But wait, there’s more!

I have fantastic news for those of you dreading a return to the doldrums of every day life as this holiday season comes to a close. The twelfth day of Christmas isn’t until January 6th. That is when a very special (and in some countries, a quite epic) celebration called El Dia de Los Reyes takes place. Known in English as Three Kings’ Day or The Feast of the Epiphany, this is a holiday steeped in traditions, stories, music, culture and presents. Did I mention presents? In honor of El Dia de Los Reyes, Spectacle is offering a very special bilingual children’s book called “La Caja Basia/ The Empty Box.” This book features hand-drawn illustrations by Freddy Sanchez with a Spanish storyline by Maria Goretti Sanchez, translated into English by me. A labor of love, come see what Manuel and Maria are up to this Dia de Los Reyes and join in the magic from my family to yours. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Gifts For Writers Part IV

by Jared Saathoff When providing gifts for writers one of the key elements is playing to your writer’s sense of curiosity. Let’s face it, writers are worse than cats. Hours of useful time can be lost to something as simple as a squirrel or a website featuring only animated dancing robots. So, logically the best gift for a writer would be something to keep them on track and influence a more efficient manner of production— something like horse blinders or a dog’s shock collar. But, as I found out the hard way it violates several labor laws to force workers to wear those shock collars. So unfortunately I don’t think your beloved writer will enjoy it much either. Alas, the best way to appease your non-shock-collar-wearing writer is to get them something they’ll actually like. Truth is you can’t ever go wrong with Lego. But, you can go more awesome with this: — Awesome Link — it’s big, it’s motorized, it’s Star Wars, and it’s Lego. Guaranteed* to amaze and dazzle at cocktail parties. But, in this particular case you’ll have to do some digging to find something like it. Lego, because they’re awesome and Danish, release the majority of these beautiful sets in a limited run. So, there is this: — Awesome Link — but it’s not motorized, you’ll have you use your imagination.   Or. There’s this really neat book. It’s a collection of the old engravings that used to grace the pages of the dictionary. Back when the dictionary was really cool and not online: — Awesome Dictionary Link — I am going to set mine right next to the Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary, which is also a really interesting and neat gift idea for anyone interested in words, but be warned it weighs more than a toddler and unless you feel like rubbing your nose against the pages, it requires a magnifying glass.   Writers, even those without shock collars, write. So why not make writing awesome with this: — Awesome Pen Link — Quite possibly the greatest pen I have yet to write with (I ordered mine yesterday (actually I ordered three)). Guaranteed* to help you make new friends and influence people to buy you beer. The only thing that could, maybe, be more awesome would be a sword-in-cane that also had a pen—but that just doesn’t seem practical.   And finally, if your beloved writer is annoyed with boring people being the only ones that come over to watch movies there is this solution: — Magic Link — guaranteed* to keep boring people out of your life and make TV and movie watching 98% more enjoyable.   * Guaranteed by me. Guarantee not from the...

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Gifts for Writers Part III

by Eric Staggs Every year it hits like a tidal wave – a rush of panic – what will you buy for the writer on your list? If you’re anything like me, the very idea of Black Friday sends chills through your bones. Here’s a handy guide to help select the perfect gift for writers (a notoriously difficult group to buy for) and most item can be ordered online. The best part is most of these things can be ordered online, allowing you to get some serious shopping done without the battle scars of yet another Black Friday Shopping nightmare! Like any profession, writers need tools to do their job effectively. These tools vary widely and depend greatly on personal preference, but there a few gadgets that every writer shouldn’t be without.   Books Reference books are a must for any writer. My top five desktop reference books are: A Dictionary of Theories, Dictionary of Astronomy, Medical Dictionary, Latin-English Dictionary and a Dictionary of World Mythology. That covers most of the basics for day-to-day writing.   Voice recorder Micro-voice recorders are an excellent gift for any writer. It takes some time to get over the self-consciousness of talking your ideas out to a little machine, but after a while not only do you get used to it, but you feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie, making secret plans in case you’re captured by some galactic nemesis. The only “must haves” on these mini-voice recorders are USB output and a mini-jack for earphones. The slew of other features are just bells and whistles.   eReader This little piece of technology is about the slickest thing next to pop-rocks we’ve come up with. There’s about a thousand flavors of them now. The Nook, the Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad offers apps for all .epub and .mobi files. many publishers are offering their own version of what I refer to as the miracle bookshelf. Do you research, make sure the titles your Giftee wants on available on the platform you chose. As well, some folks like the e-ink display better than the backlit LCD. You can’t go wrong with this gift.   Anthologies Writers must read! This is necessary to stay inspired, to keep up with evolutionary changes to their favorite genre and to see how techniques and methods are working for other authors. However, often the selection of fiction piece can be random and a big commitment, for someone who wrestles with time management anyway. Anthologies on the other hand, are filled with dozens of short stories, already filtered and of top quality, in easily digestible, bite size chapters.   iPad2 Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve got a Kindle and an iPad2...

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Gifts for Writers Part II

The Twelve Days of  the Season by Tam Albright   Of all the many gifts you could give the writer in your life this holiday, there is really only one thing that writers want.   On the first day of the season, my loved ones asked of me: “Are there enough ideas for your WIP?”   So, on the second day of the season, my loved ones gifted me, with Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the third day of the season, my loved ones helped some more, with Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the fourth day of the season, the blinking cursor mocked: (Many four-letter swear words,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the fifth day of the season, my loved ones distracted me: Five times I forgot to hit “SAVE!” (More four-letter swear words,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the sixth day of the season, I wrote my loved ones in: Six doomed characters, Five times I forgot to hit “SAVE!” (F-dash-dash-dash word,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the seventh day of the season, I vented to the Net: Seven writing #hash-tags, Six doomed characters, Five times I forgot to hit “SAVE!” (Still swearing swear words,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the eighth day of the season, my loved ones gave me advice: Eight clichéd phrases, Seven writing #hash-tags, Six doomed characters, Five times I forgot to hit “SAVE!” (*eye-roll* Four-letter swear words,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the ninth day of the season, my “hobby” was discussed: Yeah, nine old trunked novels, Eight clichéd phrases, Seven writing #hash-tags, Six doomed characters, Five times I forgot to hit “SAVE!” (“I’m a sailor” swear words,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the tenth day of the season, I became quite desperate: Ten magical McGuffins, Nine old trunked novels, Eight clichéd phrases, Seven writing #hash-tags, Six doomed characters, Five times I forgot to hit “SAVE!” (Swear words just to say them,) Three unrelated plot bunnies, Two back up hard drives, And enough ideas for my WIP.   On the eleventh day of the season, with my loved ones fast asleep, I had Eleven cups a-coffee, Ten magical McGuffins, Nine old...

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