These all add up to writing ritual quirks. Before I open my WIP file, I haqve a few things that have to happen first–some are pretty typical, others downright weird.
1) Tea with a lot of lemon: Like Angie, I have to have my cup of tea—or wine if I’m writing at night—along side me. It’s a miracle I haven’t spilled something on the keyboard, but I think I’m largely responsible for keeping Celestial Seasons in business, and I’m certainly doing my part supporting the citrus growers in Florida.
2) Online addiction: Oh, the hours I could waste being online instead of writing. My routine used to be emails, comics on yahoo, TV Guide and People magazine sites, Verla Kay’s Message Board, and then Live Journal. The problem was, hours would go by as I commented on different threads or friends’ blogs. Recently, MTV’s: The Search for Elle Woods has been a problem for me—they post contestants’ full auditions online, and I stumbled upon a message board for fans. Thank goodness there were only eight episodes! (I’m going to see the winner perform in Legally Blonde on Sunday!!!!)
New routine—emails, comics, TV Guide site, People Magazine, and then emails again—because what if my editor or agent emailed me while I was reading about the latest Miley Cyrus photo scandal? Case in point—I just checked my email and found a wonderful note from a LiveJournal friend who just finished a Revealers ARC! It’s imperative to keep checking email for those unexpected bits of good news and such.
3) Bad Hair Days: Thanks to the one-inch trim that somehow turned into three inches on the floor (I swear I’m bringing a ruler to the salon next time!) I don’t have to worry about this bad habit for a while, but when my hair is in plain view, I get obsessed with looking for split ends while I’m sitting at the computer. It’s just plain sad, and borderline disturbing, but if I really want to concentrate, the hair goes in a ponytail.
4) Quick Recap: Before I can start on a new section or chapter, I always go back and read at least four or five of the previous pages to get back in gear. There, that’s a nice normal ritual—much better than what I’m about to share.
5) What color is my aura? OK, this is weird one, but if you’ve ever had a book deadline—one that involves writing during the summer with the kids home—you might try it, too.
I’m not typically into new age crystals, auras and such, but on a recent trip to Portsmouth, NH, my son and I went into a shop that had rocks displayed with little cards explaining what each one does. After reading that black onyx is good for focus and concentration I bought two. Once I got home, I wondered if keeping the stone in my pocket was the best place. What if it has to be touching my skin to work? So I pondered what to do and ended up sticking the thing in my bra—right in the middle. Yes, yes, I know—disturbing. Of course I’d forget it was in my bra, and every time I bent over out it fell—once in the grocery store.
I’m afraid I can’t give a testimonial about the miraculous concentration powers I gained by sticking a rock in my bra—I lost both of the stones already, probably while bending over to water the garden. Perhaps I should’ve just taped them to my forehead.