Open Wounds

H is for Hoplite

Hoplite is a heavily armed infantry soldier of ancient Greece. Wearing shield, tunic, breastplate, helmet. and greaves they wielded sword and spear in combat.

What does the writer wield? Here’s my equipment inventory for a session on the battlefield of words:

  • Pencil (I don’t use one, I just like having them around because you never know when the electricity will go out and pencils will be back in the game)
  • Pen (I prefer any pen from Levengers – expensive but worth every penny because, as Steve Martin says in Roxanne, “I need just the right pen…” – especially rollerballs) with refills…
  • Computer (iMac 27″ screen especially helpful when comparing two versions of a manuscript or looking at my manuscript late at night in big bold letters, or just not having to use my glasses or squint because I’m too lazy to put them on)
  • Comfortable chair (or wooden hardback if I’m feeling especially spartan) with wheels so I can roll back and forth in endless patterns of procrastination – but not too comfortable so that I easily fall asleep.
  • Notebook or pad of paper (yellow legal or white – again not necessary to use very often but in case something comes up I always have one handy.)
  • Writing software (Word, Scrivener, iA Writer – these are my big three – I use Scrivener now for first drafts of novels then shift over to Word when I’m approaching a third or fourth draft and I use iA Writer on my laptop or iPad when I’m traveling and want to write without thinking about formatting.)
  • WiFi connection (a direct connection to the oracle of the internet)

I have other things to distract me like drawing pads, colored pens and art markers, a bulletin board that collects dust, a pile of folders I don’t use but that seems to get higher as the weeks go forward – I don’t know what’s in the pile but it keeps growing. Reference books to the right on the shelf and some underneath the pile of folders (I think).

What are your warrior writer’s tools of the trade?

10 responses

  1. Hmm. Never heard of iA Writer. I may have to look into it. Currently, I get most of my drafting done on a cheap windows laptop we share, and most of my revising on two monitors at work (shhh). I am also a Mac guy, and used to have several, but there’s a long story as to why I only have the old 2001 iMac (the one with the funny round base) left.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

    • I love the old iMacs. But… how does it work with all the new software? Compatability problems? I’ll have to hear that story some day. I’m making a list… Bottom line is what works works. Sophisticated, it does not have to be…

      April 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

      • It’s works okay. We do have OSX 10.4.1 running on it (Snow Leopard, Tiger, I can never remember) but it’s pretty slow for most things. It can do photoshop, but if you try to stream video from the web … hopeless.

        I used to have a Power Mac G5. The one with the beautiful brushed aluminum case, and the incredible air-cooling management inside. How it went away is part of that story.

        April 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

      • Oooh. The Power Mac G5. That’s an awsome beastie (reading Goliath by Westerfeld and the language is creeping into everything I do).

        April 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

      • I still need to read Leviathan. We have it at the house. Maybe I’ll dig into that next.

        April 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

      • The first book is wonderful, the second good (but lost something, not sure what), the third, so far with half done, is cracking.

        April 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      • Sequels are tough.

        April 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

  2. Very interesting! I look forward to reading the rest of your A to Z posts!

    Just a Nice Girl

    April 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

  3. Love the way you infuse ancient gods and warfare into the writer’s life. Another wonderful post!

    April 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

  4. Ooooo. I’m a pen junkie. I’m going to visit that website RIGHT NOW.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

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