All my books have been fueled by Twining’s English Breakfast Tea, made from the loose kind in the tin. I add milk but not sugar. For the last year and a half my writing routine was: hand my daughter over to my husband for Daddy Time, take a brisk hour-long walk to clear my head, come home, put the kettle on, put on comfort clothes, and curl up with my computer and a big mug of milky tea.
Some writers advise against getting into routines like this, because when the routine is broken you’ll find it impossible to write. Certainly true in my case. I don’t know that I need the tea so much, but I do need the hour’s moodling without distractions, and I’m trying hard to find a place to take that walk. It’s surprisingly difficult to find nice long trails.
The Settlement novels were also fueled by Scottish oatmeal, or for Outlander fans, parritch. A bowl of that with a trickle of Golden Syrup and some milk puts heart in a person (also sticks to ribs, grows hair on your chest, and–according to Jamie Fraser–prevents piles).
The Bear’s Wife was fueled by tea and tea alone. The next book … ? I don’t know. These Carr’s Lemon-Ginger Cremes are my favorite cookie, and one I’ve just become re-acquainted with after a long dry spell with nowhere to buy them. My system doesn’t absorb sugar well, though, so they are to be a rare treat. Not an institution.
Bear foot slippers strictly optional, but they do get one in the mood for my books.
Whenever I drink tea I think of Uncle Giles from A Dance to the Music of Time: “No thank you, I never take tea. People who take tea waste half the afternoon. Never wanted to get in the habit.”
Well, Giles, it’s still morning. So there.