Alanah Winters

Alanah Winters: Compelling fiction

Writing Rituals

I’ve been paying close attention to my dog Samantha lately. For the past few days I’ve been able to catch her in the middle of her morning ritual. It was quite interesting. Well, I should set out a disclaimer first. I’m liable to find many banal actions entertaining while sipping fresh coffee and being halfway asleep. Anywho, back to my dog’s fascinating, unexamined life… First, Sam cleared her throat of her early morning grogginess with some spirited barking by the backyard’s sliding door glass. What she’s always getting all up in arms about is usually widely unknown.  She could’ve been barking at a squirrel or maybe even a rabbit. However, there has been a number of times that I’ve taken a look outside and it was pretty obvious she was barking at absolutely nothing.

 Her shade game is strong... Whatever that means.

Her shade game is strong... Whatever that means.

After she feels she has ripped whatever-it-was-or-wasn’t a new one, she’ll breathe out a satisfied huff. Her next step is to walk in a few tight circles before stretching out to bathe in the sun’s glorious light for hours. Or at least I believe it's hours. My attention is elsewhere by the time I finish my coffee. However, it got me thinking of my tendencies and/or rituals I partake in during my writing process.

I’m going to pick out my “rituals” for a day that my kids would be at school, the house was clean and dinner was going to be prepared by culinary fairies… You know; the ideal day that happens only every other blue moon.  

A day in the life of Alanah Winters' writing rituals

I have the bad habit of loving to write in bed, but it has to be on my husband’s side of the bed.

In Cold Blood novelist Truman Capote described himself as a “horizontal author”. Mark Twain was a known "bed writer" as well! Now I'm in good company!

That’s where my writing ritual starts begins:

1.      Making my bed, placing an extra sheet or blanket (depending on how cold or warm it is). I need to be nestled under some type of covering to feel cozy.

2.      Then I gather all the pillows on either side of the bed and make a makeshift lumbar support tower. I lovingly refer to it as Alanah’s tower of Pisa.

3.      Now it’s time to clutter! I shamelessly cause chaos to my dear supportive husband’s night stand (snacks, soda, water, at times wine, cell phone, Bluetooth headphones, and the home phone).

4.      The following step is layered and the order varies, depending on my mood.

·Take a shower and brush my teeth

·Get in a free flowing cotton dress (I hate feeling confined in my clothing while writing)

 This famous writer took it a step further than me... French novelist Victor Hugo wrote both  Les Misérables  and  The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame  in the nude.

This famous writer took it a step further than me... French novelist Victor Hugo wrote both Les Misérables and The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame in the nude.

 

·Drink a cup of coffee before taking up residence in my nesting spot.

·Look at Facebook once before I get started (I have a no fb rule once I start creating)

5.      By this time I’m sitting in my place of choice and classical music filters through my donned headphones.

 Maya Angelou didn't need to worry about her FB wall to steal her attention, but she still had walls on the mind. The author of  I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings , used to check into a hotel at 5 in the morning. The staff was instructed to remove all stimuli from the walls of her room.

Maya Angelou didn't need to worry about her FB wall to steal her attention, but she still had walls on the mind. The author of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, used to check into a hotel at 5 in the morning. The staff was instructed to remove all stimuli from the walls of her room.

That’s about it for my writing rituals. My customs haven’t graduated into howling at the moon or séances to embody the great writers that have passed. But I’m still relativity young, so I’ll keep you posted with any interesting changes.