|Where the magic happens.|
Ahhh, the life of an author, picture this…the carefree author, sitting outside at a sidewalk café, dressed in a floor-length bohemian skirt and cotton blouse with long flowing sleeves, sipping a latte from a porcelain mug. She wears a faint smile as the words flow organically across the page, weaving together a one of a kind story with beautiful prose and poetry.
Then there is reality; the life of the shut-in writer. When I write I need total seclusion. I go as far as writing in a near dark room. But lets back up a bit, and I will take you through my ritual.
I start with inserting coffee intravenously. It seems to be the most efficient way to take in the maximum amount of caffeine possible. If that is not available I will settle for Starbucks, or even a plain glass of water. But I drink a lot when write.
Now this is going to sound strange, but I write best in the dark. If even a sliver of sunlight finds its way through a crack I shudder in fear and screech like Gollum, “it burns”. But seriously, I turn off my overhead lighting and click on two strategically placed lamps for the optimal mood lighting. I think it helps me feel hidden away from the world.
There are two things that are absolute essentials when I write. First up, my iPod. I am easily distracted and my house can be noisy. My husband loves to tinker and he never has anything less than two to four projects going on at any given time, and all of his hobbies are loud. In fact, I think his favorite hobby is seeing how much noise he can actually make. I guess it goes without saying, but we never get invited to any neighborhood parties. I am lucky enough to have an office all to myself, and it is dedicated solely for the purpose of my writing. That being said, my office is located directly in the center of the house and there is no escaping the outside distractions, so on go the headphones.
I always listen to music when I write. I have certain songs that I listen to, to help create certain moods or characters, but the stand by is the Tron Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk. I’m not usually a techno fan, but the soundtrack is mellow and none of the songs have any words, so after a while it just kind of blends into the background and tunes out the hubby.
The second most important thing I keep at my desk is a stack 3x5 index cards. I cannot write my first draft without them. I have used so many cards over the years; if I laid them flat they would rival the Great Wall of China. When I write, my thoughts are messy and all over the place. So when an idea pops into my head I grab a card, write the random idea in frenzy, set it aside and move on. That way when I have time, I can organize them into coherent thoughts and place them accordingly in my story.
Last but not least, is my furry little writing companion, Blue. He is a miniature Australian Shepherd and he never leaves my side. When I am writing he lies at my feet and takes a nap. If I do not bring him in my office with me, he will sit directly outside my office door and wait until I do.
And that’s it. After the mood is set, the drink is in hand, and the distractions are tuned out, I can immerse myself into worlds full of myth and magic and mold my story into life.