Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Writing aids


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When other writers talk about "writing aids", they generally mean how-to books, plotting spreadsheets, workshop notes, and so on. But in my mind, writing aids are not things that help me write better; they're the little luxuries that get me in the mood (or help me stay in the mood) to write romance.

Earl Grey tea. Caffe latte. Rose-scented candles. Fresh flowers on my desk. A cheery office with daffodil-yellow walls and a good window to gaze out of. A nice collection of CDs.

Those are my writing aids.

I've said before that I like writing romance stories while listening to the mellow tunes of Coldplay, so I wanted to mention here that I've just discovered a band I like equally well for easing my brain into the writing zone. If your taste is similar to mine, allow me to recommend Keane's debut CD, Hopes and Fears. You've probably heard Somewhere Only We Know, but trust me -- that's not even the best track on this exquisite CD.

Keane is like Coldplay, only with a piano instead of the acoustic guitars. And Tom Chaplin's voice is way better than Chris Martin's, which is saying quite a lot. Chaplin needs to work on his breathing technique, but the kid's got a lot of heart. Pop over to Amazon and listen to a couple of samples.

But let's get back to the writing aids. I drink a full pot of tea every day, either late in the morning or early in the afternoon, but after that something shifts inside me and I long for caffe latte. Caffeine isn't a problem for me, not even late at night, and Number Two Son, bless him, is always ready to make an emergency run to Caribou Coffee.

My husband indulges my every whim, especially when it comes to my writing, and he expects our boys to do the same. I've tried to explain that he shouldn't spoil me so much, I'm never going to be rich and famous like Jan Karon, so he's going to have to keep on being an architect and bringing home a paycheck. He never listens, so I just sigh and call for another caffe latte to drown my guilt in, and sometimes I wonder: Could I write romance novels without all of these little luxuries?

Oh, probably. But it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

3 comments:

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Girl! Don't say things like, "rich and famous like Jan Karon." You very well could! You have it in you to be!

Brenda Coulter said...

You're cute, Heather. But honestly, I have no ambition to get rich and famous off my writing. I just do it because it's fun.

Kate R said...

my husband doesn't think I'm gonna be rich or famous but he still brings me coffee in the morning. That's been my definition of romance for a while (particularly when he forgets to buy me a birthday present or to call me when he's going to be late. I grumble under my breath."coffee.. .every . . . morning")