What's your writing beverage of choice?
When I'm working, I like to have something at hand. (As I mentioned early in the week, I'd be a great smoker. I have no doubt that if I could smoke prettily while I worked, my productivity would skyrocket. I'd even keep lipstick on all day just so I could leave trademark red smudges on the butts in ashtrays all over the house. And hell - you'd think with all that cash RJR and their ilk have been pouring into R&D all these decades, they would have managed to make the things healthy by now!)
Anyway smoking's out, because of the, y'know, health thing, so I start with coffee and segue into Diet Coke and stay with that combo all through the day. Only when the last word is typed at night do I switch to anything stronger.
That said, whiskey's my favorite way to end the writing day.
I started this habit two years ago at Left Coast Crime in Denver. Two weeks after that conference, I would receive an offer of representation from my fantastic agent, but I didn't know it at the time. What I did know was that the stack of dead manuscripts had grown painfully high, the stack of rejections even higher.
I decided it was time to learn to drink like a crime writer.
Should I be admitting this? Probably not. Ah, well. I lined up three fine scotches for a taste test (don't worry, I didn't actually drink them all - this was a tasting) and BAM, I was hooked. It didn't take me long to figure out that my taste runs to the rough-cut stuff - eh, the expensive ones, that is.
I can't resist the romance of it, either, of course. You probably know that in order to make single malt whiskey, you soak barley until it, uh, gets whiskeylike and then you dry the barley in peat smoke. They still harvest peat in Scotland using these terrifying-looking broad-bladed tools, and someday I'm going to go check out those bogs myself and see it in person.
My favorite whiskey is Laphroaig. One review of this whiskey said it contains notes of motor oil and creosote. I can't deny that's true; it's hardly subtle. Sometimes you take a sip and your throat literally closes up in protest.
My friend A came over once and said "Pour me something that hurts" - it was the Laphroaig she was thinking of. (It had been a long week.)
I guess I've stepped willingly into the caricature, but I don't even care. There's just nothing like that first burning sip - especially if I've earned it by writing well that day.
I'll close with a quote I like - I don't know who said it, and I don't really agree with the sentiment, but I like the way it sounds:
“What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.”