On Real Life Treasure Hunts…

I cannot search for King Solomon’s mines. No, I must instead search along with Alex Quatermain in the world of fiction. I cannot travel the world to find the Holy Grail, I need Indiana Jones, and then, it is still fiction. Nor can I search for El Corazon, unless with Joan Wilder… again, fiction. And what about the lost city of gold? Ben Gates… yeah, fiction (and what is on page 47, anyway? It’s killing me!) Or searching for a chest of Aztec gold with Captain Jack Sparrow? Who knows, that one might actually be real… So how can I, as a writer, write about such delights of a treasure hunt, if I can’t actually go on a treasure hunt? I go with what I can get, like searching for treasure such as… five books for a dollar at the first garage sale of the season. Can you say score! Ah, the thrill of the chase! The wonder of the second hand store ‘There is only one shirt like it in the store, and it’s mine for three dollars, Mwhaha!’ effect! Some ridicule such a practice. But it is a treasure hunt. A one of a kind treasure (or one of a kind deal) hunt. Most of the books on my shelves are second hand, and they hold almost greater importance than any treasure chest unearthed from the depths of the sea. Almost. The thrill is in the hunt, and there is a true joy reaped from the booty. So hunt on, treasure hunters. Hunt to your heart’s content, it is not just for the fictitious characters of yore. Then we can all sit around our laptops, like treasure hunters of old, and share dramatic tales of our treasures won. Cause treasure hunters of old totally did that. What are your favorite ‘spoils’ from your treasure hunts?

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On Writing It Down…

On Writing it Down…

            Write it down. Jot it down. Scribble. Scrawl. This is what you must do. Why? For what reason? Can I get that reduced calorie and super sized with whip cream? Forget the last question, just focus on the first two. If an idea pops into your head for a story, do as I say: WRITE IT DOWN. If you think of a good name for a character: WRITE IT DOWN. You just thought of a plot twist: WRITE IT DOWN. A brilliant new story just popped into your head: GO GET CAFFEINE. Then: WRITE IT DOWN. (And yes, for all you persnickety people who always have to say ‘I don’t drink coffee’ you can get caffeinated tea or energy drinks, so ‘Ha’, but the caffeine is still a fundamental tool for writers. Back on subject…)

I carry a notebook in my purse, a notepad in my wallet, I have a notepad function on my dumbphone (And you thought only the Smartphone could do that!), I have several notebooks next to my bed, and a special file on my USB chip. All for the purpose of the over-active-imagination induced symptom of the ‘Aha-I-have-an-idea-for-my-story-that-is-awesome-and-I-have-to-write-it-down-before-I-forget-or-I-will-‘I-coulda-had-a-V8’-smack-myself-for-an-hour’ factor. Are you all still with me? Of course you are! I couldn’t have spelled it out any clearer! Well, that last comment is up for debate…

Never assume you will remember it. I never do. Ever. Okay, if you have an eidetic memory, go for it. But all you other writers, try writing it down. If for no other reason, do it for all the people, your fans, who will want, no, ‘crave’, to see in to your genius thought process of writing when you are a famous author. I know, that last comment convinced you, didn’t it?

When, where or what do you write down?

P.S. For all my fellow geeks, I thought you might like to know I was writing this while watching Doctor Who. Blogging and Doctor Who, fantastic combination!

On Setting…

On Setting…

And I don’t mean setting as in fiction writing when ‘the setting includes the historical moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place, and helps initiate the main backdrop and mood for a story.’ (from Setting (Narrative) Wikipedia.)

I mean your setting. Your ‘historical moment in time’, ‘geographical location’,
and ‘mood’ when you write. For me, I go into my room and close the door, I open
my curtains, and turn on my glitter lamp (yep, glitter, not lava. Totally
sweet.) I’ll either set up my mini DVD player with a movie that I’ve seen a
dozen times (So it doesn’t distract me) that has the same theme or tone as what
I’m writing, or put in a CD to be a ‘soundtrack’ to my writing. I put the lap
top on my white, wooden desk, and sit down. Maybe I’ll have a drink or tea, or
hot chocolate, depending on what I am writing.

Then, after, you know, turning on the laptop (A crucial step…) and opening up whatever file I am going to write in, I would suggest one more thing. Repeat after me: Do. Not. Turn. On. The. Internet. It will suck you in, and before you know it, all the precious time
you set aside for writing has been wasted pressing ‘Like’, or playing Songpop
with people you don’t even really know all that well (this goes for homework,
too!) It’s part of you setting, not a good part like your CD’s ‘soundtrack’
music.

So, before you can really get down and write, you have to make your environment
peaceful, and calming, and, like the music, helpful to whatever you are
writing. For me, I need my open window, and relevant background noise, my
special desk and chair, and no internet!  

What about you? What helps put you in the moodfor writing? What do you like to part of your setting for writing?

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

I saw this quote by C.S. Lewis awhile ago and wanted to share it with you.

            “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

            Okay, how true is that? I think apples are the best snack to eat while reading. It only requires one hand to eat with, and you don’t have to keep looking at what your eating, you can keep your eyes on the page. And no crumbs to get stuck in the cracks of the pages! Granted, a juicy apple might present a problem…

            It also occurs to me that as much as reading and eating go together ‘admirably’, writing and drinking go together just as well! *Please note, I don’t mean alcoholic drinking, although I’m sure some more mature writers would disagree.* I mean, don’t you agree that there’s nothing better in the world than sitting down at the laptop and getting ready to start typing away at a story, then starting yourself off with a nice sip of Biggby (Okay, or Starbucks) coffee? Or hot cocoa if it’s a cold day? Or sweet tea for the summer? Or a piping hot cup of tea, perhaps if you are writing an old fashioned English romance? Or Mountain Dew, if you’re writing an action thriller and need to get the adrenaline pumping? Or Purple Stuff! Yes, that is a real drink, tastes good. Kind of weird though…

            And of course, drinking and reading are good. And eating and writing are okay. Though, as much as it sounds good, eating Chinese food and typing doesn’t work if you get even one piece of rice stuck under the keys. You’ll never hear the end of it (think: type-typity-type-type-CRUNCH!-type-typity-type.) Not that I would know that from experience or anything! Thank goodness for canned air with computer attachments!

            What is your favorite reading/eating or writing/drinking combinations?