"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pen & Prosper's 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide


Perhaps now more than ever before, we need to celebrate and embrace the good in life.
This year has been a challenging one for many people.
A struggling economy, weather-related disasters, police brutality, political upheaval, personal battles, pandemonium. True?

The good thing about the holiday season is that it offers us peace, goodwill toward mankind, generosity of spirit, and a celebration of Christ and our year-long blessings.
Good grub, family and friends, and a sharing of gifts simply serve as the proverbial "frosting on the cake."

There's no better time to shift our gears and focus our thoughts and actions on uplifting things. To put away the past and shelve our worries.
What better way than shopping... Hello?

With this as our goal, I present to you Pen & Prosper's 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide.
These suggestions make perfect selections for you, a loved one, or perhaps a fellow writer friend (hint, hint). :-)



You'll never go wrong with teas for writers. And there are so many options from which to choose. Black tea, Green tea, Chamomile, Earl Grey, to name a few.  And check this out: if you have a dollar store in your nearby area, you can get more bang for your buck! Many carry an assortment of delicious brands and flavors you'll enjoy.


Books are to writers what fuel is to cars. They keeps us "running." They entertain, inspire and inform us. If you haven't already had an opportunity to purchase it yet, may I suggest my new E-book to add to your virtual library? This title goes beyond the lessons I share here on the blog, and is guaranteed to provide a few insider's tips that can save you time and money. To order, simply send $3.99 to PayPal address: Gemsjen@yahoo.com.  And here's the bonus: you won't have to pay any shipping and handling, my friends.  Easy peasy.


For the "wine snob" on your list. Pair it with some nice cheese, or with some lovely, decorative glasses or decanter.


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The Portable Muse Writing Cards

Saw these recently through the Women on Writing Blog and thought they were a neat idea for stimulating creativity. 30 Creative writing prompts to enhance your productivity.
Get ordering information here:



Simply put: "Nothin' spells lovin' like somethin' from the oven." If this holiday season finds you with a little time to spare, why not "throw down" in the kitchen? For me it's therapeutic and affords another way to express my creativity.
An alternative to making baked goods as gifts, of course, is to purchase some of the nicer store brand versions and put them in a basket with other thoughtful items like a decorative mug, kitchen pot holders, fruit and/or a gift certificate to a coffee shop. My personal favorites are Aldi's Loven Fresh baked goods and Jewel's apple pie. How about you?


I'm a big music lover. And I'm betting that many of you "creatives" are too.
In fact, music serves as the "backdrop" to many of my writing and blogging sessions and helps to set the tone for the day. The above video features a young, talented diva that delivers! Add Andra Day to your playlist for the holidays and beyond. Let me know what you think here.
B/T/W/ Sioux, this one's for you. :-) One good recommendation deserves another.


This concludes today's post and this year's blog pennings for 2016.
At this time, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for the "gift" of your readership, friendship and support.
This would not be possible without you.

Your turn.
Thoughts? What's on your Xmas wish list?
Any ideas you like here? Any that you would add?

Please note:
Pen and Prosper will be on holiday break, while Jen spreads a little cheer, until around January 9, 2017. Have a happy, safe, joyous holiday season.

...Until we meet again.



  1. Warm fuzzy sleeping socks make me happy. Enjoy your holiday and blog break. I appreciate you.

    1. The regard is mutual, my dear. Sending warm thoughts your way. :-)

  2. Jen--I love that song by Andra Day. Your post is gonna make me go out and buy the album. Is the whole thing spectacular?

    Books are always my favorite gift. (And I haven't had anything bad from Aldi's. It's my #1 grocery store.)

    1. Sioux,
      I have only checked out two of her songs on YouTube so far. The CD may be able to be checked out from your local library for sampling purposes.

  3. Sioux,

    I can't believe u knew about Sandra already. All I can say is u got a lot of soul for a red haired chick. LoL
    Sandra is awesome and so is your musical taste! :-) Just sayin' .

  4. Oops , meant to type (ANDRA) not Sandra. Sorry.

  5. Wonderful ideas, Jen. Thank you. I may have to stop by for some of those brownies. :) Enjoy the rest of the year as you take a well deserved break. Sending love and blessings your way!

  6. You, my friend have an open invitation. Thanks so much for everything, Karen.

  7. Excellent suggestions! I'll be along with Karen for those brownies. =0)And what a power packed voice Andra has. Wow. Interesting look on kitty's face as he/she eyes that wine. Enjoy your break, dear lady. See you next year. God Bless.

  8. Sue,
    The more the merrier, hon. Make sure to bring the salad, "Grandma Food. " :-)

  9. Awesome list Jennifer. Vino is ALWAYS a good bet with me; pair it with some red velvet cake (a baked good) and I'm good to go.

    Happy holidays.

  10. You definitely can not go wrong with Red Velvet cake. LOL
    Thanks for adding to the mix, Yuwanda. Be well.:-)

  11. Sounds like some great gift ideas! I enjoyed your interview on Karen's blog and had to stop by.

    Have fun spreading holiday cheer! :)

  12. So glad you did! Thanks so much, Jess. Happy holidays!

  13. Besides Christmas Holiday Gifts we also have some great New Years Gifts in our online store at the moment, with amung other things some specially designed

    Happy New Year - Wine Charms -

    Together with several other

    New Years Gifts

  14. I was wondering what I could comment on the music, pffffff, pretty intense! On my music blog I have a blog post about Russell Simmons 12 laws that might interest and inspire you.