You do WHAT?


I tried to come up with something brilliant and wise for today’s post….but my book was released Tuesday and people are saying nice things about it, so I’m a goof at the moment. I hope you’ll forgive a bit of silliness instead.

Back in February I had the day off (when teachers have workdays, everybody wins!) so the Beetle and I drove up to our favorite bookstore. While there, I found Rules of Thumb, a neat little book of essays about the writing life. One of the essays discussed writer’s quirks – the weird little things we do or say or wear or listen to while working. I got to thinking and realized that I, too, have quirks.

– The four little guinea pig pirates on the corner of my hutch have to be arranged the right way. If someone moves one (or more), my eye will be drawn to them until I fix them.

– I cannot write in silence. Music from the iPod is great, but noise from the television is okay, too. My desk doesn’t face the TV, so I’m not distracted by whatever’s on. But I have to be able to hear something.

– I have to put on my fuzzy purple socks before I sit down to write, because I hate wearing shoes, but my feet get awfully cold. Sometime I even have to wear my fingerless gloves. I’m told this happens to other writers as well, which makes me wonder why we don’t all die of some bizarre form of frostbite.

So there you go…now it’s your turn. Tell us what little behaviors would get you committed if you performed them in front of normal people! Spill, y’all!


10 comments to You do WHAT?

  • *snicker*
    If I get stuck on a plot point or character is acting up and won’t comply with my plans, I squeeze the gray farting dog sitting atop the PC ascreen.
    It farts and I feel better, and can write.

  • I can’t write with music on. 🙂 Well, I can, but it’s much harder than writing in silence for me.

    I would so totally come rearrange your guinea pig pirates. Just to make you nuts. 🙂


  • Have to have music on. Cannot write with the overhead light on unless it’s actually night. Right now, for instance, it’s overcast outside and so rather dim in my office. But I have no lights on. The overhead light just bugs me. But that doesn’t make me weird. Really. It doesn’t. May ye who have no farting dogs nor guinea pig pirates cast the first stone….

  • Reading passages aloud to get a better sense of the dialogue’s flow, as though I were doing a screen test [it’s the only way that works for me]–

    — I end up looking like I’m having very intense conversations with a roomful of invisible friends. Even the cat looks at me like I’ve lost it.

    [run away! save yourselves! it’s too late for me, i’m done for!]

  • Catie said: “I would so totally come rearrange your guinea pig pirates. Just to make you nuts.”

    Bad girl! 😀

    We game on weekends, and my friend Ted takes great delight in moving my piggies around while I’m sitting at the desk – makes me crazy! *laughs*

  • Mhm, I have some very very weird quirks when it comes to writing. Music applies, but sometimes I get all 3rd grade and start acting the fighting scene and do the whole monolog/dialog out loud. Crazy I tell ya.

  • Harry said, “…but sometimes I get all 3rd grade and start acting the fighting scene”

    You’re not crazy! Or maybe you are, but I am, too. I had to block out all my hand-to-hand fight scenes with my husband, just to make sure I wasn’t writing a fight that required more arms and legs than my combatants actually had.

    Speaking of that, I was writing a scene in which my protag had to jump off a low building with a sword strapped to her hip, but I was having trouble seeing it in my mind’s eye. So my husband volunteered to help. He strapped on his rapier, climbed on top of the Chevy Blazer, jumped off and hit the ground rolling three or four times.

    I love that man. 😀

  • Oh your husband is a darling. Keep him close and never let go. A person willing to jump off a building just so that you see how your heroine would have landed is pure gold.

  • Michele Conti

    Ahh I get the cold hands and feet too, bad circulation that. I find I get better ideas when one of my kittens is purring on my lap. Don’t know why… it’s strange…maybe they aren’t my ideas at all, maybe they are their ideas. Hmmmm…. I wonder….

  • Michele Conti

    *Cry* No book in Chapters yet.