Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finding Your Inner Pirate

What pirates do before they pillage...

How do you reach your inner pirate?
How do you get in touch with your characters?

And even more importantly, 
do you dress up?

If I was Jo in Little Women, I'd scribble novels 
in writing smock and red beret. 

As Harriet Vane in Gaudy Night,  I'd jot down mysteries in garnet silk dressing gown, armed with ample cups of tea and cream scones. 

But in real life, I am dull as toast. 
I wear comfortable, mostly black clothes, 
type on the laptop, scribble in notebooks, 
do small art 
in my small corner 
and drink coffee 
(decaf! )
with animal crackers. 

my corner "studio"
squashed into the corner of our dining room. 

is where 
I write. 
My home
for short slips of time,

usually when the little guys nap

I nurse a hot mug
and dive deep

to other worlds,
draft cities,  
waft characters 
onto page 
and into breath
craft injuries, death,
sparks and embers,

and then return 
the squashed corner of the dining room,
to the end-of-nap time 
and rolling snowball of day's end. 

but if I could get away with it, I'd dress up...

clown around,

play gingerbread girls

or princess Leia x2

What is your secret
for getting into character as you work?

Do you have a magic rubber chicken,
a writing shawl, a special bottle of writing potion,
perfume, massage chair, a pair of slippers?

Give me your tips. I'd love to know!

Book Love:

Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
Obadiah the Bold by Brinton Turkle

Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon

Roger, the Jolly Pirate by Brett Helquist

The Serpent Came to Gloucester by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline 

Although not pirate-themed, you must see this modern classic.
I am absolutely wowed by Bagram Ibatoulline's illustrations. The text is ballad style,  clean and lilting as a sea shanty, the art intricate and masterful as an old world wonder.  


M. Bloom said...

No dress up tips here... I'm way over here, in my corner, hair tied back & in need of a wash, dressed in black, in front of the computer, but my coffee has caffeine. (Add caffeine... does that count as a tip?)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I'm in my little porch office with the squeezable plush whale who makes real whale calls, the mouse Kachina, the bear fetish, the tree stump, a bowlful of found shells and mermaid vase. And because it's October, there are rubber snakes and funny pumpkin heads. Hmm, perhaps he needs an eye patch!
That's what I do, put little lovelies all around.

Faith Pray said...

M. Bloom, I knew we were kindred spirits! I will consider caffeine...

Tricia, you make me want a tour! It sounds like a wealth of writing magic!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Ho! Miz Faithy. Well, there be nobody more pleased than meself to see this here new post about low account brigands and such like. Although by all accounts ye may lay to it that them little fry are sweet as Dutch mead in crystal goblets.

Never the faint heart did dip a ladle into your treasure hold of yarns and flights of fancy, but what come up for air refreshed.

Though that writin'desk of yorn be humble and homely in bearing, I'm here to bear witness that the fancy words you whittle offn the end of your quill, are smart as paint.

Leastways, ye can be sure that no squall, great or small will sink such a force of nature as them hand-crafted verses. A tip o' the hat to ye, and a swig me mither's courage.

Jan Morrison said...

I am a pirate, a cowgirl or boy, an outlaw and a sheriff, aren't you? I love your desk and I have as one of my inspirations, this beautiful string of hearts made from maps - now where did that come from???!
I suppose it doesn't hurt that you have pirates in your family? Mine were a quiet lot of farmers and pioneers, Scottish and careful with everything. That doesn't hurt either. I'd squish those girlies good if I were there!

Faith Pray said...

Bluebeard hisself couldna ha said sech luvverly t'ings. Thankee most heartily, Gold Brush Richard!

Jan, I may need to add a string of hearts to the corner. Grand idea. It's fun to see what a rich and venturesome soul sprang from those quiet farmers and pioneers. Maybe it was the Scots blood that did it!

Amy Baskin said...

Here's my magical tip of the day, and I hope it comes in handy: I tell myself that I only have to write for 5 minutes. I even put on a timer sometimes. But when I stick to that small promise, I always ignore the timer and keep going. My 5 minute promise to myself is all I need to permit myself to continue.

Faith Pray said...

Wow, Amy! I love it! I have been trying to figure out how to eke in some extra writing slots on the days I miss writing during naps. Five, or even fifteen minutes would definitely be do-able! Thank you, thank you!

Kjersten said...

That pirate reading list looks so inviting. I also love your photos, Faith. They always make me smile.


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