Deb Tawna sometimes runs on heavy fuel

From the moment I glanced at this week’s topic, “fuel for writers,” on Monday morning, I’ve had Dire Straits’ 1991 tune “Heavy Fuel” stuck in my head.

In it, the band extols the virtues of cigarettes, hamburgers, scotch, lust, money, and violence as a means of fueling yourself.

Though I’m pretty sure the song is meant to be ironic, I’ll admit I gain a good bit of writerly inspiration from my own vices. Only one of them is on Dire Straits’ list, but I’ll leave it to you to guess which one it might be.

Not tough to do, considering I write romance.

Though I’m not a huge fan of scotch, I’ll certainly pick up a nice glass of Pinot Noir to get my creative juices flowing. Many’s the time I’ve gotten stuck on a scene and pried my brain loose using a crowbar and the contents of a good piece of Riedel stemware.

I don’t have a lot of unhealthy food vices, and tend to prefer snacking on frozen peas or raw almonds over hamburgers or chocolate or potato chips. Still, give me a really nice hunk of expensive cheese to go with the wine and I’ll be extra happy and productive.

The internet is one of my biggest vices, and I’ll admit I can fritter away hours giggling over Then again, I can almost justify it by pointing out I write romantic comedy, and reading anything funny is sorta like research.

Do you have any vices that inspire you? Or distract you, whatever. It’s tough to tell the difference sometimes, isn’t it?

10 Replies to “Deb Tawna sometimes runs on heavy fuel”

  1. After I read your post, I was compelled to play a game of Bejewelled. Distractions like that take away from my work rather than inspire it, so it annoys me when I cave to them, but I guess they help turn off my mind a bit, which can be beneficial in short bursts.

    1. Frozen peas? That is a new one for me.

      I’m with Elise – those time-waster distractions can easily suck me in, but I like to pretend they’re mental health breaks.

    2. I have no idea why I replied to your comment instead of just leaving my own, but since I’m here, I’ll also tell you that when I was teaching a parent technology workshop a few years ago, I mentioned Bejeweled. “What’s that?” someone asked. “You’ll be better off if you never find out,” I answered.

      All due respect to Richard Connell, but Bejeweled is The Most Dangerous Game.

      1. Totally dangerous!!!! I went through a Risk and Tetris phase in college, then in my early 20’s Spider Solitaire was seriously dangerous — had to go cold turkey. Now it’s Bejeweled. Oy…

  2. Darn you, Tawna! That damnyouautocorrect site sucks me in every time! *still giggling* My vices inspire me in the sense that I use them like a carrot on a stick: if I finish my requisite writing/editing, I allow myself some goodies.

  3. After reading the wonderful book BEST KEPT SECRET by Amy Hatvany, I’d urge every author who uses alcohol to help you write, to think again. This book is raw and everyone should read it.

  4. I’m a Chivas Regal girl – here’s why. Christmas, senior year at Boston College – I’d had an internship at Hill Holliday advertising for six months. I knew I was going to go into advertising after graduation. I was convinced I’d have to learn to drink Scotch. So I poured myself a small glass and choked it down over the holidays. My Mom asked, “What are you DOING?” I wasn’t yet 21, having a 12/28 birthday, I was a few days shy.) “I’ll have to drink Scotch at lunches at work, I’m sure.”

    Well, no. I did not drink Scotch at lunches. Ever. Although there was plenty of drinking at the ad agency and even folks who carried white stuff in a salt shaker – I kid you not.

    Heavy fuel today is Mac and Cheese or some other rich verboten food.

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