Five on a Friday by Anne-Mhairi Simpson


Today’s Five on a Friday comes from Anne-Mhairi Simpson, a fantasy author based in south-east England.

She writes, blogs and tweets, hoping to one day sustain her off-world flights of fancy through her writing.

You can find out more at her blog here  – and her Twitter name is @AnneMhairi.


Due to some back issues my workspace is my bed, as I can sit on it comfortably, while propped up by pillows for hours at a time, something which isn’t currently possible in a chair. This means that all my creative resources are strewn in a fairly geometric rectangle along the other side of the bed. The further away from me, the less important they are.

My five necessary creative resources are:

1/ A puzzle book. I have to do something that isn’t reading or writing and that challenges my brain in a different way. Believe it or not, this is how I wind down after I’ve turned the laptop off and snuggled down under the duvet. I never touch the crosswords, but I’ll take a shot at most other things.

2/ Something sweet. Today it was a jam doughnut and a square of chocolate cake. The cake is unusual. Normally it’s either another jam doughnut or a couple of Cadbury’s Crunchie bars. Or a Danish pastry. Or grapes. When I’m being good, the grapes feature more heavily in the day’s diet. Today, not so much.

3/ Something to drink. Mostly tap water in a pint glass, but if I’m cold I’ll put the kettle on and have peppermint tea. I dropped normal (black) tea years ago when I realised I was relying on the caffeine content to wake up in the morning and I don’t like the taste of green tea, besides which it gives me nightmares.

4/ A5 notebooks. I currently have seven of these, three of them full of previous scribbling. One of the three is for my current WIP (in the editing stages) and it overflowed into two new ones. The other two are for short stories, novellas and a goal journal that I find it helpful to write in occasionally, just to remind myself about important things like, yes, I really am a writer! I covered them in stickers and rub on transfers in order to tell them apart, although they are now permanently open at the last page I wrote on. But when I see the covers, I smile – I like to have pretty things around me.

5/ A supply of mechanical pencils. I outline anything that’s going to be longer than a couple of thousand words on paper with a mechanical pencil (you don’t have to sharpen them) and I have to know I’m not going to run out. Although they last for quite a while, when they run out you really want to have a spare. I’ve still got five spares, but three of them are a rather dull colour (the pencil itself, not the lead), so I’m thinking of going and buying another pack. See above about pretty things.


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