What We Need

Joanna here, thinking about snow and ice and electricity and those things we really need. Snowfall 030613 0038

This last week, a lot of folks in the Central and Eastern US have been enjoying a double helping of ice and snow.  My own power has been off-and-on-ish and very inconvenient I have found it.

The led me to wonder, 'What do we really need?  What's our minimum to get by? 
What is a writer's minimum 'stuff'? 
What's mine?

Wench what we need

me and my stuff

Leesee …

What do I have here while the wind whips by outoors?

My computer, of course.
Any more, that's a Mac.

In the background you see the cat sleeping on the couch.  
There are those who would argue that a cat is necessary for all artistic eWench dog and catndeavors.  (I imagine cats hold to this theory.)  And I will say a cat adds a certain ambiance of authenticity to the writing process.  Any work that's been read out loud to a cat has passed the critical first test.  

Then there is the trusty dog.  Everybody should have something trusty around — dog, budgie, garden gnome.

Over a bit to the right is my roaring fireplace which keeps body and soul together when the temps dip down into the single digits, which it is doing. It's also beautiful.  Maybe writers need something beautiful around the place.

 

Dog licks 2

see where the dog licks up snow

There, beside the computer, we have the final component of a writer's lifestyle.  There's our cup of coffee, without which no writing gets done.  (Okay.  Okay.  One may substitute tea.) 
(I will also accept the argument for whiskey if one is writing noir detective stories or Urban Fantasy.)

So, my writing requirements are computer and warmth, a dog, a cat, and good brew (of coffee).  

What about you?  When you set out to do creative work — writing, dressmaking, scrapbooking, teaching — what are your essentials  that set you up primed and ready for your work?

75 thoughts on “What We Need”

  1. If I’m doing knitting or embroidery I need an audio book on my phone or mp3 player. I find I just can’t work at crafts if I don’t have something to listen to. Radio is not as good because if you hit a tricky spot you can’t go back and play that section over again.

    Reply
  2. If I’m doing knitting or embroidery I need an audio book on my phone or mp3 player. I find I just can’t work at crafts if I don’t have something to listen to. Radio is not as good because if you hit a tricky spot you can’t go back and play that section over again.

    Reply
  3. If I’m doing knitting or embroidery I need an audio book on my phone or mp3 player. I find I just can’t work at crafts if I don’t have something to listen to. Radio is not as good because if you hit a tricky spot you can’t go back and play that section over again.

    Reply
  4. If I’m doing knitting or embroidery I need an audio book on my phone or mp3 player. I find I just can’t work at crafts if I don’t have something to listen to. Radio is not as good because if you hit a tricky spot you can’t go back and play that section over again.

    Reply
  5. If I’m doing knitting or embroidery I need an audio book on my phone or mp3 player. I find I just can’t work at crafts if I don’t have something to listen to. Radio is not as good because if you hit a tricky spot you can’t go back and play that section over again.

    Reply
  6. Most of what you mention requires electricity. A blanket to wrap up in , ort sweats and warn robes to be clothed in; a fire , a pot, and water allows one to make tea, coffee, or soup. I once even made a pizza over a fire made of old telephone books. The cat will help keep you warm. Dogs will have to be let out which lets in the cold. Writing can be done the old fashion way with pen or pencil and paper. Think of writing under the conditions of Jane Austen.

    Reply
  7. Most of what you mention requires electricity. A blanket to wrap up in , ort sweats and warn robes to be clothed in; a fire , a pot, and water allows one to make tea, coffee, or soup. I once even made a pizza over a fire made of old telephone books. The cat will help keep you warm. Dogs will have to be let out which lets in the cold. Writing can be done the old fashion way with pen or pencil and paper. Think of writing under the conditions of Jane Austen.

    Reply
  8. Most of what you mention requires electricity. A blanket to wrap up in , ort sweats and warn robes to be clothed in; a fire , a pot, and water allows one to make tea, coffee, or soup. I once even made a pizza over a fire made of old telephone books. The cat will help keep you warm. Dogs will have to be let out which lets in the cold. Writing can be done the old fashion way with pen or pencil and paper. Think of writing under the conditions of Jane Austen.

    Reply
  9. Most of what you mention requires electricity. A blanket to wrap up in , ort sweats and warn robes to be clothed in; a fire , a pot, and water allows one to make tea, coffee, or soup. I once even made a pizza over a fire made of old telephone books. The cat will help keep you warm. Dogs will have to be let out which lets in the cold. Writing can be done the old fashion way with pen or pencil and paper. Think of writing under the conditions of Jane Austen.

    Reply
  10. Most of what you mention requires electricity. A blanket to wrap up in , ort sweats and warn robes to be clothed in; a fire , a pot, and water allows one to make tea, coffee, or soup. I once even made a pizza over a fire made of old telephone books. The cat will help keep you warm. Dogs will have to be let out which lets in the cold. Writing can be done the old fashion way with pen or pencil and paper. Think of writing under the conditions of Jane Austen.

    Reply
  11. When I’m writing, aside from my computer and my cup of coffee/tea (no pets—too many allergies here), I need music. Nothing with words, strictly instrumental, and preferably baroque or classical. It’s not that I actually listen to it, but it seems to keep the stress level down. This is obviously a barbaric way to treat great music, but it works for me. Maybe like the flames in your fireplace?

    Reply
  12. When I’m writing, aside from my computer and my cup of coffee/tea (no pets—too many allergies here), I need music. Nothing with words, strictly instrumental, and preferably baroque or classical. It’s not that I actually listen to it, but it seems to keep the stress level down. This is obviously a barbaric way to treat great music, but it works for me. Maybe like the flames in your fireplace?

    Reply
  13. When I’m writing, aside from my computer and my cup of coffee/tea (no pets—too many allergies here), I need music. Nothing with words, strictly instrumental, and preferably baroque or classical. It’s not that I actually listen to it, but it seems to keep the stress level down. This is obviously a barbaric way to treat great music, but it works for me. Maybe like the flames in your fireplace?

    Reply
  14. When I’m writing, aside from my computer and my cup of coffee/tea (no pets—too many allergies here), I need music. Nothing with words, strictly instrumental, and preferably baroque or classical. It’s not that I actually listen to it, but it seems to keep the stress level down. This is obviously a barbaric way to treat great music, but it works for me. Maybe like the flames in your fireplace?

    Reply
  15. When I’m writing, aside from my computer and my cup of coffee/tea (no pets—too many allergies here), I need music. Nothing with words, strictly instrumental, and preferably baroque or classical. It’s not that I actually listen to it, but it seems to keep the stress level down. This is obviously a barbaric way to treat great music, but it works for me. Maybe like the flames in your fireplace?

    Reply
  16. I need sunshine. When it is grey for long periods my sense of the world sinks to a low where no creativity is visible.

    Reply
  17. I need sunshine. When it is grey for long periods my sense of the world sinks to a low where no creativity is visible.

    Reply
  18. I need sunshine. When it is grey for long periods my sense of the world sinks to a low where no creativity is visible.

    Reply
  19. I need sunshine. When it is grey for long periods my sense of the world sinks to a low where no creativity is visible.

    Reply
  20. I need sunshine. When it is grey for long periods my sense of the world sinks to a low where no creativity is visible.

    Reply
  21. I had completely forgotten about music.
    Yes. That’s going to be a necessary thing for a lot people. It happens I can’t write and listen to music at the same time, but I’d bet you half of all writers are music-needing.

    Reply
  22. I had completely forgotten about music.
    Yes. That’s going to be a necessary thing for a lot people. It happens I can’t write and listen to music at the same time, but I’d bet you half of all writers are music-needing.

    Reply
  23. I had completely forgotten about music.
    Yes. That’s going to be a necessary thing for a lot people. It happens I can’t write and listen to music at the same time, but I’d bet you half of all writers are music-needing.

    Reply
  24. I had completely forgotten about music.
    Yes. That’s going to be a necessary thing for a lot people. It happens I can’t write and listen to music at the same time, but I’d bet you half of all writers are music-needing.

    Reply
  25. I had completely forgotten about music.
    Yes. That’s going to be a necessary thing for a lot people. It happens I can’t write and listen to music at the same time, but I’d bet you half of all writers are music-needing.

    Reply
  26. have this problem with writing longhand. I can write, all right. I just can’t read what I’ve written.
    I don’t know what it is about handwriting. Somehow the words are never as good as the ones that show up so neat and pretty on my screen.
    Maybe they were right about penmanship. Maybe good penmanship clears your mind and orders your thoughts.

    Reply
  27. have this problem with writing longhand. I can write, all right. I just can’t read what I’ve written.
    I don’t know what it is about handwriting. Somehow the words are never as good as the ones that show up so neat and pretty on my screen.
    Maybe they were right about penmanship. Maybe good penmanship clears your mind and orders your thoughts.

    Reply
  28. have this problem with writing longhand. I can write, all right. I just can’t read what I’ve written.
    I don’t know what it is about handwriting. Somehow the words are never as good as the ones that show up so neat and pretty on my screen.
    Maybe they were right about penmanship. Maybe good penmanship clears your mind and orders your thoughts.

    Reply
  29. have this problem with writing longhand. I can write, all right. I just can’t read what I’ve written.
    I don’t know what it is about handwriting. Somehow the words are never as good as the ones that show up so neat and pretty on my screen.
    Maybe they were right about penmanship. Maybe good penmanship clears your mind and orders your thoughts.

    Reply
  30. have this problem with writing longhand. I can write, all right. I just can’t read what I’ve written.
    I don’t know what it is about handwriting. Somehow the words are never as good as the ones that show up so neat and pretty on my screen.
    Maybe they were right about penmanship. Maybe good penmanship clears your mind and orders your thoughts.

    Reply
  31. I often work in coffeehouses where they have music in the background. It doesn’t annoy me at all or interfere with the writing the way music at home does.
    Is it because I’m already ignoring the background noise and talk and people coming and going?
    Sounds as if you like good music.

    Reply
  32. I often work in coffeehouses where they have music in the background. It doesn’t annoy me at all or interfere with the writing the way music at home does.
    Is it because I’m already ignoring the background noise and talk and people coming and going?
    Sounds as if you like good music.

    Reply
  33. I often work in coffeehouses where they have music in the background. It doesn’t annoy me at all or interfere with the writing the way music at home does.
    Is it because I’m already ignoring the background noise and talk and people coming and going?
    Sounds as if you like good music.

    Reply
  34. I often work in coffeehouses where they have music in the background. It doesn’t annoy me at all or interfere with the writing the way music at home does.
    Is it because I’m already ignoring the background noise and talk and people coming and going?
    Sounds as if you like good music.

    Reply
  35. I often work in coffeehouses where they have music in the background. It doesn’t annoy me at all or interfere with the writing the way music at home does.
    Is it because I’m already ignoring the background noise and talk and people coming and going?
    Sounds as if you like good music.

    Reply
  36. I don’t notice myself getting gray and lethargic when there’s no sun. But I bet I do.
    I find myself craving color when the world is monochromatic. I wear a lot of red and I turn on the lava lamp.

    Reply
  37. I don’t notice myself getting gray and lethargic when there’s no sun. But I bet I do.
    I find myself craving color when the world is monochromatic. I wear a lot of red and I turn on the lava lamp.

    Reply
  38. I don’t notice myself getting gray and lethargic when there’s no sun. But I bet I do.
    I find myself craving color when the world is monochromatic. I wear a lot of red and I turn on the lava lamp.

    Reply
  39. I don’t notice myself getting gray and lethargic when there’s no sun. But I bet I do.
    I find myself craving color when the world is monochromatic. I wear a lot of red and I turn on the lava lamp.

    Reply
  40. I don’t notice myself getting gray and lethargic when there’s no sun. But I bet I do.
    I find myself craving color when the world is monochromatic. I wear a lot of red and I turn on the lava lamp.

    Reply
  41. A nice warm fire in my fireplace. A sixty five pound basset hound on my feet. An overweight chihuahua sitting behind me in my chair. My warm wool tartan bought in Edinburgh years ago. Fuzzy socks. A big cup of Earl Gray. Either my laptop or a legal pad and pen. Oh and a supply of chocolate.

    Reply
  42. A nice warm fire in my fireplace. A sixty five pound basset hound on my feet. An overweight chihuahua sitting behind me in my chair. My warm wool tartan bought in Edinburgh years ago. Fuzzy socks. A big cup of Earl Gray. Either my laptop or a legal pad and pen. Oh and a supply of chocolate.

    Reply
  43. A nice warm fire in my fireplace. A sixty five pound basset hound on my feet. An overweight chihuahua sitting behind me in my chair. My warm wool tartan bought in Edinburgh years ago. Fuzzy socks. A big cup of Earl Gray. Either my laptop or a legal pad and pen. Oh and a supply of chocolate.

    Reply
  44. A nice warm fire in my fireplace. A sixty five pound basset hound on my feet. An overweight chihuahua sitting behind me in my chair. My warm wool tartan bought in Edinburgh years ago. Fuzzy socks. A big cup of Earl Gray. Either my laptop or a legal pad and pen. Oh and a supply of chocolate.

    Reply
  45. A nice warm fire in my fireplace. A sixty five pound basset hound on my feet. An overweight chihuahua sitting behind me in my chair. My warm wool tartan bought in Edinburgh years ago. Fuzzy socks. A big cup of Earl Gray. Either my laptop or a legal pad and pen. Oh and a supply of chocolate.

    Reply
  46. I need at least 20 degree Fahrenheit…no more -45 wind chill with me listening to my furnace and keeping my fingers crossed. However, I found that I really quite liked putting hot chocolate in my coffee.

    Reply
  47. I need at least 20 degree Fahrenheit…no more -45 wind chill with me listening to my furnace and keeping my fingers crossed. However, I found that I really quite liked putting hot chocolate in my coffee.

    Reply
  48. I need at least 20 degree Fahrenheit…no more -45 wind chill with me listening to my furnace and keeping my fingers crossed. However, I found that I really quite liked putting hot chocolate in my coffee.

    Reply
  49. I need at least 20 degree Fahrenheit…no more -45 wind chill with me listening to my furnace and keeping my fingers crossed. However, I found that I really quite liked putting hot chocolate in my coffee.

    Reply
  50. I need at least 20 degree Fahrenheit…no more -45 wind chill with me listening to my furnace and keeping my fingers crossed. However, I found that I really quite liked putting hot chocolate in my coffee.

    Reply
  51. I feel we can, as a group of rational adults, insist on something better than windchill -45. I don’t think this makes us unreasonable wimps.
    Hot Chocolate coffee is one of those pleasures we do not have to wait for Polar Vortexes to enjoy. Perfectly ordinary, “Looks like it might snow,” weather gives us the green light on that.
    IMO.

    Reply
  52. I feel we can, as a group of rational adults, insist on something better than windchill -45. I don’t think this makes us unreasonable wimps.
    Hot Chocolate coffee is one of those pleasures we do not have to wait for Polar Vortexes to enjoy. Perfectly ordinary, “Looks like it might snow,” weather gives us the green light on that.
    IMO.

    Reply
  53. I feel we can, as a group of rational adults, insist on something better than windchill -45. I don’t think this makes us unreasonable wimps.
    Hot Chocolate coffee is one of those pleasures we do not have to wait for Polar Vortexes to enjoy. Perfectly ordinary, “Looks like it might snow,” weather gives us the green light on that.
    IMO.

    Reply
  54. I feel we can, as a group of rational adults, insist on something better than windchill -45. I don’t think this makes us unreasonable wimps.
    Hot Chocolate coffee is one of those pleasures we do not have to wait for Polar Vortexes to enjoy. Perfectly ordinary, “Looks like it might snow,” weather gives us the green light on that.
    IMO.

    Reply
  55. I feel we can, as a group of rational adults, insist on something better than windchill -45. I don’t think this makes us unreasonable wimps.
    Hot Chocolate coffee is one of those pleasures we do not have to wait for Polar Vortexes to enjoy. Perfectly ordinary, “Looks like it might snow,” weather gives us the green light on that.
    IMO.

    Reply
  56. They are polar opposites indeed, Joanna!
    Boudreaux, the basset hound is the sweetest dog imaginable. He is a gold medal winner at sleeping, relaxing, and letting nothing at all alarm him.
    Frodo the Horrible is exactly that. Horrible! He has been banned from some local vet clinics as the technicians refuse to deal with him. He has bitten both of my brothers. (My mother says they deserved it!) He despises everyone on the planet save me. He is so temperamental he chewed off his own tail!

    Reply
  57. They are polar opposites indeed, Joanna!
    Boudreaux, the basset hound is the sweetest dog imaginable. He is a gold medal winner at sleeping, relaxing, and letting nothing at all alarm him.
    Frodo the Horrible is exactly that. Horrible! He has been banned from some local vet clinics as the technicians refuse to deal with him. He has bitten both of my brothers. (My mother says they deserved it!) He despises everyone on the planet save me. He is so temperamental he chewed off his own tail!

    Reply
  58. They are polar opposites indeed, Joanna!
    Boudreaux, the basset hound is the sweetest dog imaginable. He is a gold medal winner at sleeping, relaxing, and letting nothing at all alarm him.
    Frodo the Horrible is exactly that. Horrible! He has been banned from some local vet clinics as the technicians refuse to deal with him. He has bitten both of my brothers. (My mother says they deserved it!) He despises everyone on the planet save me. He is so temperamental he chewed off his own tail!

    Reply
  59. They are polar opposites indeed, Joanna!
    Boudreaux, the basset hound is the sweetest dog imaginable. He is a gold medal winner at sleeping, relaxing, and letting nothing at all alarm him.
    Frodo the Horrible is exactly that. Horrible! He has been banned from some local vet clinics as the technicians refuse to deal with him. He has bitten both of my brothers. (My mother says they deserved it!) He despises everyone on the planet save me. He is so temperamental he chewed off his own tail!

    Reply
  60. They are polar opposites indeed, Joanna!
    Boudreaux, the basset hound is the sweetest dog imaginable. He is a gold medal winner at sleeping, relaxing, and letting nothing at all alarm him.
    Frodo the Horrible is exactly that. Horrible! He has been banned from some local vet clinics as the technicians refuse to deal with him. He has bitten both of my brothers. (My mother says they deserved it!) He despises everyone on the planet save me. He is so temperamental he chewed off his own tail!

    Reply
  61. Actually, it sounds like a good mix. One to keep things lively. One to calm everybody down.
    In other news,I’ve just discovered (with the help of my trusty dog) that my possum outside can climb trees. Who knew?

    Reply
  62. Actually, it sounds like a good mix. One to keep things lively. One to calm everybody down.
    In other news,I’ve just discovered (with the help of my trusty dog) that my possum outside can climb trees. Who knew?

    Reply
  63. Actually, it sounds like a good mix. One to keep things lively. One to calm everybody down.
    In other news,I’ve just discovered (with the help of my trusty dog) that my possum outside can climb trees. Who knew?

    Reply
  64. Actually, it sounds like a good mix. One to keep things lively. One to calm everybody down.
    In other news,I’ve just discovered (with the help of my trusty dog) that my possum outside can climb trees. Who knew?

    Reply
  65. Actually, it sounds like a good mix. One to keep things lively. One to calm everybody down.
    In other news,I’ve just discovered (with the help of my trusty dog) that my possum outside can climb trees. Who knew?

    Reply

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