Monday, July 07, 2014

Match Game Ten

For this Monday's ten things list let's play a game. See if you can match the writer to the fact:

The Facts:

1. Wrote while lying in bed in a white coat. Also composed most of one novel while writing with crayon pieces on cardboard.

2. Used a watch to obsessively time creative sessions to make a quota of writing 250 words every 15 minutes.

3. Let a pile of apples rot in a desk drawer and would open the drawer and breathe in the stench as "inspiration" to work.

4. Ate vanilla wafers as fuel for the muse.

5. Preferred to write letters in purple ink.

6. Wrote in a car while out running errands (someone else was driving, thankfully.)

7. Wrote two novels by typing them on rolls of accounting machine paper and cutting off the pages from the typewriter as they were completed.

8. Wrote nearly all novel drafts on 3 X 5 index cards, which were clipped together and stored in boxes.

9. Wrote while leaning over a refrigerator (yes, that tall).

10. Preferred to write in the bath while eating apples.

The Writers:

A. Gertrude Stein

B. James Joyce

C. Agatha Christie

D. PBW

E. Anthony Trollope

F. Friedrich Schiller

G. Thomas Clayton Wolfe

H. Flannery O'Connor

I. Vladimir Nabokov

J. Virginia Woolf

(The correct answers will be posted in comments at the end of the day.)

6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. I think I'll have to go google the answers. I always thought it was Barbara Cartland that preferred to write in purple ink - obviously not.

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    Replies
    1. Purple ink seems to be popular with many lady writers; I have a couple of gal writer pals who frequently use it. I'm strictly a blue or black ink gal myself. :)

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  2. Is it good or bad that I've done several of these?

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    Replies
    1. Not unless one of them is the rotting apples thing. Then we need to have a talk about the effects of methane on your innards. :)

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  3. Following are the correct answers for today's Match Game Ten. If you still want to make your own guesses, stop reading here!


    1.B. James Joyce wrote while lying in bed in a white coat, which (according to his sister) reflected light and helped his poor vision. He also composed most of one novel while writing with crayon pieces on cardboard due to increasing sight limitations.

    2. E. Anthony Trollope disdained the common authorial practice of sitting around and staring at nothing and was determined to use second of his writing time more productively. Thus he used a watch to obsessively time creative sessions to make a quota of writing 250 words every 15 minutes.

    3. F. Friedrich Schiller let a pile of apples rot in a desk drawer and would open the drawer and breathe in the stench as "inspiration" to work. Since rotting apples emit methane, which when inhaled in small doses make you light-headed, it may actually have give Schiller what he perceived as a creative jolt. Inhaling too much methane can kill you, however, so don't adopt his bizarre writing ritual.

    4.H. Flannery O'Connor ate vanilla wafers as fuel for the muse. She actually kept a box of them beside her typewriter because -- and I'll quote her -- "I don't smoke."

    5.J. Virginia Woolf preferred to write letters in purple ink. It was her favorite ink color, so she reserved it for her personal correspondence. She also liked green and blue inks, too.

    6.A. Gertrude Stein wrote in a car while out running errands (someone else was driving, thankfully -- her wife, Alice B. Toklas.) The car in question was Stein's Ford Model T, which she named Aunt Pauline.

    7.D. PBW. When I was a teenager my mom couldn't afford typing paper for me, so she would bring home discarded paper rolls used in an accounting machine at her job. I would feed an end of the roll into my trusty Royal Academy typewriter and start writing, allowing the paper to scroll over the top as I went along. Once I had typed enough to make a page, I'd take scissors and cut it off the roll. Two of my earliest novel manuscripts still exist only in this single copy, cut-roll paper form.

    8.I. Vladimir Nabokov wrote nearly all of his novel drafts (including Lolita) on 3 X 5 index cards, which were clipped together and stored in boxes. Evidently he liked writing on cards for the portability factor. Writing one book this way could take over 2000 cards.

    9.G. Thomas Clayton Wolfe wrote while leaning over a refrigerator (yes, that tall). He was six feet six inches in height, and refrigerators in the 20's and 30's were a bit shorter than they are today, so it likely worked as a makeshift desk for him.

    10.C. Agatha Christie not only preferred to write in the bath while eating apples, she gave the same habit to her mystery novelist character Ariadne Oliver.

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  4. Isn't it fascinating what you can learn about people?

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