of that as well, LOL!!!)

    I love gift cards. I love treating myself and others to little special things, without lifting my wallet, the secret $20 tucked in behind the antiquated Social Security card.

    I'm pathetic.

    And See's chocolates are wonderful.

    We don't have them here, but they're available online and I first had them in Denver's airport. Brought home a bunch to the people who took over daycare so I could see y'all in the shadow of the Rockies.

    Great candy. GREAT.... And I know, I know, I'm making Warren Buffet even richer by touting his chocolate, but that's okay. Good is good. And Buffet's a total hottie.

  14. What does Warren Buffet have to do with See's candy??

  15. Hey, Tina. I mean, Marlena. I know this is probably a dumb question, but what is stet?

  16. From Wikipedia.

    Stet is a Latin word (meaning "let it stand") used by proofreaders and editors to instruct the typesetter or writer to disregard a change the editor or proofreader had previously marked.[1]

    This convention is usually marked by writing and circling the word stet above or beside the unwanted edit and underscoring the selection with dashes or dots.[1] Alternatively, a circled tick (check mark) may be used in the margin.[2]

    In connection with this usage, stet is also sometimes used as a verb, e.g., "Stet that colon."[1]

  17. Melanie, darling, you seem to have difficulty telling Tina and I apart. I am the one in the hat with the impeccable wardrobe.

    Anything new to report dear?

  18. Nothing new, Marlena dear. As our dear Sandra likes to say, the publishing business is slower than the government.
    At this point I'm just hoping I hear something before Christmas.

  19. Ms. Fortune, thank you for your wonderful advice. I haven't even started the serious shopping phase, so I needed these great ideas!

    Pam, honey, I'll sell you a whole batch of bubble wrap--more than one pop a day. I mean get real. Who can only pop one bubble at a time??!! I'll even write the months and days on it! Only $49.95, shipping included. Call me, and we'll talk.