Stalking the Wild Muse: Writer Rituals & Habits – Tea

MusemedA series exploring the props, habits, and drugs that fuel the writer’s productivity. Past, present and future! Look for BVC writers, plus other authors we know and love.

Tea by Pati Nagle

I’ve been a tea drinker all my life, and since I gave up coffee a while back it’s my daily beverage. While many–perhaps most–writers are coffee-fueled, I and a few others fill our morning mugs with Keemun, English Breakfast, Assam, or my personal favorite, Darjeeling.

When I was writing my Far Western Civil War series, one of the characters, Marie Hawkland, informed me that I was drinking my tea improperly. She insisted that a mug was inappropriate, and from then on while writing those books I prepared a tea tray each morning, carried it to my desk, and drank my tea from a china cup like a lady.

A Sprig of Blossomed ThornI confess, I’ve gone back to the mug since then. It’s more convenient, but occasionally when the mood strikes me I break out the china. Or I might, if I’m writing about the ælven, drink from a slender, handle-less pottery mug.

Tea doesn’t just sustain me. It finds its way into many of my stories, most recently the Wisteria Tearoom Mysteries I write under the pen name Patrice Greenwood. They take place in a fictional tearoom in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and are great fun to write. I love tea, I love Santa Fe, and I’m fond of a good puzzle now and then.



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