Writers and Booze: Pardon Me While I Drink This Manuscript

Waiter, can you bring me a subordinate clause?

Waiter, can you bring me more ice and a subordinate clause?

Because I am the founder of the Bentley Paranoiac Dystopian Technique (BPDT), I have managed, at the one-month mark, to have made my stay in the beguiling Bahamas a time of substantial anxiety, temper and intolerance. Not only that, there was some bad stuff happening too. It is once again a lesson in attitude IS everything (almost), and that my attitude makes your basic murderous dictator look like the designer of the Princess Phone.

BPDT aside, I have noted in the past the reputation of writers as the self-medicating types. I’m talking about the storied boozy histories of Faulkner and Hemingway and of Dorothy Parker, the quarry of this quote:”Writer, thinker, drinker.”

Thus, I’ve seen that when my interpretations of this beautiful island become baleful, I’ve started longing for my gin-and-tonic bath. That usually happens around 11am. (When Alice and I were shopping in one of the local liquor stores, one of the tourists there told us that the low-alcohol version of the good native beer, Kalik, was fine for morning drinking, and provided a stepping-stone (if you could still step solidly) to the higher-proof noon-time brew.)

Links with Drinks
Well, I haven’t actually succumbed to the morning bottle-feeding routine, preferring to continue my “I’m strong enough to wait until 5” standard of excellence. Besides, I’ve got work to do, and I don’t have Hemingway’s constitution. But with all that in mind, I thought you’d enjoy my small collection of writerly links about drinks. They prove it is possible to hold a pen in one hand and a cocktail in another, however wobbly both may be.

Top Ten Drunk Writers

11 Drinks to Pair with Your Favorite Books

Greatest Books on Booze

How to Drink Like Your Favorite Authors

A Bar Pretending to be a Bookstore

Mind you, I’m not encouraging a headlong pursuit of boozy debauchery. Intemperate application of alcohol has created many a hell for many a soul. I just apply the stuff as an edge-smoother, and I’ve been edgy lately. I’m much more for the “moderation in all things” mantra rather than “why did I wake up wearing lipstick and heels?” Next time you’re in the islands, you can enroll in the BPDT program, buy me a drink, and I’ll tell you all about it.

Shares 0

5 thoughts on “Writers and Booze: Pardon Me While I Drink This Manuscript

  1. My first book had a page for each chapter called “Listening, Location, Libation” with suggestions for where to read, what music to have on, and what you should be drinking whilst reading.

    Not all the drinks were alcoholic.

    On a less serious note, it is all about attitude and perspective. Woke up yesterday wishing I hadn’t. Sue talked me down from the ledge, we followed our habitual morning routine, and by end of day not only was I less fractious, but one of my Big Concerns had ironed itself, as if by Divine Intervention (which I do not discount.)

    Pressfield re-posted a column about the power of habit to slay Resistance. The anchor of habit has helped me while we travel from unknown to unknown.

    It’s human nature to pretend we’re ignoring that itch, that one, right there, left ankle, but I’m busy fer cryin’ out loud and pretty soon, the itch encompasses the known universe. Ignoring that stupid thing that’s annoying you does the same thing; ignoring shifts from passive to active.

    When that crap starts to itch, pause, and give it a good scratch. Write a scathing letter to the internet (and leave it unsent.) Draw a picture of that particular fly’s mother and tell her what you think of her and her son. Go ahead and wallow in the crankies for 5 minutes, and the itch seems to lessen to the point that ignoring returns to its passive state, allowing writers, drinkers, and other artistes to geddonwiddit.

  2. Joel, yes, anchoring routines are good things. I just finished Jonathan Fields Uncertainty book (did you read the copy I sent you?) and that was one of his techniques. Things have been better here, but mostly because we’ve been alone for a bit—that’s about to change again.

    I recognize that when there’s no sense of control for me, which has happened a lot here, and lots of unpredictable (and not always pleasing) things happening, that I get frustrated and anxious. But attitude, attitude—conscious applications of calming techniques or neutral observations (or gin) can make it much better. Hope it all gets better for you guys too.

    And I do like the notion of drawing the universal fly’s (or in this case, mosquito’s) mother, or mofo—I draw like the blind undead, but I might try it.

  3. I read Uncertainty in two nights, starting the day it arrived. Much for me to ponder there. I realised that I’m coping with uncertainty by sheer willpower, and there are better ways.

    Our traveling has taught me to relinquish control when it’s not possible, and relish it when it is.

    Have I mentioned that we’re in a gorgeous big house staying with folks who wish we’d stay forever? Nice neighborhood; Sue’s son just joined us to work with us, and despite the fact we still don’t have two nickels to rub together, we keep eating, and as far as I know, we’re sleeping indoors tonight.

    Half a bottle of 2001 Napa something or other syrah made an excellent addition to my attitude yesterday.

  4. JDC, it is interesting to see how some of the things that have driven me crazy here are a little better with an attitude rinse, and also making some small changes. Good to hear you guys are feeling comfy with things there. I’ll continue to send you Caretaker’s Gazette notices that might be relevant.

    Last night, I had half a bottle of a Malbec from 2222 that wasn’t quite ready yet. I like the idea of wine futures, but not drinking them…

  5. Just before brunch (yes, we brunch sometimes) I was reading design plans for building your own TARDIS. Then I discovered it was half-size, so it could be moved, which made me check further, and sure enough, it’s not even a working model. No time travel capabilities whatsoever.

    Malbec is a marvelous wine which I only discovered about 5 years ago. I’m doing my best to catch up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *