- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
- Eye Candy
- Happenings at the Henhouse
- Music of the Coop
- Pop Culture
- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
- Squawk Friends
- Squawk Interactive: Captions, polls, etc
- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
While Jane Austen was right, and it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, what’s really important to me right now is that it’s a universal truth that a writer is in desperate need of desk toys — especially while finishing a book.
Right now I’m writing book two of DARKNESS CHOSEN, the paranormal series I have coming out this summer, and I’m making the last, desperate push toward the two most wonderful words in the English language — THE END.
I have a friend whose name I won’t mention (Susan Mallery/SIZZLING) who writes like the wind. I know this because one time I called her all aglow and boasted, “I just wrote four pages in an hour.” And after a delicate hesitation, she said, “When I really get going, I write ten pages an hour.” This explains why she writes six to seven books a year. It doesn’t explain why we’ve been friends for fourteen years, but since she has agreed to visit Squawk next week and share some of her secrets, I’ll give you the story then.
But actually, four pages an hour is really flying for me. Dialogue comes quickly, description does not. I fumble my way through introspection, and starting a chapter is always hell and usually involves writing something that’s wrong and is going to get cut before I reach what is right.
What was my point? Oh, yeah.
A writer like me spends time staring into space, and that means I need desk toys to play with … I mean, to help me focus my creative energy.
I have my yellow plastic smiley face hammer — I shake it, it squeaks and drives the dogs crazy. (That explains the smiley face.) plus it has soap in the handle and a tiny bubble wand so I can blow bubbles. I’ve discovered bubbles are very important for the creative process.
Of course, I have the necessary toy which anybody who uses a computer should have — a squeezy toy to exercise my hand. Mine is in the shape of a brain, which leads to wonderful telephone conversations. “What are you doing?” “I’m playing with my brain.”
I have the cow screen cleaner. Honest, its belly is a screen cleaner for my computer, but look into its eyes — this is a cow you can confide in. Remember, if you talk to the cow, you’re not crazy until it answers back.
Connie gave me (and all the Squawkers) a real ego booster — a silver human figure prostrating itself … toward me. (Well really, who else?)
Until author Geralyn Dawson (GIVE HIM THE SLIP) bought this for me in New Orleans, I hadn’t realized that no romance writer’s desk would be complete without a walking penis. I wind it up, it walks across my desk while bobbing up and down. If only … no, never mind.
I keep my pink princess crown close for those moments of deep despair when I realize that a) I’ve been faking it for thirty-two books and someone’s going to catch on soon and b) I will never finish this book on time, never never never. Wearing the crown reminds that while I definitely need to take the job seriously, I should never take myself seriously. Forgetting that I’m wearing the crown and wandering downstairs reminds me that it’s not fair to make the FedEx man laugh so hard he drops the package into the puddle.
Most important, my daughter bought me the rock that is my inspiration. All I have to do is read it to remember exactly where I need to put my hero and heroine. (Between a rock and a ...)
What great desk toys do you own? What do you do to take a break while you work? Talk to a cow? Squeeze your brain?… (Of note — if you own a walking penis, there’s a pretty good chance people are going to laugh when you clean off your desk and say, “There’s my penis! I thought I’d lost it.”)