Monday, December 07, 2009

Welcome guest author Meg Benjamin who discusses Writing Mojo!

Meg Benjamin writes about South Texas, although she recently moved to Colorado. Her comic romances are set in the Texas Hill Country in the mythical town of Konigsburg. When she isn’t writing, Meg spends her time listening to Americana music, drinking Colorado and Texas wine, and keeping track of her far-flung family. She recently retired from twenty years of teaching writing, Web design, and desktop publishing.

Meg’s Web site is You can follow her on Facebook (, MySpace (, and Twitter ( Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at

Writing Mojo

Over the last couple of months, I’ve developed a new twist in my writing routine. I start the day with a game of computer solitaire. This might seem innocuous enough, but after a few weeks, I’ve begun to see the game as a bellwether of my writing luck for the day. If I win, things are looking up. If I lose, well, maybe I can make it through two or three pages anyway. Now this superstition has no basis in reality, and somewhere at the back of my mind I know that darn well. But somehow when I have a lousy first game, I still find myself thinking, “Well, damn, there goes the day.”

Writing is like that, at least for some of us. Since you never know when inspiration is going to strike or how long you’ll be able to hang onto it, you tend to latch onto whatever routines will work. I know a lot of people who need music to write—even a particular song. I once had a creative writing teacher who used a Mozart concerto. He’d sit at his desk listening and when the music reached a particular point, he’d start writing. For others, it’s candles. I know a writer who associates a particular scent with each book she’s done because that was the candle she burned while she was writing it. Coffee is big for most of us, or tea if you like your caffeine in a different form. Some people use wine, but it just makes me sleepy. Whatever gets your writing mojo working.

So what about Be My Baby, my third book about Konigsburg, Texas? Actually, it was a lot easier to write than some others. I liked my hero, Lars Toleffson, and having treated him so badly in Wedding Bell Blues by giving him the Trophy Wife From Hell, I wanted him to have a better time in this book. My heroine, Jess, has a nine-month-old baby, which meant I had to do some quick research to remind myself of what nine-month-olds were like (my own “babies” are way beyond that age). The plot is a thriller, with an attempted kidnapping and a heroine in jeopardy. But writing the book was fairly easy—my DH was a thousand miles away for most of it since it was just before our move to Colorado, so I spent more time with Lars than with him! Still, I had to set aside a special time each day to work on the book, and I definitely needed my glass of iced tea.

I just saw a new blog post about somebody’s brand new writing mojo. You take a kitchen timer, set it for twenty-five minutes, and write non-stop. At the end, you take a five-minute rest, and then go for another twenty-five. I don’t know about this—the idea of a timer ticking away in the background doesn’t do much for me. But then again, maybe it’s better than solitaire!

So what are your writing routines? Anything you absolutely have to have on hand before the muse comes knocking?

Be My Baby
(releasing December 8 from Samhain Publishing)

There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas…

Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3

If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.

Peace…at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.

Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently.

Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.
Warning: Contains Konigsburg craziness, creepy in-laws, a conniving two-year-old, a lovelorn accountant, a sleep-deprived Web developer, and lots of hot holiday sex.


Sassy Brit said...

Brilliant post. I love hearing how writers get through the writing process in their "quirky" ways!

I always like to have a candle on the go, when I work at my desk. I haven't got any nice scented ones left, so I am hoping Father Christmas will send me some...

Sassy Brit

Meg Benjamin said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you for those scented candles!