Every year I purchase the Rifle Paper Co. Wild Rose Appointment Calendar. For a publicist, this is a godsend – nice clear boxes, a notes column, paper thick enough to absorb the heavy ink pens I favor, and a gorgeous border that I love looking at as I pore over dates during tour planning sessions. I always look forward to the beginning of September when I purchase next year’s and start filling out dates.
Angela Burke Kunkle:
I'd love to put in a plug for the Aqua Notes Waterproof Note Pad. My husband got me the pad as part of a writer-themed gift one Christmas, and I honestly love them! Finally I have something to scribble on when that perfect solution to a tricky revision problem hits me while I'm in the shower . . . you can check them out here.
I use Post-it notes constantly. I always keep a pad handy while reading, and use them extensively while revising and looking over old sketchbooks. I also often slip a pad into my pocket when I leave the house or, if I'm on the road, or in my hotel room. They are perfect for jotting down notes or making quick sketches, and then can be easily transferred to a larger notebook or sketchpad. I've got a whole drawer in my studio that just has Post-it notes of all different sizes and colors and shapes.
One of my new-ish favorite things is this handy tote bag purchased on Zazzle.com. It’s personalized with a photo of my most recent book and it’s perfect to carry all my pens, bookmarks, handouts, all the things I tote to my book events. And of course “wearing” my book cover is a nice way to get some publicity for Lizzy and the Good Luck Girl!
Honestly, the greatest thing I’ve learned this year, both in my writing and illustrating, is letting go! I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true. No one should worry about what people are going to think or say about their work, so I remind myself every day that I do this because I love it. In more technical aspects, I started using the Schmincke watercolors and they are fantastic!
I found a perfect signing pen: the Stabilo point 88. It's a felt tip with a fine point, 0.4 mm, and comes in many different colors. I bought it in red (and purchased several because I'm always losing pens!). It flows smoothly across the page and dries immediately, making it practical. The hexagonal shape feels good, too! Hint to Santa: I am coveting the mini pocket version. Cute!
A Junior Library Guild Selection. Lisa's second picture book HOUND WONT GO (Albert Whitman & Co.) launches spring of 2020. To learn more about Lisa visit her at lisarogerswrites.com.
Studio Goodwin Sturges:
Since we are art-driven, we love color and pattern. Rifle Paper Co. products are a favorite, including these file folders and binder clips, which we got at one of our favorite gift shops in Providence, Simple Pleasures. We are also huge fans of flair pens, black for everyday, but we have all colors in circulation here at the Studio! You can find both on Amazon:
Amanda brought this wonderful cloth pencil case back from a trip she took to South Africa. I love the fun design and it is so much easier to find my pens and pencils when they are all together. No more scrabbling for the pens and pencils that roll around in the bottom of my bag, end up writing all over the interior fabric of my purse, and stab me as my hand blindly searches for them! They have great options on Etsy for fun pencil cases.
My favorite writing gift this year was a wall hanging book display that a dear friend made for me. I couldn't find anything quite like it online, but Etsy has some similar "book slings."
Laura is the author of PORCUPINE'S PIE and the upcoming FRED'S BIG FEELINGS: THE LIFE & LEGACY OF MR. ROGERS (January 2020). Visit her at LauraRenauld.com.
For me, it’s the hidden page feature at my Wix website. (The website is: www.wix.com.) When I’m working on a new book trailer, for example, I go to my hidden page, and then assemble images and text as I wish, which is very easy in their platform. Once I create something I like, I take a screen shot of the whole thing and paste it in Windows Paint. Now, the images and text that were all separate elements are in one cohesive jpg file. Of course, I love Photoshop, too, for more adjustments, but if I couldn’t assemble what I wanted at my hidden Wix page, it would be much harder. Another must have? My Sarasa Gel Retractable Zebra pens. Fast, reliable, and smooth! I keep a stash of them in my desk drawer.
The first thing I do each day before I write is sip my second cup of coffee. I use this mug from my librarian friend, Clare Hollander at the Kansas City Public Library. Then I almost always light a candle (sometimes scented), take a deep breath, and begin.
Ann Ingalls writes for both children and adults and is the author of over twenty-five books. She loves chocolate, swimming, playing Bridge, and traveling. To learn more about Ann and her work, visit her website, www.anningallswrites.com.
Here are some things I have discovered this year that has brought a lot of joy into my life:
1. Hobonichi Cousin Planner
This planner is one of Japan's best selling planners, and I can see why. For its size, it packs so many pages in — it has monthly, weekly and daily outlooks. Perfect for the Type A person thus, perfect for me. Plus, its made of Tomoe River Paper... yum!
2. Notion App
Notion is relatively new on the market, but I think its the productivity app to beat. Its like a combination of all your favorite productivity apps. Plus, a very easy user interface! Design the pages how you you want it to look. Embed pages within pages within pages. Use it as a CRM, or journal, or recipe book... its incredibly flexible.
Ileana Soon is an illustrator/visual development artist who grew up in Borneo before making her way to Los Angeles where she currently lives and works. NIGHT TRAIN is her debut as a picture book illustrator. Learn more about Ileana at http://ileanasoon.com.
Annie is one of the founders of 24 Carrot Writing. Her debut picture book, Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Gratitude, released in October 2018. Her second book, Night Train: A Journey From Dusk to Dawn, came out in April 2019. To learn more about Annie, visit www.anniecroninromano.com.
Two things I cannot live without as an agent (and the only things that keep me organized) are:
1. Sharpie Pens. They are the best fine-point pens out there, and anyone who has seen my handwriting knows that a nice clean black line means a lot to me! I use them to hand-address the envelopes when we do promotional mailings. I realize that the fact that I hand letter 250 addresses 3x a year makes me crazy, but the fact that they can withstand that kind of abuse is proof positive that they are awesome!
2. A nice college ruled small notebook with a thick, sturdy cover. I write everything in my notebook. From keeping a to-do list (complete with boxes to check!), to taking notes in meetings or conferences, to jotting down story ideas, to score-keeping my family rummy games, it’s got everything in it. It’s my travel companion and life line. Let’s not talk about what would happen it it was misplaced! Right now, I’m using this one from Madewell.
I'm always cold, so my favorite writing accessory has to be these adorable writing gloves from Storiarts. They come in a variety of bookish patterns and make lovely gifts for author friends -- or for yourself!
My favorite way to keep track of my daily writing tasks, is this day planner by Day Designer. I love the roomy pages, with designated to-do list space, for each day. It also features tabs, and a month overview and has plenty of extra note pages to jot down monthly goals. It comes delivered in a beautiful box, which makes it an ideal no-wrapping- required gift.