2015 Holiday Gift Suggestions

Milwaukee Christmas treeIt’s Black Friday, when folks trample each other to buy price-reduced manufactured goods so they can give them to family and friends to prove just how much they love and appreciate them. As much fun as that is (and as someone who has worked retail off and on for years and got to watch two ladies nearly come to blows over a scooter, I know my good times), not everyone is hip to getting their friends and family the same gift everyone else is giving to their favorite humans.

Well, that’s why I am here. To point you in the direction of some really nifty finds that you won’t find in all of those fliers and on the shelves of your local big box store.

Obviously, you should totally buy all of my books and give them to all of your friends. But if you don’t want people to get suspicious that you’re not putting any thought into your gifts (but you really would be; I’d vouch for you), you should also check out these authors: Shanna Hammaker, Brandon Ford, Jeremy C. Shipp, Shonell Bacon, and Johi Jenkins. Horror, memoir, mystery, fantasy, paranormal romance, young adult…you’re bound to find something for someone or many somethings for many someones.

If you know an aspiring writer (or anyone that uses a writing instrument, really), perhaps check out Roweville Retro and get them a one-of-kind pen, pencil, or stylus. You can even get a custom made creation. Get them that present that other people will be trying to steal from them for years to come.

Speaking of writing, how about encouraging the people you really do like to keep in touch with some spiffy postcards? This is what happens when I keep taking and drawing pictures with no set purpose in mind. I have to find something to do with them and what better use than to remind people that dropping a picture card in the mail and sending it to a friend is still a fun surprise.

But, if you’re looking for better art (and you probably should be), then check out Hannah McFaddon Art. Hannah McFaddon is an amazing artist and now she’s got a whole line of prints available, too. Tea-Rex! Are you kidding me? Absolutely adorable! And guaranteed to be something that a loved one is going to adore and hang proudly on their wall.

So go! Shop! Buy things that people didn’t know they needed and will love to get!


**Yes, I am once again promoting my friends and acquaintances (and myself) for the holidays because I like them, I like what they’re doing, and I think they deserve some spotlight. Go team!

I Must Art!

Yes, that’s a Blues Clues Band-Aid on Floyd’s head. It’s covering his head injury (hole).

The other day I was seized with a sudden need to art. It didn’t matter what the art was, but I needed to do something artistic and creative that wasn’t writing. I thought about borrowing my roommates colored pencils, but she was still asleep and I needed to art NOW.

I ended up giving my pink flamingo Floyd a paint job (of which he was in desperate need and which I was planning to do anyway) and started working on this year’s Grinchmas gift (which I won’t mention just in case someone on the receiving in might read this) which involves quite a bit of painting and will take me some time to finish completely.

That all scratched the itch, but I still have an urge to art.

When it comes to my creativity, it’s mostly confined to writing. I do sew, of course, but my skills there are limited. But when it comes to art, I’m the limited of the limited. I can’t draw a straight line. Thankfully, when I do find myself doing art things, I do my best to avoid straight lines.

I like to art. I like to attempt to draw and paint, even if I’m not very good at it. I find it to be enjoyable sometimes to just doodle and such. I’ve done really kicky psychedelic pictures in oil pastels that look great hanging on my walls, but they’re not going to be hanging in a gallery at any point in time. I’ll be honest, though, I prefer it when the art I do can be useful (like with Floyd and the Grinchmas projects, which is also the name of my next band).

There’s also a certain hesitancy that I normally have when doing things in the nature of art, not just because I’m not good at it, but because my roommate Carrie IS an artist. Like, she went to school for it and stuff. Typically any urge I get to art is squashed by self-consciousness, if not by laziness (which squashes so many things). It’s hard for me to loosen up and art when I have an actual artist in proximity who can and will tell me everything I’m doing wrong.

But my latest need to art was too strong to be brought down by laziness or self-consciousness. Criticism be damned! I felt the urge and had to give in to it. And I’m actually pretty happy with everything I’ve done thus far. I sort of hope the feeling lasts.

Oh, and I did finally get the colored pencils.