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What do you love to be surrounded by when you write? Maybe it’s just me, but I love nesting before I get started. I’m not a gal who does 1000 words a day. I know that works for people, and that is wonderful, but it’s not long enough for me to get re-absorbed into my story. When I get in there, I stay for a while. Like 8-12 hours days for three days straight if I’m lucky. I get into my writing nest and roll around until I’m covered in words and thoughts and story and my kids are like, “you could at least brush your teeth.” I also love that I finally have a room full of books to be surrounded by. So, I was preparing my nest this morning, and here’s what that looked like.

Scrabble
I have about nine games going. Some with authors like E.M. Kokie and Josh Berk and Tina Ferraro. Others with family or people that I played with at random and we somehow became Facebook friends. (There could be a novel in that, huh? Lonely teenager hooked on Scrabble meets someone online, then in real life, and the main character finds himself/herself involved in a gaming cult. Or something.) Anyway, as you can see, playing with letters and words gets my brain going.

Photography
This might be weird, but I love scouring images on the Internet for fun. I love sorting them by category like “green,” or “paisley” or “dignity” or “redemption.” Sometimes it’s about an expression on a person. Or maybe the texture of a photo makes me feel closer to situation or to an emotion. I also love old wallpapers. If I could, I’d wallpaper every room in my home in vintage-y patterns. I could stare and think for hours, lost in the patterns. It’s like, hypnotizing. When I’m old and demented, please put me in wallpapered room, preferably not yellow.

Incense
I think most people dislike the smell of incense, but I do. My favorite: coconut. I also like clove and sometimes lavender. But it seems like after I actually light the stick, they all smell the same. Anyone else agree?  But, I also love to watch the curls of smoke form and dissipate. It’s mysterious to me, and a quiet kind of busy that I like to have in the corner of my eye.

Coffee
Besides the obvious–fuel–I think it’s something to do when I don’t know what the next word is going to be.

Dedicated writing surface
Because I’m like the only writer in the world that works on a desktop computer, my surface has to match the task at hand. No bills or kids’ projects in my sight. No WORK. Only writing business. Nowhere else in my life is this the case. It all mushes together and that’s fine. But not in my writing nest.

Quiet
Music distracts me unless the TV is on in the other room. Then I’ll play music to cover over that. It’s always music I know well so I don’t have to concentrate on figuring out what it’s about or if I like it. Consequently, I don’t really find new music unless Josh plays his while he cooks dinner. Currently playing in the nest: Tom’s Diner.

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