Writing Like Stephen King

One of my favorite books is Stephen King’s On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft. King talks about how most of his books were written when he was drunk or high – or both – and listening to heavy metal music at ear splitting decibels.

Stephen King

Laura and I wondered if we could write better if we followed King’s writing process and tried writing under the influence. There are always places in our scripts where we put an MB (make better) or MF (make funnier.) This was an hypothesis that needed to be tested. We already had a control of sorts as we’ve completed quite a few scripts without any drugs or alcohol.

We ruled out the heavy metal music. Intrinsic to our writing process is that we talk to each other; loud music would make that a problem. We also ruled out drugs. Too risky and we didn’t know where to get them anyway. Although as I’ve talked to several people about writing this blog post, a surprising number of them told me they have had a ‘connection.’ Who knew!

That left us with alcohol. I just have to open my wine fridge, and, if Laura prefers a martini, the ingredients are already on the bar.

Now we have the means, but logistical problems present themselves. Laura usually comes to my house for our writing sessions. She can’t drive home under the influence. That would be totally irresponsible. I was recounting our dilemma to my husband and he said if we really wanted to pursue this experiment, he would pick up Laura and drive her home. (He is remarkably supportive of my writing, whatever the process, and I know he is much too nice to make a YouTube video of us being silly and post it online.)

As for me, two glasses of wine and I fall asleep which might not be conducive to inspired writing. This plan was beginning to remind me of my woman’s conciousness raising group from the 70’s. This was back when the head of NIH (National Institutes of Health) was saying cocaine was okay. Somebody in my woman’s group came up with the bright idea that our group should try cocaine. We debated that issue for a year. I suppose it took that long because any topic we decided to talk about always circled back to our mothers. Anyway, we finally decided we had talked about it so much that actually doing it held no allure, so we didn’t.

Laura and I haven’t talked the writing a la Stephen King thing to death yet, but we might be getting close. I’ll keep you posted.

Yoga in the A.M.

I go to a five morning a week yoga class at The Studio in St. Michaels. It starts at 7, but we all get there about 6:45 so we can hang like bats from slings, use the inversion benches and stretch out our backs with straps. This class is NOT Power Yoga. Most of us are “women of a certain age” who have knee, hip, back, shoulder, neck and wrist issues. Our instructor, Paulette Florio, is keeping us limber, flexible and strong.

I sit to write, but get up from time to time to put in a load of laundry, take a turn around the garden and find some Japanese beetles to kill, or root through the freezer to looking for dinner. But it’s the sitting that makes me stiff. Yoga class keeps me moving.

Sometimes for fun I go on line to see the different poses. This is always good for a laugh because there is no way my body is going to do those things! Disclaimer…photo below of a woman in the plow pose is not me.

plow pose

The first time I did this pose in this class I had to call for help. Seriously! I got myself folded in half and couldn’t get back up. This morning we were in plow pose using a chair as a prop and it was actually restful.

Paulette helps us be better yogis by using props. My hamstrings are tight so I use really big yoga blocks. That has made a huge difference in my practice. We use the walls, folding chairs, blankets, blocks of all sizes, short and long straps, big and small balls, and bolsters. (I’ve probably forgotten some.) Paulette also shows us how we can use the props we find in our homes so we always have a studio – even when we’re traveling.

There are no mirrors in Paulette’s yoga studio. That’s by design. She wants us to focus on our own bodies and is always walking around making corrections to our poses. It’s my early morning yoga class that sets me up for another day of writing, but right now it’s time for a turn around the garden. The day lilies are glistening after an early morning rain.

day lilies