I always use my laptop to plot and write my stories. It just makes sense to do so since I type faster than I write by hand. Also, the words never flow quite right on the first run and revising via computer is a whole lot easier – highlight/delete – than revising with pen and paper.
Still, there’s an attraction to a new blank journal that I cannot ignore. Something about the crackle of a new journal’s spine as you open it and smooth the pages flat. Something about the flourishes, the blank space, the actual feel of it in your hands as you re-read what you’ve written there.
I still have journals from years ago – from my teens and before. I often look at them, read them, and reconnect with the girl I was. I remember her well. Though I’m glad to know a big part of her has been left in the past. Now, when I journal, it’s live and public – and often 140 characters or less – and not quite as soul-searching or revealing as it had been. That’s okay because I’m not sure I want to reveal myself the way I used to. I’m not sure I even remember how to be so open. Even to myself.
However, while journal-ing may not be a favorite pastime of mine, writing still is. Though it’s more than a pastime, for sure. And so, I bought a new journal, with a cover meant to inspire even the most stubborn muse. And I have a new perfume oil to compliment the image on the journal. Add to all that, the right music, and my muse will sing like she’s never sung before. I feel it. I want it. I’m ready for it.
Yes, music and scent. They create a mood. An atmosphere. A sense of being somewhere new, secret, mysterious. Where the muse is safe and free to create. Sure, I could sit at the computer and ‘think’ myself into another place but it’s not the same as being as immersed in it as possible.
The music is always the hardest part for me to select. I want something I enjoy, of course, but also something that fits the story I hope to write. That will enhance the mood, yet fade into the background. Something to help add dimension to the words, in ink, on the page.
The scent I’m using for this story is named perfectly, in my opinion. It’s from a company called, The Poison Apple Apothecary and they call it, Parlor. I can’t get enough of the scent. I put a few drops on a cotton puff and place it in a glass bowl that sits beside me as I write. Lovely.
Poison Apple describes the fragrance this way: The heady scent of sweet pipe tobacco wafting through a large parlor with dark oak floors and imperial furnishings.
I wish I could dab a bit of it onto the screen so you could smell it for yourself. 🙂
As for my inspiring journal, it’s from Peter Pauper Press and it is simply gorgeous. Just look at this cover –
Isn’t it beautiful?
And now to the music. For this current story, I chose something seductive, something meant to lull me into the moment where a sultry summer night breeze carries these soulful and soothing strains…
I’d have you listen to it – in fact, I posted this sexy saxophone piece originally – but since then, the artist sent me a rather abrupt and threatening message demanding I remove the link to his music. So, rather than further distract or upset an artist with my tiny online presence, I’ve obliged. And I’ve chosen new music as a backdrop for my work since I need and enjoy a more positive vibe than this piece would, from here on, provide.
You know, being a writer can be a truly wonderful thing.
Ilove your journal and the description of your scent. Makes me want to sit down and write. I love writing in a journal but it is mostly self-exploration…when I examine my life and try to sort out all the threads. As Socrates said, an unexamined life is not worth living. 🙂
Thank you, Linda. It’s that feeling – of wanting to sit down and write – that I felt when I saw this journal. It’s amazing how a book, a picture, can prompt that desire, isn’t it?
I love your Socrates reference. Thank you for posting it here.