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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Writing Equipment

Please welcome guest blogger Cat Adams

I have a confession to make. I talk to my computers. But it's just too important to my writing to be just another machine.

The one I'm on right now is "Celia", named for the character that paid for her. I am sitting in my office at 5:30 in the morning (I slept in) thinking about what I can say to my fellow writing professionals that might actually be of some use and doesn't sound sarcastic (my norm) or cranky (it's five-thirty in the flipping morning and I haven't had any food or caffeine folks! I have two functioning brain cells and they don't seem to be on speaking terms.)

SO, I decided I'm going to give you my opinions on (drum roll) the importance of good equipment.

It's SOOOOOOOOO worth it.

Yes. Back in the old days they used a goose quill pen, ink, blotters, and parchment.

Let us now wave goodbye to the old days, say a few words in honor of the folks that had to use them to write full length books. (How many handwritten, parchment pages would it have taken to write The House of Seven Gables anyway? Or did he have regular paper by then? I'm a little rusty on my history of the making of paper and the typewriter. I do know that Marcus Aurelius didn't have a typewriter in Rome. So here's to Marcus Aurelius!)

There are folks who need a separate office. Preferably with a door they can close, plenty of light, and a word processor/computer of some sort. Fine. But I've also known folks who typed it on a kitchen stool while their kids were milling around. Whatever works for you works. Because you need to actually DO it. Not just think about it and feel guilty when you're not doing it.

But wherever you put it, you will need a good machine (that will not crash and lose all of your precious work) with a program that will be easy to use and compatible with whatever format your publisher wants.

You will need backup of some sort. (For when your beautiful computer decides it WILL crash and lose all of your precious work, usually on a day when the words flowed freely and you have LOTS of pages to lose).

You will need light. No matter how good your computer/word processor, it will be hard on your eyes. They just are. Good lighting helps minimize the damage.

You will need a good chair. Allow me to rephrase that, you will need a REALLY REALLY GOOD chair. You will be sitting in front of the computer for hours upon hours with most of your movement coming from your fingers (and inside your brain, but that doesn't count). If you don't have a chair that fits your body-whether it is an ergonomic office chair or your LazyBoy recliner (and yes, I know an author who writes really well in her recliner. I don't dare try it. I'd fall asleep.), you will be sore, stiff, and in lots of pain every time you write. Which makes it VERY hard to stay motivated and on deadline.

You will need research materials, be that access to the library, bookstore, internet, or all of the above.

But ultimately, the most important piece of equipment you will ever have in writing is . . . YOU.

Take care of your body. You have to live there. You can't trade it in when there are problems.

Get rest and take care of your mind. It's where your characters live, and their plots and stories.

Eat right, get exercise - because a sedentary job behind a computer wreaks havoc with your system if you don't.

Feed your muse. Have FUN once in a while. Enjoy the beauty around you. Take breaks and live life away from the computer on occasion.

But don't use that as an excuse to avoid writing when the going is hard.

Because you're a writer. And by definition, that means you have to write.

C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp began writing as a team in 1997. They quickly learned that their individual talents in writing created a dynamite combination in historical and paranormal novels!

Cathy resides in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, dogs, cats and 24 Boer/Spanish cross goats!

Cie is currently relocating to the Denver metro area with her dog and cats.
They love reading fan mail and anticipate a long and fruitful writing career.

Demon Song

In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack which made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen to the death and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her--slowly. She’s also had her heart broken--twice--by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca.

Perhaps the worst thing was the discovery that Celia’s life has been warped by a curse laid on her during childhood--the cause of everything from the death of her little sister to the murder of her best friend the same night that Celia became an Abomination.

An ancient rift between the demonic dimension and our own--sealed during the destruction of Atlantis--begins to open, threatening to loose all the demons of hell on humanity (including the one personally bent on destroying Celia). Celia’s hellish recent experiences have given her the unique combination of abilities needed to close the rift. But to overcome the curse, which nearly guarantees her failure, she’ll need to join forces with people she no longer trusts...and put people she has come to care about directly in harm’s way.

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