Homemade Gifts for Writers

Back in December I blogged about the best gifts for writers. Well, I have a new gift to add to the list, possibly the best so far. My friend, Jenny, gets full credit for the idea; two weeks ago when I finally got to exchange Christmas presents with her, she gave me this awesome present:

Writing Frame

I don’t know exactly what to call it, so I’ll make up a name—writing frame. Jenny was one of the beta readers for EYES OF LIGHTNING, so she still has a copy of the story on her computer. Jenny picked some of her favorite parts of the story and printed them out. Then she cut little chunks of text and glued them on a plain wooden frame. The result is this crazy-cool patchwork of words, words written by me! When I opened the present and realized what it was, I felt emotional and overwhelmed, stunned and ecstatic! I couldn’t stop looking at it, turning the frame in my hands to read the words over and over. It’s one thing to read my words on my computer screen; but when someone else takes my words, the ones she liked the best, and uses them to create something entirely new… I can’t even describe how inspiring that is. 

Now the frame has a place of honor on the filing cabinet next to my desk, within arm’s reach of where I sit to write. I finally decided on a picture worthy enough to put inside the frame. I wanted a picture that reminded me of EOL, and this was the closest thing I could find. Eddyville, Illinois is the setting for EOL, and a few years ago I took this picture at nearby Garden of the Gods. It reminds me of the scene in which Ivy runs up a twisting forest path to find a surprise at the crest of the hill. *happy sigh*

Because the writing frame was such a heartfelt gift, I decided to spread the inspiration to my fellow writer friends. Friday was the birthday party for Vannah and Vicki, and I made them each a writing frame (using excerpts of short stories they’d written). They seemed to love their frames as much as I love mine. I hope to make more in the future! I even thought about making some type of collage for the new novel I’m preparing for. I don’t have words yet obviously, but I could use pictures of the characters and setting, etc, and hang it in my office for inspiration while I write. Just a thought; I might not have time to do it. But I encourage everyone to try the writing frame, or a similar project. It’s wonderful to see your words in a new, three-dimensional way. 

Here are the instructions for making the writing frame, in Jenny’s words:  “I got your frame at Wal-Mart in the craft section, but you can get plain wood frames at any craft store like Hobby Lobby. The clear glue is called puzzle saver glue and you can find it in the craft section of Wal-Mart as well. You’ll need a paintbrush to apply the glue.  I like to spread glue over a small area, cover it with the piece of paper (or whatever you’re using) and then you have to completely cover the piece of paper with glue. Start with a small amount to make sure your paper doesn’t bubble up.  Once you’ve finished the frame and it dries, you can go over it again with a thicker cover of glue to make sure it stays. Just make sure you get all the corners and edges!”

So there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions! I have a question for you guys:  has anyone ever made you a fan gift based on your writing? Or have you ever made yourself a story-based project for inspiration? I’d love to hear about it!

I’m writing this post on Monday night, so tomorrow is the 17th—the day I’m supposed to start the new book. I think I can do it… I think I’m ready. I was so busy this past weekend, and I’m not at all well-rested. But I can do this; I can write the first 1900 words tomorrow. *nervous twitching* I just realized that I need to do some last-minute researching for Chapter One. I better get to work. I’ll update on Friday! Hope everyone has a great week!


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