I adjust my chair to the correct height. Re-adjust it. Now I can begin-after I raise my chair height just a smidge. That’s better.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, writing.
Okay, any time now just begin typing. Go right ahead. Type.
All right, how about a bit of a libation to lubricate the brain? That must be what I need.

I go to the liquor cabinet and take out the bottles of gin and dry vermouth. In the refrigerator I reach for the jar of olives and place them next to the bottles of alcohol on the kitchen counter. From a shelf in the den I chose a martini glass from my collection that fits my mood, a classic number with five vertical lines, each about two inches long and close together in proximity, etched into the bowl.

I stare at the makings of a classic gin martini. It looks nice and I can’t wait to taste the concoction.

The classic art of mixology is much like writing; a concept of the finished product forms. The individual parts must be obtained. For a story, conjured up are the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict and the resolution. For the classic gin martini, gather up the olives, the martini glass, the gin, the vermouth and well … get busy.

I take the metal shaker to the freezer and fill it with ice. To this, I add the gin and the requisite splash of dry vermouth. I let it sit while I fish out three olives, thread them onto an olive pick and place them into the martini glass. I take a moment to enjoy the visual display of the drab green and deep red colors sitting in the sharply angled, clear crystal bowl high atop the thin stem of the glass.

Working down between the cubes of ice, I set the long handled metal stirrer into the shaker. Gently, using a practiced circular motion so as not to “bruise” the spirits, I stir. Moving the gin and vermouth about the ice inside the shaker, the frost building up on the outside tells me when the cocktail is sufficiently chilled.

Again, I think of the similarities to writing. The pages are filled with words, developing the characters, carefully crafting the plot and working in the conflict. The story climaxes, it is sufficiently told, ready for the denouement. The story’s resolution is like the cocktail being poured into the glass. All the pieces are put together, cohesive and complete. All that’s left is to drink the perfect drink and write the story.

I’m Natalie Alder. I write a family saga featuring the Becker family in The Tapestry Series.

I’m forty-something, live with my husband, three rescued cats and a frog in a small farming town outside of Boston.

Natalie Alder’s website

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