Do you do anything to get in the mood to write? Do you need anything special beside you?
by Paul D. Marks
Well, if I was Hemingway, I’d drink heavily.
If I was William S. Burroughs, I’d shoot up.
If I was J.K. Rowling, I’d run to the nearest café for a caffeine fix and a dose of writing.
But since I’m me, I don’t do any of those things.
I don’t have any set routines that I go through before writing each day, but I do tend to goof off, uh, procrastinate, on the internet or Facebook. No, make that I do research on the internet.
And research is always fun. It helps get me in the mood and I can pretend I’m working.
J. And if you saw our garage and closets you’d know that four months is underestimating.) So, this is as close as I could come for now:
And depending on what I’m working on, I might listen to music. That’s probably the most serious answer here and what I really do more than anything. The music often has the same tone and mood as the story. So if I’m working on a dark story I might listen to the Doors or Leonard Cohen. If I’m working on something set around the time of World War II, in the 30s and 40s, I’ll listen to swing music. Sometimes I just listen to baroque, my sort of all-purpose go-to music—which seems to fit any mood, at least for me. So here’s something to get you in the mood. I could have gone with the Andrews Sisters, but couldn’t find a live version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUaceJDGRHQ
And do I need anything else beside me, besides of course computer, phones, pictures of wife, pictures of Beatles, pictures of Dylan, Stones, Doors and Siouxsie Sioux and lobby cards from various movies? A can of cherry Pepsi. Gat. Cat. Dog. And pic of Dennis Hopper flipping the bird from Easy Rider. No, that about covers it.
Now that I think about it though, who is Hopper flipping the bird to?—I’m the only one here.
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And now for a little BSP: My contributor’s copies of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s November issue just arrived. My story “Howling at the Moon” appears in the Black Mask section. This is my first story in Ellery Queen, so I’m pretty amped about it. Also happy to be in the Black Mask section, carrying on the tradition of other Black Mask writers such Chandler and Hammett, though I am no way putting myself in the same category as them. Also glad to be in the same issue as fellow 7 Criminal Minds blogger Art Taylor, and Facebook friend Bill Crider’s column. Will post again when the issue actually hits newsstands.