Beth’s Writerly Recipe!

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

Every once in a while, I like to ponder lists. If I were stranded on a desert island, what five things would I bring? Who would I eat dinner with, of any person living or dead? What are my favorite books, movies, albums, etc?

So, what do I need as a writer of fiction? DavidZahir preceded me with a great post of the four things he needs.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is my recipe for writing!

Take one notebook and one blue pen: Yes, pen and paper. Despite my horrific handwriting, I feel most creative when committing ideas directly to paper. The smooth roll of the ink beneath my fingertips is quite conducive to thinking. As great as word processors are for recording scenes and stories (and organizing them), for me, nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a crisp white sheet of paper.

Add a dash of research: Libraries and the internet make this step much easier. As I write historical fiction (and sci fi influenced by actual events), this is an important step. A lot of inspiration comes from the pages of other books, scientific, historical, etc.

Mix in one cup of strong tea: Being teetotal, my poison of choice is a strong, hot cuppa. Cuppas calm me down and get me in a more productive frame of mind.

A pinch of laughs: When things get stressful, either in the story or while writing, keeping a sense of humor is essential.

Here are the rest of the AW Blog Chain participants!

1. DavidZahir –
2. shethinkstoomuch –
3. Lost Wanderer –
4. aimeelaine –
5. Ravencorinncarluk –
6. Bsolah –
7. Charlotte49ers –
8. Angyl78 –
9. truelyana –
10. Claire Crossdale –

On notebooks

General Geekiness, The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I’m a sucker for notebooks. Not the spiral bound, 70 pagers that you pick up at Shaws or Wal-Mart in your frantic back-to-school shopping, but a real, archival quality paper, beautifully bound notebook.

These, unfortunately sometimes with the word “Journal” sprawled across the cover, are my favorite things to write on. Yes, I know a cheap spiral bound college ruled notebook would do just fine, and they have. There’s something special about writing on good quality paper.

When I was in Italy in April 2007 (has it really been that long?), the first thing I bought while I was there was a leather bound notebook. That was the only souvenier that I knew I needed to have. I’ve filled it, but writing on its pages brought me back to Florence and Rome.

My current notebook was a gift from my grandma. It’s red with faux gold foil on the cover. The paper is thick so the ink from my pen doesn’t run through (except when I accidentally fell asleep while writing. There’s a big ink spot going through four pages. Oh well, that adds character.

At Christmas, my parents gave me a beautiful notebook, also from Italy, that’s yellow with pink and blue flowers with gold vines all over it. I’m looking at it right now and smiling.

The thing about these notebooks is they hold specific memories of when I received them. Those spiral bound notebooks do not. They are boring, identical in every way. Plus, those spirals get caught in everything.