Sunday, July 3, 2016

Casting down the Words: a List of Ingredients

Year of the Like: How to make 'the magic'

I am just about to scamper blissfully away from life, the Internet, and all things that remotely look like adult responsibility. I am going half way across the country on a writers retreat with my writing tribe. Five days in Taos where all I have to do is write.

My only real instructions from the coordinator for this event was, "Bring what makes the magic happen."

Vague much?

So after the obligatory underwear and toothbrush list that really didn't have much to do with 'the magic' and more with just human survival, I really thought about what I needed to get the creative juices flowing and stay flowing, be comfortable in a place that is not my house, and try to assuage the ease of being away from my Bean for five days.

How was I going to make the magic happen?

Below is the final list of the items needed to make 'the magic' for this writer.

Coffee- Yes, I am bringing my own kettle so I can make myself coffee and tea every minute of every day. Nothing triggers the muse like a steam cup of  Joe or Earl Grey.

My Wonder Woman mug- nothing delivers that kick ass coffee like a kick ass woman reminding me to be kick ass.

Snacks- After many years of writing, I have found that snacking is a key for keeping the words flowing. A handful of Cheerios for a handful of words.

My Keyboard- because there is nothing quite like five days of writing to give you carpal tunnel (also packed- wrists braces to sleep in). And I can type faster on this baby.

Post-its, highlighters, notebooks, markers, and folders of research- There is still something very real about writing out new ideas before typing them into the computer. Especially ones that you need to go back and add/fix/emphasize because you have had some brilliant breakthrough in writing.

Heavy blanket stitched with the first lines of famous novels- I'm a wuss and am always cold. Might as well be surrounded by great words while trying to write great words.

Chocolate- will be purchased on the way to the retreat. I only had so much space in my checked luggage.

So this is what is takes to bait and trap a muse into a room for five days. Sugar, sugar, and caffeine.

But the real hero in this process isn't even going with me.  This month's thumbs up goes out to a husband who lets me work my magic with devoted time to my craft. Who lets me traipse across the country with my artistic scarves floating behind me. Who never judges the sheer volume of coffee that I can consume in one weekend. Who for the past eleven years has dealt with this crazy, witchy, writer and her words.
The Beckett to my Castle.
The Cream in my Coffee.
The Hans to my Leia.

Give a thumbs up to your support system this month!

Amanda Arista


Helen Lowe said...

Have fun, Amanda!

Kim Falconer said...

Amanda, this sounds fantastic. Wishing you all the writing magic in the word!