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hunger games

Keeping track of your wine glass or coffee cup is a challenge when the book club conversation starts. I crafted these simple but adorable book club wine charms in less than hour. They can be used meeting after meeting and create a fun conversation piece.

Book charms 1 edSupplies:

  • Jewelry wire
  • Assorted beads
  • Oval jump ring
  • Silver charm with open insert (I found these at Hobby Lobby)
  • Magnetic closure jewelry finding
  • Jewelry pliers and wire cutter
  • Photo copies of book covers (suggested books with lovely covers: Life of Pi, Still Alice, Night Circus, Alice I Have Been, Room, Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Hunger Games, The Corner of Bitter and Sweet, The Fault in Our Stars, A Grown Up Kind of Pretty, and Water for Elephants)


  • I chose a selection of popular book club covers and printed them to fit inside the open charm. I cut them out in ovals and pushed them gently into the open charm.  I added a silver jump ring to the top of the charm so it could be threaded onto the wine charm ring.Book charms 4 ed
  • Cut sections of jewelry wire to 3”. Add one magnetic closure to one end and string various color-coded beads onto the wire, leaving enough room to add the second magnetic closure while twisting the end shut.
  • Center the charm on completed wine charm ring and reclose the silver jump ring.
  • Click open the magnetic closure to add wine charm to your wine glass or coffee cup.

Display on a jewelry tree for guests to choose their book wine charm on arrival. These can even be given as gifts to your favorite author or book lover.

hunger games

A girl who is early in her writing career has been corresponding with me, asking wise questions. I try to give her answers that walk the fine line of realistic and encouraging. Here are some of my answers:

Nothing New Under the Sun

After reading Hunger Games, my young friend was concerned with some strong parallels between her work in progress and Collins’ series.

I know there is nothing new under the sun, but how do you know if you what you are writing has been done before? I don’t want to be like another book. We all want to have a truly original idea, but is that even possible?

The short answer is no. There are no new stories to be told. But there are always new perspectives. So many stories fall into archetypes that seem to be overdone–yet new, compelling stories are told every day. The Hunger series is not new or even unique. It is retelling of the Minotaur. Harry Potter is a Messiah story and Titanic is Romeo and Juliet.

I highly recommend reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor. Even with formulas and archetypes, there are still individual ways to tell a story. This book does a very good job of showing you the commonality of different stories but never once suggesting that they rip off another first told story.

It matters very little that your IDEA has been written about. There are hundreds of books with public floggings (such as in the Hunger Games.) And rebellion and suicide and dystopian flavors. The goal is not to find a plot or a concept that has never been addressed.

Instead your task is much harder. You have to create characters (more than one) that are REAL. They are motivated, well rounded, flawed, perfect and they do your bidding. We have all read books that tell of government rebellion. But if you can make us care that your characters are risking life and limb—then we are seeing something new. If you can make us feel–you have a gift.

The things you do to the characters are rather limited. They can win…or lose. They can risk…or play it safe. In most action scene, they can go one way or another. As the creator, you can choose their reaction and the fallout.

But the recipe for a well developed character is endless. As endless as all the people in world. What are they scared of? What do they want? And why? What will they pay to get it? What is in their way? How do they get past it? These motivations plus the extras that make us unique–the likes, dislikes, quirks, appearance, hangups, history, etc. all add to the recipe.

And only YOU can create those characters.

Please know that you are not alone in the writing endeavor. Every early writer laments that all the good stories have been told. But a true writer–the one who sits in the seat at the keyboard and does the hard work of writing–knows that they have a story to tell. So they write it.

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