"And she wrote the whole novel via e-mail"

She sits at the local coffee shop all day, sipping subtly on a cup of Earl Grey, hoping that the management doesn’t see fit to kick her out as she scribbles her dreams onto the most handy surface: napkins.

My secret writing shame is that I am (in the most cliché way possible) completely enamored with the idea of writing on napkins. Probably because I’ve never actually done it. While I have written poetry on the back of receipts (to be later revised, of course, but sometimes those flashes of imagery don’t stay with you long!), I could never actually bring myself to write on napkins. The preservation specialist in me gasps in horror at the mere thought. I am more:

  • Typing away at the keyboard at my desk, drinking coffee!coffee!coffee! and being endlessly distracted by the barn swallow that perches on my window and attempts non-harmonious communication.

Even when writing with real pen and ink, I like to have little notebooks with me at all times, even if I didn’t (in times when receipt writing has to occur)…I wouldn’t reach for a napkin. They tend to rip when you put a pen to them.

Nevertheless, I am intrigued by the romantic image conjured up by the idea of napkin writing. There’s something of the classic Cinderella archetype in it, especially when you hear the “J.K. Rowling did it” anecdote, which. incidentally, she has refuted, despite the fact that I am sure magic napkins wouldn’t rip when you put a pen to them.

I’ve never actually heard of any real writer who did this. I have however heard of a novel written via text messaging on a cell-phone. The modern day equivalent of napkin writing, perhaps?

Something to consider when my commute balloons to an hour and a half next week.

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