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Thursday, November 23, 2006


Writing equipment

Does anyone else have a set of objects they keep around to help them write? Here's mine:

1. Obviously, my laptop.

2. Whatever notebook I'm currently using. Generally, the more battered it is, the better I feel about it; I've just finished one where the spine was broken and the covering was peeling off all the corners, and I feel quite sorry to stop using it. It had such a functional feel. I haven't yet found another one that'll fall apart quite so satisfyingly.

Those kind of go without saying. More individually:

3. Print-outs from website with useful background information, kept in...

4. A stripy canvas bag big enough to accommodate A4 stuff.Which are either with me or in the cupboard, depending.

And, apart from my laptop, my current essentials:

5. A big squashy cushion my laptop sits on when I'm curled up on the sofa. I made it myself on a dodgy sewing machine, and it's reasonably square. When I'm feeling anxious, I tend to grip it and object if anyone tries to take it away. When I'm writing, it props the laptop up to a lovely comfortable height.

6. A collection of ambient DVDs ine which some helpful fellow has filmed fish in an aquarium and put the footage on a loop. I've got several of them, and I want more. One of them has a fireplace, which I'm saving for a really cold day; one of them has seahorses, one of them has tropical fish... This is really, really sad of me, I know, but I don't care. Writing makes me very nervous, and having little guppies swimming around on the screen while the television makes 'bubblebubblebubble' noises is incredibly soothing. If the writing is going well, then I forget to look at the screen, but if it's not, then I have lovely fish to look at and that makes me feel safe. It's gotten kind of talismanic: I put the fish on, and that means I'm ready to write. Possibly I'll grow out of this, but right now I'm really quite dependent on those DVDs . . . Still, what's a girl to do if she doesn't smoke?

Anyone else got a little cache of non-essential items that they're unreasonably attached to?

*looks at contents of sofa*

Hmm. It seems I can't write without the Shorter OED, several remote controls, a bag of peanuts and Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poisons. Also, Private Eye.

One three-seater sofa. One writer. No room for anyone else!
my ambient dvd of choice is mst3k; the ability to phase in and out without concern for the plot is a lovely freedom and the randomness of it keeps me on my mental toes.
I hear you on the sofa thing! The end of every day always involves tidying up so other people can sit down ... It's a two-seater with some broken struts, which I keep meaning to replace with a three-seater. I thought it might make for space. I'm probably wrong.
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