Welcome to whatever is on my mind!

Some people use the term "nonsense" but I prefer to use the phrase "uncommonly sensed" because it's more reflective of creative types.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Best Gifts for Book Lovers

Tomorrow is the first day of Chanukah and we're only 10 days away from Christmas. Some of you may be in a panic about what to give the book lover in your life, so I've composed a list of gift ideas. Here we go:

A few general sites to look for gifts for book lovers are these:

Out of Print Clothing
This site has a lot more than clothing, although their t-shirts of vintage book covers are really cool (I own several). They also carry a wide range of book accessories and book themes objects, such as coasters, tote bags, and jewelry. My favorite pair of socks came from this site!

The Literary Gift Company
The name says it all - this is all literary themed merchandise. There are coffee cups, posters, calendars and games. You can even find books made into other things.

Not On The High Street
This site also has posters, calendars, jewelry, framed book pages, bookends, bookmarks, and other literary themed merchandise. Something unique they carry is a flower made out of book pages.

Paddywax Candles
This candle company has a line of Library candles that are named after famous authors and contain ingredients from their lives or works of literature. IN fact, I'm burning Charles Dickens as I write this (it has a holiday scent a la "A Christmas Carol.").

Uncommon Goods has a list of literary gifts on their site. I particularly like the love letter napkins.

Now for a few other specific items that I think are cool. Many of these come from Etsy, which is a great place to shop for unique gifts, and if you browse there long enough you're bound to find something for your favorite book lover (or for yourself).

Amazon has a candle that smells like a new book.

How about some Oscar Wilde Cufflinks?

There are two site that have some nice literary scarves. They can be found here and here. Each site has a slightly different style and selection.

Another site on Etsy offers custom bookplates. These come in a variety of styles, including a raven.

How about some wearable literature that includes hats and jewelry as well as scarves.

Do you know a crafty book lover who would enjoy folding books into art? This site offers patterns.

Or how about some Dickens themed shot glasses for drinking up your Christmas cheer?

Or maybe a literary themed game would be fun?

I absolutely love these (and own a pair!) poetry themed tights! If you're book lover is also a poet, there is an option for custom tights.

This Etsy shop has vintage postcards with original poetry typed on them. This was done by the artist who illustrated my Kingdom Wars series of books, so I'm particularly partial to the work.

You can also find throw pillows of scrabble letters and spell out the word(s) of your choice. I'd like ot have these all over my house so I could change the words and feel as if I live inside of a book!

So these have been a few ideas - there are more out there. If nothing here suits your needs, I recommend searching Etsy for favorite authors or specific items. Good luck and happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

I read a lot of books, but I also love movies because movies are a form of visual story telling. Unlike books, a movie is typically done telling the story in just about 2 hours, so it makes it easier to revisit these stories over and over again. Some are worth the second and third look, and others are not. Here’s my list of movies I like to watch over and over:

Stranger Than Fiction
If you love books or you’re a writer and you haven’t seen this movie, you need to find a copy as soon as possible. Take a day off form work and scout your local used DVD store or order a copy online. The movie is about a a man who discovers that he’s a character in a book and he eventually meets the writer who then discovers that her character has come to life and is a real person.

Shawshank Redemption
This movie was based on a short story by Stephen King and is one of my favorites. A successful banker named Andy Dufresne is wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife, and the movie is about his time in prison as the warden attempts to redeem him (as well as the other prisoners). Andy eventually finds redemption, but probably not in the way the warden had hoped.

Bull Durham
This is a funny and quirky movie about baseball that also includes a love story. I’ve been a longtime baseball fan and the jokes in this movie still stand as some of the funniest in the industry.

The Princess Bride
This may be the most quotable movie in the history of film. Written by the same gentleman who also wrote the screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, The Princess Bride is full of action, imagination, and quirky lovable characters.

Anything by Hayao Miyazaki
Miyazaki films are a magical experience. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle are three of my favorites, but I can watch any of these animated films repeatedly. They’re all well written and imaginative.

All the Harry Potter movies
Do I even need to explain this one? I’ve read all the books twice - why wouldn’t I see the movies more than once?

Note: this post originally appeared as a guest post on My Life Loves and Passion blog. However, since I've been busy writing books instead of blog posts and some of you may have missed my guest spot, I'm re-posting it here for your reading pleasure.